Newport, RI June 3 – 7, 2009.

Newport, RI June 3 – 7, 2009.


Newport International

The 2009 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will take place June 3-7 in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.  This year’s Festival will present five days and nights of screenings of over 90 U.S. and international feature, documentary and short films; Rhode Island focus, narrative, documentary and audience award competitions; filmmaker panels; events; a free screening in beautiful Ballard Park; the presentation of the prestigious Claiborne Pell Award; and those fabulous Newport parties.  There will also be the previously announced collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art: Archival Screenings featuring a special selection of films from The Museum of Modern Art’s annual exhibition To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.

Under the new leadership of Executive Director Jennifer Maizel, Artistic Director Tom Hall and Programmers Holly Herrick and Andrea van Beuren, the 2009 Festival looks to be among the best ever.  In its 11 years, NIFF has grown dramatically into one of America's leading regional film festivals. The Festival has a reputation for stellar programming and has cemented its status as one of the most exciting and exclusive festivals of its kind. Annually attracting over 10,000 filmmakers, celebrities, journalists, and film enthusiasts of all kinds together in a less frenzied, less commercial, and more intimate environment, the Festival has distinguished itself as one where art ranks before commerce.

From the Opening Night Film on Wednesday, June 3 to the Closing Night presentation on Sunday, June 7, the Newport International Film Festival is going to be the place to be for all film lovers.

The Festival will open with In The Loop (UK/USA) from director Armando Iannucci and starring Anna Chlumski, James Gandolfini, Mimi Kennedy, David Rasche and Zach Woods.  Filmed in a faux-documentary style popularized by shows like “The Office,” In The Loop uses the recent history of diplomatic misinformation and clichéd double-speak to deliver a razor-sharp commentary on the nature and function of government.  Kennedy, Rasche and Woods will be on hand for the Opening Night screening and party.

On Sunday, June 7, the Newport International Film Festival will wind up its 2009 edition with a film that should certainly speak to the Newport community.  Pierre Marcel’s new documentary Tabarly (France) is a tender, moving portrait of Éric Tabarly, one of the greatest, most innovative yachtsmen in the history of sailing, whose humility and soft-spoken nature belied his passion for competition and the rigors of a life at sea. The film is essential viewing for those who enjoy the art of sailing and features beautiful footage of Tabarly’s arrivals in Newport after winning the Original Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR), one of yachting’s greatest prizes.

On Saturday evening, June 6 at the Jane Pickens Theater, the 2009 Newport International Film Festival will present The Claiborne Pell Award to one of our great masters of cinema.  The late Senator Pell was a champion of the arts, responsible for the legislation that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This award, established by the Pell family in partnership with NIFF over 10 years ago, will feature a multimedia retrospective of our Honoree’s career as well as an on-stage conversation with the Honoree, to discuss their work and upcoming projects.  The festival has partnered with the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA) to expand the mission of the Pell Award, starting this year, the festival will partner to donate $10,000 on the Honoree’s behalf to the MoMA Film Archive to support the museum’s To Save and Project Series.  The honoree, in consultation with NIFF and MoMA will take part in chosing which film the grant will benefit.

