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The FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year. Ranked as one of the top 12 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is also a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. There are 65 film festivals worldwide which share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England.


Screening of acclaimed new film,"Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer" crowns event honoring ElaineLorillard, founder/creator of the Newport Jazz Festival

PROVIDENCE, RI (March 3, 2008) – For the past four years, RIIFF has held an unusual fundraising event: a "First Look" at new and cutting- edge film work and a party to celebrate staff and friends who have made the Festival what it is today: Jon and Betty Jane Berberian, owners of the Columbus Theatre ArtsCenter and Lawrence J. Andrade, Flickers/RIIFF Board member. Call it cake meetsfilm with a champagne toast along the way. This year promises to be even more exciting as we premiere the amazing film Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer by filmmakers Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden. 

This is the first, definitive documentary on the life of the legendary Jazz vocalistAnita O' Day. In Anita's own words, we hear the tale of a musical genius who broke race barriers and lived her life boldly, unconventionally, withoutlooking back. In candid interviews with the Filmmakers, Anita gives a poignant and often funny account of her jazz odyssey, that is now well into its seventh decade. With her classic wry wit, Anita speaks with television icons such as Dick Cavett, Bryant Gumble, David Frost, and Harry Reasoner to reveal why at 87 she was the last living singer from the Golden Age.

The film showcases rare and never before seen vintage performances and includes interviews from vocalists Annie Ross and Margaret Whiting, Jazz Impresario George Wein, award winning arrangers Bill Holman, Johnny Mandel, Russel Garcia & Buddy Bregman, writer/actor producer John Cameron Mitchell, Joe Franklin and friends from different times in Anita's life.

This fast paced trip with Anita has pictorial elements of jazz album design and the graphic qualities of the 40's 50's and 60's. Including original ads, reviews,and numerous never before seen images.


The term trooper might very well have been coined for legendary jazz diva AnitaO’Day. The so-called “Jezebel of Jazz,” O’Day’s life was as tempestuous as her tone was smooth; she endured a number of rocky marriages, rape, abortion,heroin addiction, jail, and was even pronounced officially dead after a massive drug overdose, but through it all the lady kept singing and swinging. Many of O’Day’s numerous friends and admirers (a who’s who of jazz) provide eloquent,and frequently hilarious commentary about her life, but the most forthright voice is that of O’Day herself. Blunt, irreverent and sharp as a tack, she was the only white female among the upper echelons of the golden age of jazz, and one of the longest to live. She provides a unique look back on a fascinating period in American cultural history. Vintage clips showcase Anita’s inimitable talents, but more stunning is footage from Bert Stern’s 1958 documentary about the Newport Jazz Festival--which was created/founded by Elaine Lorillard--"Jazz on a Summer’s Day,"which featured Anita’s honeyed rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown”.

According to Lawrence J. Andrade, RIIFF Board member, “'Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer'  is an absolute must-see for music fans. Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden’s fascinating portrait is a fitting tribute to this one-of-a-kind dame!

“We'll also be presenting a rarely seen interview with Elaine Lorillard, whom we will honor this evening, from the "Between Takes" television series Flickers produced in the late 1980s through 2001.” 


Along-term Board member of the Flickers Arts Collaborative, producers of the annual Rhode Island International Film Festival, Mrs. Lorillard was the recipient of the organization's highest honor: The Creative Vision Award for Artistic Excellence in 2001. In 1997, she was honored at the Flicker's produced, Jubilé Franco Américain in Woonsocket, RI for her role in promoting the importance of jazz as an art form. She also appeared on our fine arts television series, "Between Takes," which sparked the attention of Japanese author, Machie Sakai, leading to her biography on Elaine's work "Newport Jazz Festival, 1953-1960." Elaine Lorillard was a visionary and a true American original.

The “First Look” screening fundraiser is presented by the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Flickers Arts Collaborative.


The film screenings of RIIFF’s “First Look” Premiere Screening & Celebration will take place at the historic Columbus Theatre Arts Center, (270 Broadway) in Providence, RI.

Date: Thursday,March 20th.

Times: The special pre-screening party launches at 6:00 p.m. The film will screen at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Tickets for the the 6:00p.m. Party/Reception and film screening are $25 (students with a valid ID will be offered a discount $15/ticket.)

GeneralAdmission for the movie alone at 7:30 p.m. is a recommended donation of $10.

Join us as we toast the memory of Elaine Lorillard and salute her contributions to the arts; not only in Rhode Island, but throughout the world. Local musicians will provide entertainment before and following the film.

