The Rome International Film Festival announces programming details for its 16th season, and organizers have worked to bring a number of independent films to hopefully entertain and inspire filmmakers and film lovers across a broad spectrum of genres.
This year, RIFF partners with a variety of local organizations for films that share their mission and focus. As the festival shines the red carpet spotlight on timely issues, it is able to elevate the values of regional non profits and charities that work toward bettering the Northwest Georgia community all year long.
“Our aim is to enhance the filmmaker experience at each Festival and give audiences films they can not only connect with, but that they’ll also find entertaining and thought-provoking,” says RIFF Executive Director, Seth Ingram. “When we’re able to work with groups and organizations that share the same goals as some of our filmmakers, that’s an added bonus and helps us impact our audiences and community even further.”
RIFF featured films are:‘Farming on the Flint’ and ‘Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia’ — RIFF partners with the Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI) to open the festival with these two environmentally-focused films. ‘Farming on the Flint’ follows farmers along the Flint River in Southwest Georgia who are engaged in an ongoing effort to conserve, innovate and care for the land on which they live and farm. ‘Hidden Rivers’ follows the work of conservation biologists and explorers throughout the rivers and streams of Southern Appalachia, and reveals both the beauty and vulnerability of this aquatic life, and how many people are finding ways to protect it. The films screen Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7:15 p.m. at the Rome City Auditorium. Thirty percent of all ticket sales will go to benefit CRBI.
‘Ernie & Joe’ — RIFF teams up with local law enforcement agencies the Rome City Police, the Floyd County Police and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office for this film exploring the mental health crisis. “Ernie & Joe” follows two police officers with the San Antonio Texas Police Department who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment, one 911 call at a time. The film screens Saturday Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Rome City Auditorium. Thirty percent of all sales will benefit NAMI Rome.
When All That’s Left is Love — Presented by Harbin Clinic, ‘When All That’s Left is Love’ is the emotionally gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, the film reveals the toll that the disease takes on families coping with Alzheimer’s, while also showcasing the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers. The film will screen Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. at the Rome City Auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers. Thirty percent of all sales will benefit Rome’s ‘A Night to Remember’ organization for the The Alzheimer’s Association.
Pageant Material — Partnering with AMP Rome, RIFF screens this LGTBQ-centered film. Still recovering from the death of his mother, 17-year-old Rodney dreams of escaping his small southern hometown in pursuit of following in his mother’s footsteps as an award-winning pageant queen. Despite an onslaught of bullying and abuse from his stepfather, stepbrothers and classmates, Rodney calls upon his best friend Monique and a unique cast of southern characters to help him take the crown in an upcoming teen drag pageant in Atlanta. The film will screen Friday, Nov. 8 at the Historic DeSoto Theatre at 12:30 p.m. Thirty percent of all sales will benefit AMP Rome.
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero — Partnering with Rome for the Rescues, RIFF will screen this award-winning, critically-acclaimed and Georgia-made animated feature based on the incredible true story of history’s most decorated dog — “Stubby” — and the bonds he forged with a young soldier training for World War I. The film will screen Thursday Nov 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Rome Riverwalk, and audience members are encouraged to bring their own furry companions to the film. “Sgt. Stubby” will also screen on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Historic DeSoto Theatre. Thirty percent of all ticket sales will benefit Rome for the Rescues.
Sgt. Will Gardner — RIFF’s Marquee Film tells the story of an Iraq War veteran who is suffering from a traumatic brain injury he sustained during a bombing that he and his platoon suffered while in combat. His injuries make it difficult for him to reintegrate into society. After a series of setbacks, he goes on a spirited motorcycle journey across America to pick up pieces of his life lost since combat. Martini (“13 Hours,” “Captain Phillips,” “Saving Private Ryan”) wrote and directed the film in which he also stars. The film will screen Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Rome City Auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer with Martini, producer Mike Haggerty and Eric Haney, retired Command Sergeant Major and Lindale native. RIFF will donate 30 percent of ticket sales to the Davies Homeless Shelter and the Gary Sinise Foundation benefiting veterans.
A touch of home on the silver screenRIFF will also feature the works of several local filmmakers. Berry College’s Brian Campbell will have a film “The Adventures of Jungle Jolly: Damn de Dam” to screen Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Rome City Auditorium. Local professional carver Jeremy Smith’s experimental film “Kinfolk: Serving Pumpkins” featuring a cast of carved pumpkins will screen during the Animated/Experimental short film block on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in the Historic DeSoto Theatre.
“Unrepresented,” starring local attorney David Guldenschuh, explores how this system of legal corruption works and what nonpartisan reform movements are doing to end it. The film will screen Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Rome City Auditorium. RIFF will also screen the narrative feature, “Smoke” by Mackeen Desravines, an English professor at Georgia Highlands College. The film is based on the Dearborn Heights murders.
Passes are available at riffga.com.