2009 Newport International Film Festival Narrative Films:

(500) Days Of Summer (USA) directed by Marc Webb, and starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a fresh take on the romantic comedy, a character-driven story of the twisting and turning required to move on from the end of a relationship.  35 Shots of Rum (France/ Germany), directed by Claire Denis and starring Alex Descas, Mati Diop and Grégoire Colin, is a poetic and thoughtful examination of the cyclical nature of family life.  Adam (USA) directed by Max Mayer and starring Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Frankie Faison and Peter Gallagher, is a smart and tender romantic comedy that tackles the complex subject of life with a disability.  Bronson (UK) directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy, Matt King, is almost operatic in its portrayal of a man with a penchant for mayhem.  Children Of Invention (USA - Narrative Feature Competition), directed by Tze Chun and starring Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen and Crystal Chiu, shows the strain of adult responsibilities unveiled for the eyes of two young children in this profound, heartrending and often humorous challenge to the American Dream.  Entre Nos (USA - Narrative Feature Competition) directed by Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte and starring Paola Mendoza, Sebastian Villada and Laura Montana, is a beautiful and natural story of a family in crisis, and the tale of a single mother’s sacrifice and dedication for her beloved children.  Humpday (USA - Narrative Feature Competition) directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard and Alycia Delmore, is a screamingly funny take on the “bro-mance” genre.  Kisses (Ireland/ Sweden) directed by Lance Daly and starring Kelly O'Neill and Shane Curry, is a heartwarming reminder of the resiliency of children and the need to find understanding in the world.  Moon (UK) directed by Duncan Jones (who will be in Newport) and starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, is a thoughtful character study wrapped in a hi-tech sci-fi flick.  Natural Causes (USA – Rhode Island Focus), directed by Michael Lerman, Alex Cannon and Paul Cannon and starring Jerzy Gwiazdowski, Leah Goldstein, Shonda Leigh Robbins, explores, in a strikingly poetic but natural depiction of romance among inexperienced twenty-somethings, the effects of uncertainty on young relationships.  Paris (France), directed by Cédric Klapisch and starring Juliette Binoche, Roman Duris and Fabrice Luchini, weaving together a tapestry of great characters, the film is a wonderful ode to the City of Lights.  Quiet Chaos (Italy/UK), directed by Antonello Grimaldi and starring the masterful Nanni Moretti who gives a memorable and nuanced performance as the disconcerted businessman Pietro Palladini, whose disciplined morals and good sense seem to belie a troubling mid-life crisis.  Still Walking (Japan), directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and starring Hiroshi Abe and Yui Natsukawa, is a moving account of a family reuniting for the remembrance of a son and brother that passed away fifteen years prior.  That Evening Sun (USA - Narrative Feature Competition), directed by Scott Teems and starring Hal Holbrook and Ray McKinnon, is a classic tale of men and the land.  The Burning Plain (USA), directed by Guillermo Arriaga and starring Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger and Jennifer Lawrence, shows Arriaga’s skill for weaving multiple storylines into one rich and complex narrative shines in this unrelentingly dark but redemptive tale.  White On Rice (USA - Narrative Feature Competition), directed by Dave Boyle and starring Hiroshi Watanabe, Nae, Mio Takada, Lynn Chen and James Kyson Lee, is a wonderfully witty anti-romance that focuses on the ins and outs of family life.

NIFF will also be presenting, in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, Archival Gotham: NYC ON Film featuring a special selection of films from The Museum of Modern Art’s annual exhibition To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, exhibited in restored archival prints.  Among those films are the narrative features: East Side, West Side (1927 – silent with piano accompaniment), directed by Allan Dwan and starring George O’Brien and Virginia Valli, is a marvelous example of how location shooting can be transformative and showcases the city in the 1920’s like no other film can.  Little Fugitive (1953), directed by Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin and Ray Ashley, starring Richie Andrusco and Richard Brewer, is a groundbreaking work of American cinematic naturalism.  On the Waterfront (1954), directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint and Rod Steiger, is a union of great direction, brilliant acting and powerful writing…a cinematic masterpiece.  The Projectionist (1970) directed by Harry Hurwitz and starring Chuck McCann, Ina Balin and Rodney Dangerfield, is A loving homage to a life spent at the movies Taxi Driver (1976) directed by Martin Scorsese, and starring Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel and Cybil Sherpard, remains one of the most revered and controversial films of the twentieth century.