All proceeds generated by the screening will be used for the planning and production of RIIFF’s 12th Annual Season. RIIFF is a 501-C(3) non-profitorganization. All contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is generously supported by WJAR TV 10,The City of Providence, the Providence Tourism Council, Clear Channel Communications, Columbus Theatre Arts Center, Amtrak, the University of Rhode Island and individual contributions. Sponsors for this event include Broadway Bistro, located at 205
Broadway, Providence; Narragansett Brewery, and Newport Vineyards. Photography by Mary Hanley. The 12th annual Rhode Island International FilmFestival will take place August 5-10, 2008.

For more information, write RIIFF, P.O. Box 162, Newport, RI 02840. Telephone: 401-861-4445. E-mail:


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About flicksart

Marshall George T.
(FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival)

George Thomas Marshall is the founder and producing director of the Flickers the Newport Film Society & Arts Collaborative, a non-profit organization with 29 years of experience producing programming and creative outlets for filmmakers, visual and performing artists. In addition to producing the acclaimed Rhode Island International Film Festival, one of Flickers' most successful events to date, it also created the annual Jubilé Franco-Américain - a week-long celebration of French Canadian culture, art and cuisine which is held annually in Northern R.I. This event was awarded the Governor's Tourism Award and drew over 20,000 annually.

Mr. Marshall created, produced and hosted the fine arts informational television program, "Between Takes," which received numerous awards from the states of R.I., Massachusetts and national recognition. His work has won three and been nominated for four New England Emmy awards, won four national Telly awards, top prizes at WorldFest Houston, and won three national Communicator Awards for Excellence. He also teaches communications, television production, public speaking and acting for camera courses at various colleges and universities in the area and serves as media / marketing consultant to businesses and non-profit organizations. Mr. Marshall is a frequent contributor and participant on industry panels and seminars exploring the evolution, culture, growth and future of independent film.

Mr. Marshall holds bachelors and masters degrees in political science with a focus on communications from the University of Rhode Island and Brown University, respectively, and studied film at the University of Southern California. He serves on the board of directors for Christmas in Newport and has served as the vice chairman of the Newport Cultural Commission, where he created the city of Newport's First Night Celebration, the annual Scholarship Award, and the January Film Festival. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a Media Panelist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Alliance for Community Media, the International Television Association and listed in the International Who's Who of Professionals. He was selected in the fall of 2002 and 2003 as "One of the Most Influential People" in Rhode Island by the Providence Phoenix. In 2003, he was made a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow for his role as an arts leader in the state. In January 2005, he was presented with an Alumni Achievement Award in the Arts from the University of Rhode Island. In 2007, he was recognized by Mayor David M. Cicilline and the City of Providence with a Citizen Citation for his achievements in the arts and the media industry. In 2008, he was cited by the Providence Phoenix as one of "30 Local Luminaries" in the state of Rhode Island. Currently he is promoting the restoration of the Columbus Theatre in Providence and its use as a community arts center and spurring the evolution of a new regional advocacy group, the North Eastern Film Alliance.

In 2006, he created a Special Topics Course at Roger Williams University on Documentary Film and Journalism, which he now teaches yearly during the Spring semester. He recently completed a chapter entitled "Teaching Digital Documentary Film New Technologies Meet the Art of Storytelling" for the new college text book: “Teaching with Multimedia: Pedagogy in the Blogo/Websphere,” which is being released in 2010. He was on a committee that developed the New Media & the Global Diaspora Symposium, at RWU October 2008, where he chaired a panel on international media and film. He is working with faculty on developing a Film Minor for the Communications Department at Roger Williams University. In the Fall of 2009, he introduced the first Film and Video course on campus. In the Spring of 2010, he introduced a new course to the curriculum: "Curation and and Film Festival Production." Currently, he is enaged with school administration in establishing the Roving Eye Film Festival as a yearly event on campus and will bring the Tournées French Film Festival to campus for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In the Fall of 2008, Mr. Marshall chaired a panel on Documentary Film at the Ruff Cutz Indie Film Conference, Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, Waltham, MA. and presented on a panel at the International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. His topic was creating new modalities for "Building a Culture of Community Outreach." In 2010, along with the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival and the Woods Hole Film Festival, he was a principal in the creation of the New England Film Festival Alliance (NEFFA), an organization designed to link New England Film Festivals and create a nexus for joint sponsorships, information sharing and cross-promotion.

In the Fall of 2010, Mr. Marshall will introduce a new film Festival that he created to the New England region: the Flickers: North Country Film Festival. Scheduled to launch at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH, the Festival has been designed with the specific intent to spur cultural tourism and job creation.


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