RWU film professor George Marshall dies

Marshall is credited with founding what would become the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF.)

Courtesy of RWU

Marshall is credited with founding what would become the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF.)

Roger Williams University professor and founder of Flickers’: Rhode Island International Film Festival George T. Marshall died this morning after a “brave battle with illness” according to Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office and collaborator Steven Feinberg. He was 68 years old.

This year was the fortieth anniversary of when Marshall founded Flickers’ which later became the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF). An August press release from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts said the festival charted 82 Oscar nominations and 14 wins from its pool of premiere films.

The Council also said, “RIIFF is widely recognized as a credentialed industry-friendly launch pad for the work of exceptional emerging talent.”

RIIFF 2023 is scheduled to begin Aug. 7.

In addition to RIIFF Marshall along with Feinstein and Shawn Quirk produced doubleFEATURE, a weekly TV series on PBS about showcasing two or more short films and interviewing filmmakers and industry professionals involved with them.

“George leaves a beautiful legacy,” said Feinberg. “He was a movie magic maker for so many of us who have been blessed to know him well. George was a kind, gentle man who loved the arts, his family and friends. We will miss him.”

In addition to being a film professor at Roger Williams University, Marshall also taught at the University of Rhode Island.

At RWU, Marshall helped start the film studies program after he began teaching as an adjunct professor in 1999. He also taught communications and public speaking courses at Roger.

RWU film studies student, senior Liam Engel said Marshall was a, “very caring professor. He was always there to talk if we needed help or anything, even if it wasn’t class related and really believed his students could go above and beyond in their work.”

In one of Marshall’s courses, Engel also helped with the planning of RIIFF 2022.

“Last year, he wanted us [his students] to help in putting together the Rhode Island [International] Film Festival and we screened a bunch of short films and he wanted us to put the top short films into the film festival which is a pretty big responsibility,” said Engel. “He believed we could do that by ourselves which is something I feel like most professors don’t really see in their students.”

According to the URI Harrington School of Communication and Media, Marshall as a writer, director and producer won five New England Emmy awards, four national Telly awards and three national Communicator Awards for Excellence.

Marshall is survived by his husband Lawrence Andrade, family, friends and students. More information will be provided in the coming days.