With 91 films from more than 20 countries and a special appearance by film legend and the Bandit himself, Burt Reynolds, this year’s Rome International Film Festival is shaping up to make its 14th year an exciting one.
Festival organizers announced recently that Burt Reynolds would be making an appearance at this year’s event, appearing at the screening of his 1977 classic “Smokey and the Bandit” as well as at the screening of his latest film “Dog Years.”
But there are lots of other films that Rome residents will want to see at this year’s event. From feature films to shorts, animated and documentary, there are subjects and topics for everyone.
This year’s festival also includes two Berry College student-made films: “Rise ‘N Shine” and “Backyard Chickens.”
“We have planned the biggest and best RIFF to date and are hard at work with last minute preparations,” said the festival’s executive director Cameron McAllister. “We are so excited to have Mr. Burt Reynolds joining us, but we are just as pleased to show every film from our lineup and share our four film workshops with Rome.”
A festival schedule and film lineup and passes are available at the RIFF web site, www.riffga.com. Attendees can purchase all-access festival passes for $200 and film & workshop passes for $100 as well as well as day passes which range from $15 to $50.
Here are just a few of the films we think area residents may want to check out at this year’s festival. All the films will be screened at the DeSoto Theatre and The Rome City Auditorium.
Screening: Thursday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m., DeSoto Theatre
Directed By Valerie Red-Horse Mohl
In 1985, after serving as Deputy Chief under a conservative leader, Wilma Mankiller took office as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief. During her decade-long tenure as Principal Chief and beyond, Mankiller’s leadership enabled the Cherokee Nation to become one of the most economically and culturally successful tribes in America. Through rare archival footage and intimate interviews with activists including Gloria Steinem, as well as with Wilma herself, “Mankiller” gives us insight into how this remarkable woman successfully navigated through the minefield of bipartisan politics.
AND THEN I GO
Screening: Friday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m., DeSoto Theatre
Directed By Vincent Grashaw
In the cruel world of junior high, Edwin suffers in a state of anxiety and alienation alongside his only friend, Flake. Misunderstood by their families and demoralized at school daily, their fury simmers quietly until an idea for vengeance offers them a terrifying release. Based on the acclaimed novel “Project X” by Jim Shepard, this unflinching look at adolescence explores how the powerful bonds of childhood friendship and search for belonging can become a matter of life or death.
6 DYNAMIC LAWS FOR SUCCESS (IN LIFE, LOVE & MONEY)
Screening: Friday, Nov. 10, 9:30 p.m., Rome City Auditorium
Directed by Gregory Bayne
Upon discovering a coded message in the self help book “6 Dynamic Laws for Success (In Life, Love & Money)” — which purportedly reveals the location of $2.4 million missing from a bank robbery gone bad — a demoralized ex-used car salesman sets out on a quest to find the money and remake himself in the process. However, he soon discovers he’s not the only one after the cash, and that the road to riches and self-improvement is littered with irate ex-wives, litigious fiancés, household calamities, accidental murders, and love at first sight.
HOUSE OF NORWAY
Screening: Saturday, Nov. 11, 3:45 p.m., Rome City Auditorium
Directed by Jan Vardøen
A well educated refugee arrives in Norway, the richest country in the world and decides he wants to learn to be Norwegian. He enrolls at the Academy and has to pass a host of bizarre cultural tests set by the very self-important teachers.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
Screening: Saturday, Nov. 11, 7:15 p.m., DeSoto Theatre
Directed by Ana Asensio
Shot on Super 16mm with an intimate, voyeuristic sensibility, “Most Beautiful Island” chronicles one harrowing day in the life of Luciana, a young immigrant woman struggling to make ends meet while striving to escape her past. As Luciana’s day unfolds, she is whisked, physically and emotionally, through a series of troublesome and unforeseeable extremes. Before her day is done, she inadvertently finds herself a central participant in a cruel game where lives are placed at risk, and psyches are twisted and broken for the perverse entertainment of a privileged few.
CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY
Screening: Sunday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., DeSoto Theatre
Directed By Phillip Baribeau
A successful chef and adventurer, Eduardo Garcia’s life was forever changed after he was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity in a backcountry freak accident while hiking in Montana. Garcia lost his left hand, ribs, muscle mass and nearly his life, but more important than what he lost was what he found. Through the caregiving and patience of his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Jane, he was nursed back to health and learned to embrace his past, his family, and his future. A love story unlike any other, “Charged” is about both a physical recovery and a life newly and fully realized.