New Faces, New Films The Second Annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival
The Red Violin.
The 2nd Annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival opens on Wednesday, November 10 with a tasty Gala at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Nearly a dozen of the area's finest restaurants will host the evening's affair, which kicks off four solid days of sea and cinema in which more than 100 films from 22 countries will make their debut.
"We received over 400 film submissions this year, so our film review committee worked overtime in watching them all," says Festival Director and Programmer Barry Becker. "I'm thrilled with our final selections. We have a solid festival with many genres and voices and styles, so everyone can find a winner."
Among the line-up are such festival and art house favorites as The Red Violin, The Dinner Game, Besieged, Lovers of the Arctic Circle, Leila, The Buttoners and My Son the Fanatic. The program also includes Russia's Mu Mu, fresh from its U.S. Premiere in Seattle; Alegria, inspired by and starring the troupe of Cirque du Soleil; the long unseen Lovers on the Bridge; and Bandits, one of Germany's top films in 1997.
The festival this year has added an extra day and more theaters, so film fans will have more opportunities to see films. The Rehoboth Mall Cinemas will again be the anchor for the festival, with all 6 screens in use beginning shortly after noon on Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14. Films will also be seen at The Movies at Midway from Friday, November 12 through Sunday, November 14. The Convention Center will be the site of 3 film extravaganzas, special events that will be some of the signature events of the weekend (see related story).
Fest organizers are introducing a number of additions this year which they hope will add to the festival experience. The Debut Films section will highlight first features from directors, many of whom also produced, wrote or scored their own films. With over a dozen filmmakers in attendance (and climbing) the festival will make use of their talent by instituting some informal filmmaker chat sessions at the Rehoboth Mall. Times and topics will be posted at the Rehoboth Mall throughout the festival, so check in there and meet some of the artists who are breaking into the field, and listen to their experiences.
Another hot new addition this year is a food court at the Rehoboth Mall. "One of the biggest concerns we heard about last year was the lack of good food in the vicinity of the theaters, and for those hard-core film goers, we know this can be a nightmare," says Becker. "Luckily, we were approached by Yum Yum restaurant to see if they could help alleviate that by setting up food stations in the courtyard during the festival. Of course we said yes!" Snacks and meals will be served from noon until about 9:30, after the last show is seated, each day during the festival. There will be an assortment of hot and cold foods. This will not be the kind of food you find at Yum Yum, but a variety of high quality good-for-you eats to keep you going. The Coffee Mill will also provide your caffeine needs, and the Film Society will operate other beverage services.
Audience Awards will also be introduced this year in 4 categories: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Debut Film, and Best Documentary. Audience members will get a ballot each time they go into a film, and will rate it on their way out. All the votes will be tabulated, and the winners will be announced at the Closing Night Festivities on Sunday at about 8:30, when the last of the films let out. The Closing is hosted by another dozen restaurants, and will also feature beverages, music by Bernard Sweetney, and some surprises for RBIFF 2000. Tickets for the Closing Night are just $15.
This year, instead of the festival pass, organizers are promoting 2 discount pass books. "This system allows us to offer discount tickets to a lot more festival goers," says Becker, "which makes our already low price of $6 a ticket even more affordable." (To order yours, please see the ad on page 44, as they will most likely be sold out by the time the festival opens.) The Cinematic 6-pack is just $30, which gives you 6 tickets for the price of 5; the Reel Deal 10-pack gives you 10 tickets for $50, a $10 savings off the box office. For seniors (60+) and children (11 and under) tickets are just $4, which are available at the box office. The box office will open at noon at the Rehoboth Mall.
Full festival programs should be available as of the weekend of October 15, and will be distributed throughout Delaware as well as outlying metropolitan areas. Check the festival website, rehobothfilm.com for film copy, accommodations, sponsor information, and ticket order forms. The festival office is in the Rehoboth Mall and may be reached at 302.645.9095, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climb Against the Odds.
Show Me Love.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 9, No. 14, Oct. 15, 1999