Roving Eye Film Festival kicks off its 2018 event

The Roving Eye International Film Festival, in collaboration with Roger Williams University, kicked off its 13th annual event on April 16. The 2018 programming features over 70 films from around the world, including Academy Award nominees and winners, and highlights notable guest speakers, acclaimed filmmakers, and student film showcases.

The festival will continue on until April 22 and is jam-packed with stellar film programs and presentations. On April 19, there will be a conversation with the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, Steven Feinberg, at 3:30 p.m. in Global Heritage Hall. Along with his work with the Film Office, Steven is an accomplished writer, director, and television host. For this program, he will share a behind-the-scenes look at recent interviews with actress Karen Allen, special effects guru Douglas Trumbull, and director of Disney’s “Enchanted,” Kevin Lima, for the PBS series: “doubleFEATURE.”

Following this presentation, in the Mary Tefft White Center, there will be a program of dramatic short films at 4 p.m. Additionally, there will be a program of comedic short films at 6 p.m., and another batch of dramatic short films at 7 p.m. Thursday’s lineup also includes part two of  “The Jewish Experience,” a grant funded series by the Soforenko Foundation. Entitled “Memories Never Die,” documentaries about the extraordinary true stories of holocaust survivors will be presented. The series is hosted by Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, University Multifaith Chaplain at RWU, and starts at 5 p.m. in Global Heritage Hall, Room 01.

The Roving Eye International Film Festival celebrates global storytelling. Throughout the weekend, there will be film programs that showcase some of the best films in the industry, both features and shorts selected from almost 800 films screened by RWU students this semester in FILM 400: Curation and Film Festival Production. The programs will also include some special preview screenings, sneak previews of films set to premiere at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August, and numerous world and U.S. premieres.

As part of “The Jewish Experience,” Holocaust survivor AugustSami Steigmann will be speaking at the festival on April 20 at 4 p.m. at CAS 157. Sami’s remarkable life story is a true inspiration that shows the meaning of resilience, perseverance, and will power.

Screenwriter and producer Chris Sparling will also give a presentation on April 22 at 4 p.m. in GHH 01. He is mostly known for “Buried” starring Ryan Reynolds, for which he won “Best Original Screenplay” from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

The festival will conclude on April 22 in a closing reception when winners of this year’s Roving Eye Awards will be announced.

Roving Eye International Film Festival remains synonymous with quality cinema thanks to Professor George T. Marshall, the festival’s creator and director. Marshall teaches a senior-level course where students spend the first part of the class curating hundreds of films and marketing the entire event. The class offers students an escape from the classroom and invites them to immerse themselves in the art of filmmaking, to discover what inspires them, and gain a better understanding of other cultures and demographics through film. The program’s Honorary Chair is Associate Dean Roberta Adams.

Junior Anas Alfeez from Saudi Arabia believes this class has helped him learn about his identity and shape a new perspective of the world.

“Certain films we watch, especially ‘Tabib,’ showed me how powerful film is because it showed how we all struggle to achieve our dreams, but other people such as those in Syria are just struggling to survive,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed movies, but this class gave me the chance look at what is behind the scenes, how films are curated and the impact they can have on people.”