Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Inaugural Flickers North Country Film Festival: A critical and artistic success

INAUGURAL FLICKERS NORTH COUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL: A CRITICAL AND ARTISTIC SUCCESS– YEAR TWO ALREADY SCHEDULED

Dixville Notch, N.H. – (Oct. 6, 2010) – The inaugural FLICKERS North Country Film Festival (FNCFF) was a major success on all fronts. The first-time event exceeded expectations of the organizers, while attracting hundreds of visitors over four days; including filmgoers from throughout New England and filmmakers from Canada.

The non-profit festival aims to promote New Hampshire’s Great North Woods as a regional center for the arts, and also benefits The Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that provides a wide array of services for children and adults.

“For a first-time event the film festival was an amazing success. We had filmgoers from across the New England region attending. People traveled from Montreal specifically for the festival,” said Gary Armitage, VP of Sales and New Business Development, and one of the festival’s organizers. “Our goal is to continue to grow this festival so that it spreads out into local communities like Colebrook and throughout Coos County.”

FNCFF is in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) one of the largest and most respected in the country. Sixty films were screened at FNCFF, including 37 short films, 6 feature narrative films and 18 documentaries. The international flavor of the Festival was reflected with 21 countries being represented.

Highlights of the weekend included a presentation from Hollywood screenwriter Chris Sparling, whose credits include the recently released and critically acclaimed suspense thriller BURIED starring Ryan Reynolds, and an upcoming film produced by M. Night Shyamalan. Sparling gave a presentation called “Making It” in the film industry that included the ups and downs of more than a decade of perseverance that paid off with his “overnight success” with BURIED. (Portions of Sparling’s presentation can be seen on The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel and FLICKERS North Country Film Festival Facebook Pages).

Other special guests at NCFF included actress and filmmaker Marlyn Mason, who has appeared in more than100 films and television shows with stars like Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee, as well as well-known filmmaker Paul Sanderson III of “Our Town Films” who created the PBS documentary “Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture.”

“The FLICKERS North Country Film Festival built immediate momentum,” said George T. Marshall, one of the FNCFF organizers and founder/director of the Rhode Island International Film Festival. “I have been organizing film festivals for nearly 30 years and this event has such amazing potential. This first year makes it clear that the FNCFF can grow to become a ‘destination’ festival.’ People will travel not only to see the incredible films, but experience the foliage and world-class cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere that you don’t find at other festival.”

Next year’s festival has already been scheduled for Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, 2011. Plans to expand the festival that are being discussed include student judges from local schools and other community educational and cultural events.

Flickers North Country Film Festival – 2010 Awards

(Portions of the Awards Presentations with filmmaker speeches can be seen on The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel and FLICKERS North Country Film Festival Facebook Pages).

Louise and Neil Tillotson Flickers North Country Film Festival Award

Celebrating the passion of creativity within the world of cinema and the arts: Flickers North Country Film Festival recognizes outstanding writers, directors, actors, and film talent for their contributions to this vital art form and who embody the spirit of Louise and Neil Tillotson. Neil Tillotson was an entrepreneur and owner of The BALSAMS who started out by selling penny balloons during the Depression and built a business empire. Neil and Louise were also generous philanthropists who supported a variety of causes including the Arts, children and education, and were dedicated supporters of the prosperity of the North Country of New Hampshire.

- Chris Sparling – Writer/director

Sparling is the first recipient of this award, in part for his perseverance in overcoming a number of obstacles in his quest to become a writer/director and for his continued support of the Arts and student writers and filmmakers in his home state of Rhode Island through teaching and speaking engagements.

CRYSTAL IMAGE AWARD

Presented to an emerging artist whose outstanding work and vision epitomizes a new voice that must be heard; a filmmaker whose talent will have a positive impact in the future.

- Sandra Boynton, Author/director

ROGER WILLIAMS INDEPENDENT VOICE AWARD

Presented semi-annually to an outstanding artist whose vision promotes tolerance, compassion and understanding. Named after the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, who established an American tradition of religious freedom and individual liberty that was encoded in The Bill of Rights. This award honors a truly unique American whose ethics, philosophy and conscience reflects that of Roger Williams, who provided a refuge from rampant religious persecution, an open door to all people; a safe harbor in a vast sea of tyranny and oppression

- Marlyn Mason, Actor/Writer

Best Feature

GRAND: Cup Cake, Directed by Colin McIvor, Ireland/United Kingdom, 2010

Best Documentary

GRAND: Afghanistan: Defying Silence, Directed by Stacia Teele & Ed Robbins, U S A / Afghanistan, 2009

Best Short

GRAND: Toute Ma Vie (The Story Of My Life), Directed by Pierre Ferriere FRANCE, 2009

FNCFF Emerging Filmmaker- Rhonda J Zabinsky, Vancouver, B.C, Canada
Healing on The Edge – 100m, Canada, Poland, 2010

FNCFF AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS

Best Feature

GRAND: “Listen to Your Heart ” Directed by Matt Thompson, Produced by Luke Moran and Kent Moran, USA, 2010

Best Documentary

GRAND: Just Like Us, Directed by Ahmed Ahmed, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, U S A, United Arab Emirates, 2010