The Rhode Island International Film Festival kicks off Aug. 7 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Vets) in Providence.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of FLICKERS, which is New England’s largest and only Academy Award qualifying film festival. This year is also the 16th anniversary of the opening night screening and celebration.
Last year, five films that premiered at the festival received Academy Award nominations and two won awards.
This year, between 150 and 200 filmmakers are expected to attend, according to George Marshall, executive director and CEO of FLICKERS.
Joanne Arnold, a Wakefield resident, is FLICKERS’ administrative director. She is responsible for planning the festival’s special events, including seminars, forums and a walking tour of Providence for filmmakers.
In regards to new events, Arnold said that they try to keep the events for filmmakers as “streamlined” as possible.
“One of the things we’re very aware of is that the filmmakers who attend are young emerging filmmakers,” she said. “A lot of them don’t have deep pockets. The economy has taken its toll and we’re trying to be sensitive to that.”
While the events for filmmakers may be similar from year to year, the festival is adding a public screening at the Westerly Public Library this year.
On Aug. 8 at 8 p.m., the library will host “International Cinematographers Guild: Emerging Cinematographer Award Showcase.”
Arnold explained that the films shown at this screening won awards from the International Cinematographers Guild. The screening is free.
The Jamestown Arts Center will also host two public screenings during the film festival’s run, in addition to the “Best of Rhode Island Film Festival” series they host during the year.
On Aug. 9 at 8 p.m., the arts center will show a feature film, Vinyl, in addition to two short films. On Aug. 10, also at 8 p.m., The World Before Her will be shown with one short film. Screenings in Jamestown are $10 each at the door.
For those who may not be able to attend for financial reasons, the film festival is proud to offer free passes through local non-profit organizations in addition to free screenings, like the one in Westerly.
The festival distributed about 900 free passes this year, according to George Marshall.
“Our community outreach program is going after non-profits which serve underprivileged people who might not be able to otherwise attend a film festival,” Marshall said of distributing the passes.
Not to mention, it would be cool to fill the 1,900-seat hall at The Vets.
“To have that place filled up for opening night, the energy is great,” Marshall said. “It’s significant.”
The festival is also sponsored by a number of local institutions including the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communications, which underwrote the festival’s film forum. Other sponsors include South County Tourism Council and Sweenor’s Chocolates.
If you go, tickets for the screening only are $15 and tickets for the screening and opening celebration gala are $30. Tickets can be purchased online www.film-festival.org/ticketspasses.php  or at the door. The box office will open at 5 p.m. before the show.
The festival runs from Aug. 7 to 12 and more information can be found at www.film-festival.org  or by calling 861-4445.
The Vets is located at 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence.