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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.


Over 300 submissions are received from across the globe

and throughout the United States


(PROVIDENCE, RI) Amy Neswald from New York City was the Grand Prize winner for this

year's 2008 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) Screenplay Competition.

From the New England region, local screenwriters Karen Webb from Hopkinton, MA,

Caitlin McCarthy from Worcester, MA, Rachael Smith from Hope, RI and Jason Burns from

Providence, RI, were among the top prize winners in the competition. Entries for the

event came in from across the globe.


“Our judges were very impressed by the quality of this year's submissions,” commented

Adam Short, manager of the screenplay contest. “So it was pleasant surprise to learn

that many of the winners this year had a local background. There is a lot of film talent in

Rhode Island, but it often doesn’t receive the national recognition that it deserves. Our

prizes will go a long way in helping to remedy this discrepancy.”


According to Short, “Screenplay judges poured through 300-plus screenplay entries this

year, the largest entry base in the competition’s history. Each submission was analyzed

and scored according to a set of five criteria, including Character, Dialogue, Setting, Plot

and Technique.


“After extensive reading and deliberation among the judges, twelve prizewinners were

chosen in three different categories: Main Competition, Gay and Lesbian, and Short

Screenplay,” he added. Each will come with its own set of awards.


“We could not be more pleased with the selection of this year’s winners,” noted George

T. Marshall, RIIFF’s Executive Director. “This competition continues to grow and expand,

giving us access to some of the world’s up and coming writers in the craft. The quality

that we have seen this year makes for a truly inspiring and exciting competition.”


The 2008 prizewinners are:


Grand Prize

"The Placeholder" by Amy Neswald; USA

Everybody Bean dates can’t help but to find love with someone else. While searching for

a new sublet apartment, she gives 'love' a break.


First Prize

“Christmas Cake” by Karen Webb; USA

An American woman running from a bad relationship lands in Japan, in heavy

competition for the job of her dreams, and falls head over heels in love with a Japanese

man she can't have.


Second Prize

“Wonder Drug” by Caitlin McCarthy; USA

A scientific drama about how DES (diethylstilbestrol), the world's first drug disaster, harms

the lives of a Big Pharma executive, a feminist doctor, and a thirty-something newlywed

across different decades.


Local Prize

“My Own Private Myocardial Infarction” by Rachel Smith; USA

Since his mother's death, Charlie has written off his heart as broken. When he meets

someone who challenges this diagnosis, he must choose between his head and his

heart, between who he is and who he can be.


Honorable Mentions

“INRI” by Paula Lynch; USA

John and Maggie Devine take a road trip to Rhode Island in search of a miracle for him;

but they unexpectedly find a miracle for her.


“The Saxon” by Nigel Grant; USA

In this medieval Cain and Abel story, a young Saxon has to leave his monastery home

before taking final vows. He struggles with his religious morality as he surmounts Norman

prejudice, fights off the murderous attack of his elder brother, and becomes a valiant

knight battling the forces of 14th century France.


GLBT Grand Prize

“Pansy” by Sean Patrick McCarthy; USA

A gay boy at a Catholic high school befriends a 40 year-old man who becomes his

confidante and lover. When his parents discover their relationship, the revelation sends

the troubled teen on a downward spiral with tragic consequences.


GLBT First Prize

“Get Back” by Kieran Turner, USA

A former child star who was outed by the press in a scandal that killed his career has the

opportunity to to go back in time to the eighties and to relive high school with his adult

sensibilities. Now, he is comfortable with his sexuality, and is able to pursue the

relationships that he shunned the first time around.


GLBT Second Prize

“The Collecting Point” by Danna Scott; USA

In 1968, a young female assistant museum curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in

New York City delves into the sex and drug scene of the underground pop culture while

discovering deceit and corruption at the highest levels of the Met.


Short Screenplay Grand Prize

“Nice Guys Finish Last” by Jason Burns; USA

Do nice guys always finish last? Jake is a typical American guy struggling with the

romantic implications of that question. With the help of his best friends, Greg and Babs,

Jake tries to keep his head above water as he swims in a proverbial sea full of fish.


Short Screenplay First Prize

“ID” by Melissa J. White; USA

A singing telegram messenger becomes an unlikely FBI terrorist suspect.


Short Screenplay Second Prize

“Burt’s Used Cars” by Greg Rebman, USA

Buddy Nedermeyer is a used car salesman who has lost the will to sell. His world has

nearly ground to a halt. When Lou, a smooth criminal, drives onto the lot, Buddy

concocts a plan to reenter his own life.


Prizes awarded to the winners of the screenplay competition include: web placement

services from, listings from Sell-a-Script, consultations from Silver Wing Script

Services, DVD’s from On The Page, books from Michael Wiese Books, and passes to the

2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival and ScriptBiz Screenwriter’s Workshop. The

Grand Prize winner from the main competition will be flown to Providence to attend the

2009 ScriptBiz program, where actors will give scenes from her screenplay a live reading.



The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers.

Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of

only 62 film festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e.

“Oscars”). RIIFF is New England’s largest film festival. Its innovative programming,

cultivated industry ties, and loyal audiences have made the Festival a strategic and

desirable platform for film premieres, drawing hundreds of independent filmmakers from

around the globe. For more information, write RIIFF, P.O. Box 162, Newport, RI 02840.

Telephone: 401-861-4445. E-mail:, website:

For more information about


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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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