Ridgefield Independent Film Festival unveils May schedule

The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) unveiled its schedule Tuesday, March 21, on www.riff.website.

The intimate, international and inspired film festival, in its second year, will present 55 films at five venues in Ridgefield, Connecticut over the course of three days -- May 19-21, 2017. Early bird ALL FESTIVAL passes are on sale now for $100 and include access to all films, master classes, parties and the RIFF Awards. Individual program tickets are $10-$25. View the full program schedule here.

The festival kicks off Friday, May 19, with an afternoon slate of 13 student films, including Cradle, a narrative short from Iran and After the Revolution, a documentary short about journalists struggling to remain free in post-revolution Egypt, in Keeler Tavern Museum's Carriage Barn. At 4p.m., the Ridgefield Library will show  The Chocolate Case, a documentary that follows the incredible journey of three Dutch journalists, who tried to persuade large corporations to end the use of child labour in the chocolate industry and end up starting their own slave-free chocolate company. In the evening, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will host RIFF's Opening Night Reception at 6p.m. Horror Night follows at 10p.m. with a screening of the feature film Dead Sunrise and three horror shorts at the Keeler Tavern Carriage Barn.

RIFF will be in full swing throughout the day on Saturday, May 20th, with a wide range of films -- features, shorts, narratives, documentaries and animated films -- from 19 different countries, showing at the Ridgefield Playhouse, Prospector Theater, Ridgefield Library and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, which will also host RIFF's Master Classes. As part of Saturday's featured programming, several filmmakers will be in attendance to discuss their films, including Wilton, Connecticut-based filmmaker Megan Smith-Harris, who will present The Buddy System, her heart-warming new documentary film about the extraordinary bond between specially trained assistance dogs and children on the autism spectrum, at 11a.m. at the Ridgefield Playhouse. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Smith-Harris and some of the documentary's subjects. The day culminates in RIFF's Saturday Night Marquee Screening of What Children Do, a comedy about two estranged sisters who are thrust back into each other's lives by the impending death of their grandmother and are forced to try to repair their feral relationship, at the Ridgefield Playhouse at 7p.m.Director Dean Peterson, actress Grace Rex and others from the cast and crew will be on hand for a post-film Q&A and after-party.

On Sunday, May 21st, RIFF will show films during the day at the Prospector Theater and Ridgefield Library. Connecticut-based filmmaker Jaime Longhi will be on hand for the screening of his documentary Shallow Waters: The Public Death of Raymond Zack and the discussion that follows at the Ridgefield Library at 12:30p.m. The festival concludes with the RIFF Awards at 2p.m. at the Keeler Tavern Garden House. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Film, Best Student Film, Web/New Media Prize and the Audience Award. Refreshments and light fare will be served.

Full schedule and details on programming at www.riff.website. Special guests to be announced soon.