2009 Newport International Film Festival Documentary Films:

45365 (USA – Documentary Feature Competition), directed by Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross, is the zip code of Sidney, Ohio and the title of this rare and unconventional study of small town life.  21 Below (USA – Documentary Feature Competition), directed by Samatha Buck, is the story of a young woman going home to face family wounds that she had hoped to escape.  58 Harrison Lane (USA – Rhode Island Focus), directed by Sprague Theobold, takes a look at the remarkable feats of one very special New England school.  Afghan Star (USA/ Afghanistan), directed by Havana Marking, is an American Idol-style television series watched by one-third of the entire country and the first time many Afghanis have participated in a democratic voting system.  Art & Copy (USA) directed by Doug Pray, is an illuminating look at the cream of the crop, the men and women responsible for some of the nation’s most famous images and slogans, the creative minds that grabbed headlines, made millions of dollars and bucked the traditions of Madison Avenue while transforming our cultural landscape.  Boy Interrupted (USA), directed by Dana Heinz Perry, is the unforgettable story of Evan Perry, a young boy whose battles with mental illness took a heavy toll on his family.  Dancing Across Borders (USA), directed by Anne Bass, is the incredible story of Sokvannara Sar, a dancer whose incredible talent led him to acclaim on two opposite ends of the globe.  The End Of The Line (UK), directed by Rupert Murray, tells that the current fishing industry practices will result in a total collapse of global fish populations, and that our oceans will no longer yield the food on which millions of people around the world depend to survive.  Haze (USA), directed by Pete Schuermann, examines how excessive alcohol abuse has become widespread and commonplace among college students.  P-Star Rising (USA), directed by Gabriel Noble, is the story of up and coming rapper Priscilla Diaz with big dreams of stardom and a better life for her father Jesse, a former aspiring rapper struggling to make ends meet.  Pop Star On Ice (USA) directed by David Barba & James Pellerito, is the story of Johnny Weir, a three-time National Figure Skating champion and one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures in the history of the sport.  Prodigal Sons (USA – Documentary Feature Competition), directed by Kimberley Reed, a transgendered filmmaker who recounts her journey to her twenty-year high school reunion (where her hometown knew her as star football quarterback Paul), and her relationship with her estranged brother, Marc (who has dark secrets of his own).  Racing Dreams (USA), directed by Marshall Curry, follows the world of go-kart racing and is a poignant examination of the hopes and dreams of kids who love to compete… and win.  Trimpin: The Sound of Invention (USA – Documentary Feature Competition), directed by Peter Esmonde, is an intimate depiction of an extraordinary artist who has always worked on his own terms.  The Way We Get By (USA – Documentary Feature Competition), directed by Aron Gaudet, tells of three senior citizens who have made history by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine;  We Live In Public (USA), directed by Ondi Timoner, explores the artistic implications of emerging technology.  The Windmill Movie (USA), directed by Alexander Olch, about his friend, independent filmmaker Richard P. Rodgers, is a moving and tender look at an life well lived, if wracked with doubt and over far too soon and is a tender portrait of two men and their shared struggle to find meaning on both sides of the camera’s lens.

Members of our Narrative and Documentary Competiton Juries include:
Documentary Jury - Wendy Mitchell, Senior Editor of Screen International and; Clémence Taillandier, Head of Theatrical Sales at Zeitgeist Films; Jeremiah Zagar, Director, In A Dream.
Narrative Jury -  Alison Willmore, Editor of; Jake Perlin, Associate Film Programmer at BamCinematek  and Founder of The Film Desk; Adam Kossack, Manager at management and production firm Anonymous Content.

2009 Newport International Film Festival Short Films Program
All Short Film Descriptions can be found at and in the Festival catalogue.

Shorts Program 1 - Outsider Stories: Short Narrative Films:
Expect the unexpected and be prepared to try something new as you meet the unusual, rule-breaking characters in these eight original stories.   There is something for everyone in this diverse selection of narrative short films hailing from every genre.

