Ridgefield Independent Film Festival will feature 60 movies
A feast for movie-lovers, the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival — RIFF — is returning in a trimmed-back format this year, due to COVID-19. It opens next week.
The five-day event will feature 60 films, including 31 Connecticut premieres, four East Coast premieres, one U.S. premiere, and four world premieres.
“Given that the festival’s home is in Ridgefield,” said Festival Director Megan Smith-Harris, “I’m particularly happy to be featuring the work of two Ridgefielders — internationally renowned photographer and documentary filmmaker Joe McNally (“Watching the Earth Melt Away”), and emerging writer/director Alessandro Girolami (“Unspoken”).”
This year’s festival will go on from Wednesday, Oct. 14, to Sunday, Oct. 18. And in addition to in-person showings at the Ridgefield Theater Barn, all the films will also be live-streamed.
“The last two years it’s taken on a whole new life, and growing dramatically,” Geoffrrey Morris told fellow members of the Economic and Community Development Commission on Monday night.
“Probably 3,000 people attended in ’18 and 4,400 attended in 2019 —over 100 films and people visiting from 15 countries, filmmakers.
“This year it will be very different,” he said.
“Usually all the big events take place at the Ridgefield Playhouse,” said Morris, who is the event’s executive director.
In past years films have also been shown at the library, and in the Keeler Tavern Garden House.
“This year everything is is happening at the Ridgefield Theater Barn, or virtually,” said Morris.
The Ridgefield Theater Barn is at 37 Halpin Lane, and COVID rules will apply a the small venue.
“They hold 125, maybe, inside,” Morris told the ECDC. “But this year it will be limited to 35 people for any one showing, which is fine.
“And there will be very few people from out of town,” he added. “There’s only one visiting filmmaker, rather than about 20 in years past.”
Here are some highlights of this year’s plans.
RIFF 2020 will showcase 60 films in both virtual and live screenings over the five days. “...Strict COVID-19 cleaning procedures are in place for safe, socially distanced events,” Morris said. “All staff, volunteers, and audience members will be required to wear masks.”
All films will be screened both virtually and live.
The line-up includes six features (narrative and documentary) and seven “shorts programs” — animation, comedy, documentary, human relationships, international, ‘It’s Complictaed” and “Psych Night.”
Eleven of the selected films have strong Connecticut connections. The Spotlight on Connecticut Film Series is sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Film, Television, and Digital Media.
“We remain committed to showcasing the work by screenwriters, producers, and directors who have strong Connecticut connections,” said Smith-Harris, the event’s director. “We hope to continue to nurture relationships with Connecticut talent at all stages of their careers, and we let them know that they will always have a home at RIFF.”
Virtual passes for the RIFF events are available either as day passes or an All Access pass. (Seniors and students get a 15% discount)
More information is available at the event’s website: riffct.org.