The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) will run Oct. 14-18 with live screenings at the Ridgefield Theater Barn and virtual screenings.

“We knew we would have to adapt the RIFF program due to the global pandemic this year. The good news is, we feel we’ve truly risen to the occasion by creating a fantastic hybrid program allowing for both live and virtual screening options.,” RIFF director Megan Smith-Harris said.

This year’s festival will feature 60 shorts and feature-length films from around the world. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued presence the festival has adapted to provide audiences with a safe viewing experience.

"The Barn is thrilled to be hosting RIFF again this year,” Ridgefield Theater Barn executive director Pamme Jones said. “When the pandemic hit, one of the first calls we had was with Megan and we committed right then and there to making RIFF a reality in 2020. The festival brings world-class cinema and interaction with the filmmakers to Ridgefield and is a staple in the arts and culture scene here in town. We need the festival to go on!”

The festival will kick off with a screening of “Gay Chorus: Deep South,” a documentary that follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as it tours the South after the 2016 election.

For more information about the festival, visit riffct.org.

2020 RIFF Lineup

All screenings are available for live viewing at the Ridgefield Theater Barn and virtual viewing.

Oct. 14

“Gay Chorus: Deep South” will kick off the festival at 6:30 p.m. In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South with expected and unexpected results, bringing a message of music, love, and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. The film was directed by David Charles.

International Shorts screen at 9 p.m. Includes: “Anna” by Dekel Berenson; “Ashmina” by Dekel Berenson; “Azadeh” by Mirabbas Khosravinezhad; “Golden Minutes” by Saulius Baradinskas; “Il Vaccino” by Edoardo Ferraro; “Maradona’s Legs” by Firas Khoury; “Pizza Boy” by Gianluca Zonta and “The Visit” by Azadeh Moussavi.

Oct. 15

Documentary Shorts screen at 4 p.m. Includes: “Ghost Mountain” by James Taing and Virginia Lynch Dean; “Shannon Amen” by Chris Dainty; “The Physics of Sorrow” by Theodore Ushev; and “Watching the Earth Melt Away” by Joe McNally.

“I Am Human” screens at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Taryn Southern and Elena Gaby, the film chronicles humanity’s quiet march down a new evolutionary path—where man and machine merge as one. How will this evolving technology change what it means to be human, and more importantly, are we ready? A mind-boggling, informative, and ultimately, hopeful film.

Human Relations Shorts screen at 9:30 p.m. Includes: “Alina” by Rami Kodeih; “Before Boys” by Florence Faure; “Cool for Five Seconds” by Dani Wieder; “Encounter” by Ivan Lowenberg, “On the Whistle” by TJ Noel-Sullivan.

Oct. 16

“The Hoy Boys” screens at 7 p.m. Directed by Dave Simonds, the film tells the remarkable story of working class twin brothers Tom and Frank Hoy, who worked their way up from copyboys to award-winning photojournalists for two major Washington DC newspapers—The Washington Post and The Evening Star. Their iconic work takes us back to the pre-digital era when Americans read actual newspapers and facts mattered.

Psych Night Shorts screen at 9:15 p.m. Includes: “1971” by Magnus Hall; “Abe’s Story” by Adam H. Stewart; “Bakemono” by Sumire Takamatus and Jorge Lucas; “Bottleneck” by Mans Berthas; “Canal” by Piers Hunt and Michael Jinks; “Choker” by Orson Cornick; “Deadme” by Paul Hart-Wilden; “Our Boy” by Kyle Sims; “Per Tutta La Vita” by Roberto Catani; “Shift” by Josh Armstrong; “The Ooze” by Emma Keating; and “Unspoken” by Alessandro Girolami.

Oct. 17

It’s Complicated Shorts screen at 4 p.m. Includes: “A Glimpse” by Tom Turner; “Broke Is The Reason” by Barrington Vaxter and Benjamin Handler; “How to Fall in Love In A Pandemic” by Michael-David McKernan; “Intermedium” by Erik Bloomquist; “Ruby” by Michael Creagh; and “The Neighbors’ Window” by Marshall Curry.

“Stevenson: Lost and Found” screens at 6:30 p.m. The feature documentary by New Zealand filmmaker Sally Jean Williams explores the life and stellar 67-year career of writer and artist James Stevenson, one of the New Yorker Magazine’s most prolific cartoonists and arguably the most beloved. Anyone who has ever laughed at a New Yorker cartoon owes it to themselves to see this wonderful documentary.

“The Missing Girl” screens at 9 p.m. Directed by Connecticut’s A.D. Calvo, tells the story of Mort, the lonely and disillusioned owner of a comic book shop, and Ellen, the emotionally disruptive, aspiring graphic novelist he’s hired. The story involves the search for a girl who isn’t missing and the discovery that it’s never too late for late bloomers. Part comedy, part drama, part romance, part suspense, all parts add up to one engrossing film.

Oct. 18

“Climbing Blind” screens at 2 p.m. By UK adventure cinematographer and director Alastair Lee the film tells the extraordinary story of Jesse Dufton, who was born with 20% central vision and soon diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare disease that breaks down the rentina’s cells. By 30 his vision was reduced to just light perception with around one or two percent field of view. A life long rock climber, Jesse flies in the face of adversity and takes on bigger challenges attempting to be the first blind person to make a ‘non-sight’ lead of the iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Scotland.

Comedy Shorts screen at 4 p.m. Includes: “#PrincessProblems” by Maritza Gomez; “40 Minutes Over Maui” by Michael Feld and Josh Covitt; “Age of Bryce” by David Feagan and Brian Elliot; “Bee’s Knees” by Alex Grossman; “Jam” by Brendan Canty; “One Actor Short” by Yuval David; and “Participant” by John Piazza.

Animated Shorts screen at 6 p.m. Includes: “Carlotta’s Face” by Valentin Riedl and Frederic Schuld; “Daughter” by Daria Kashceeva; “Grown Up Man” by Noemie Blondel; “Maestro” by ILLOGIC; “Napo” by Gustavo Ribeiro; “One After Another” by Nicolas Pegon; “Out of Left Field” by Owen Boyle; “Robert the Robot” by Jonathan Irwin; “The Opposites Game” by Anna Samo and Lisa La Bracio; “The Procession” by Pascal Blancet and Rodolphe Saint-Gelais; and “Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days” by Regina Pessoa.