Adelaide (USA), directed by Liliana Greenfield-Sanders. Countertransference (USA) DIRECTOR: Madeleine Olnek.  Dead*Line (USA), directed by Joseph Bakhash.  Love Child (Sweden), directed by Daniel Wirtberg.  Terminated (USA), directed by André Hereford & Riccardo Costa.  The Nowhere Kids (USA), directed by Eric Juhola.  Our Neck of the Woods (USA), directed by Rob Connolly.
horts Program 2 - Animators Showcase:
These seven short animated films from around the world reflect the limitless styles and creative possibilities at the fingertips of ambitious contemporary animators.  From a utopic city in the sky to an unusual bowl of spaghetti, these original and imaginative films are sure to surprise and inspire you.

Horn Dog (USA), directed by Bill Plympton.  A Film From My Parish- 6 Farms  (Ireland), directed by Tony DonoghueInvisible Loneliness (Taiwan), directed by Jung Hsien-Lin.  Western Spaghetti (USA), directed by PES.  Capes (USA), directed by Bryan Cohen.  Silent Moon (USA), directed by Melanie Mandl.  I Am So Proud of You (USA), directed by Don Hertzfeldt.
horts Program 3 - Truth Before Fiction: Documentary Films:
The short documentaries program presents three wildly different must-see works of short form non-fiction.
A Blooming Business (Netherland/ Kenya), directed by Ton van Zantvoort.  Paints on the Ceiling (USA), directed by Jeremiah Zagar.  I Knew It Was You (USA), directed by Richard Shepard.

Museum of Modern Art, Archival Gotham: NYC on Film Shorts

And there are the Gotham Shorts: Hearts Of Age (1934), directed by William Vance & Orson Welles, is the first ever Orson Welles film.  Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936) directed by Dave Fleischer, The unforgettable technicolor animated tale of the iconic seafaring rivals, and their battle to be "the most remarkable, extraordinary fella."  The City (1939) directed by Willard Van Dyke & Ralph Steiner, is a seminal American documentary contrasting the industrialization of the US with the idyllic conditions of small town life, set to an Aaron Copeland score.  The Tender Game (1958) directed by John Hubley, Colorful characters look for love in a dreamlike cityscape in this short piece set to an Ella Fitzgerald song.
Shorts Playing Before Feature Films:

Dish (USA), directed by Brian Harris Krinsky, plays before HumpdayThe Fire, The Blood, The Stars (France), directed by Caoline Deruas, plays before Quiet ChaosHugo (USA), directed by Paul Lovelance, plays before Trimpin: The Sound of Invention.  Quarry (USA), directed by Richard P. Rogers, plays before The Windmill Movie.

2009 Newport International Film Festival Children’s Film Programs:
Azur And Asmar (France), directed by Michel Ocelot, is the story of two boys raised as brothers. Blonde, blue-eyed, white skinned Azur and black-haired, brown-eyed, dark-skinned Asmar are lovingly cared for by Asmar's gentle mother, who tells them magical stories of her faraway homeland and of beautiful, imprisoned Fairy Djinn waiting to be set free. 

Children’s Short Film Program: Ages 6 to Adult:
All Children’s Short Film Program Descriptions can be found in the Festival catalogue or at

Animacat (Switzerland), directed by Claude Luyet.  Breaking The Mould (England), directed by Rebecca Manley & Luca Paulli.  The Bridge On The River Zzzeee (France), directed by Thomas Szabo.  Carrot On The Beach (Estonia), directed by Pärtel Tall.  Cyber (Germany), directed by Stefan Eling.  Don’t Let It All Unravel (UK), directed by Sarah Cox.  Hooked (Canada), directed by Kristin Williams.  KJFG NO. 5 (Hungary), directed by Alexi Alexeev.  Leonardo (USA), directed by Jim Capobianco.  Ruby Who? (Australia), directed by Hailey Bartholomew & Natalia Stuetz.  7 Days Of The Week (USA) David Cowles & Sean McBride.  Sooner Or Later (Switzerland), directed by Jadwiga Kowaiska.  Triple Concerto In D Minor (Australia), directed by Daniel Mitchell.  World In Your Hands (Norway), directed by Geir Henning Hopland.  The Weatherman (UK), directed by Will Becher. Zoological (USA), directed by Nicole Mitchell.

Children’s Short Film Program: Ages 10 to Adult:
Good Advice (Sweden), directed by Andrea Tibbin.  Hakim (Germany), directed by Ismail Sahim.  Hangman (Norway), directed by Hanne Ramsdai & Cecillie Semec Mikkelson.  Little Girl Waiting (Mexico), directed by Esteban Reyes.  Stranger In Her Own City (Yemen), directed Khadiia Al-salami.  The Trophy (New Zealand), directed Justine Simei-Barton.                        

hort Films For Teens: Ages 14 To Adult:
Careful With That Axe (New Zealand), directed by Jason Stutter.  Chocolate Bunny (The Netherlands), directed by Lernert Engelberts & Sander Plug.  New Boy (Ireland), directed by Tamara Anghie.  Post! (Germany), directed by Christian Asmussen & Matthias Bruhn.  This Way Up (England), directed by Smith and Foulkes.  Toyland (Germany), directed by Jochen Alexander Freydank.  Victory (Bua) (Ireland), directed by Sonya Gildea.

2009 Newport International Film Festival Events and Parties:

Wednesday, June 3
  .    7:30PM:  Opening Night Film: In the Loop. Screening followed by filmmaker Q & A.
Jane Pickens Theater 49 Touro Street. $20
  .    9PM:  Opening Night Gala, Studio 3, One Pelham Street – 3rd Floor. $50

Friday, June 5
  .    11AM: Panel Discussion, Independent Film Producing: Navigating New Challenges – VIP & Filmmaker Lounge, Empire Tea & Coffee, 22 Broadway.  FREE
  .    8PM: Community Screening in Ballard Park – Film TBA.  FREE
  .    9PM: Stella Artois Film Fanatic Party – Boom Boom Room at the Clarke Cooke House, Bowen’s Wharf
**Special guest:  Karaoke Killed the Cat for late night karaoke!

Saturday, June 6
  .    11AM: Panel Discussion, New Visions, New Voices: Emerging New England Filmmakers ­– VIP & Filmmaker Lounge, Empire Tea & Coffee, 22 Broadway.  FREE
  .    7PM: The Claiborne Pell Award Tribute & Cocktail Reception, Featuring a multimedia retrospective and on-stage conversation with the Pell Award Honoree.  Jane Pickens Theater, 49 Touro Street $10
  .    9PM:  The Claiborne Pell Award Gala, Easton’s Beach Rotunda, Memorial Blvd. $50

Sunday, June 7
  .    11AM: Panel Discussion, Documentary Filmmaking: Making a Sustainable Living ­– VIP & Filmmaker Lounge, Empire Tea & Coffee, 22 Broadway  FREE
  .    4PM: The Shoot Program.  Walk the red carpet with local student filmmakers from the Newport Boys and Girls Club as they showcase their final work! Jane Pickens Theater, 49 Touro Street. FREE (but must get tickets at Box office).
  .    7PM: Closing Night Film: Tabarly. Screening followed by filmmaker Q & A. 49 Touro Street. $20

The mission of the Newport International Film Festival is to enrich the community by presenting unique programs that inspire, challenge, and engage a broad and diverse audience through the art of filmmaking.

About the 2009 Newport International Film Festival Sponsors

The Newport International Film Festival is pleased to announce its Premiere Sponsors: Stella Artois, Cox Communications, Hyatt Regency Newport, ABC 6 and Newport Daily News.  Producing Sponsors include Bowen's Wharf, Mercury, Pravda Vodka, The Phoenix, Bellevue Wine & Spirits, Tommy Bahama Rum, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, 93.3 Coast FM, B101, 920 WHJJ and 94 HJY.  Contributing Sponsors include Amtrak, Eastman Kodak, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Clarke Cooke House, Indiepix, Empire Tea & Coffee, Icelandic Glacial and Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.

For tickets and additional information on the 2009 Newport International Film Festival, please call 401-846-9100
or visit:

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