Film Festivals | Rhode Island

Summer of Films: Providence Convergence Film/Video Festival

1 Jun , 2008  

Written by Lisa Grant | Posted by:

A profile of the films from the 1998 festival.

Despite its modest beginning – the ‘convergence’ of 20 artists in Roger Williams park in 1987 – the arts festival celebrating the summer solstice has grown steadily. Tens of thousands of people flocked to Providence in 1997 to view the works of more than 100 artists, and this June visitors will be able to enjoy contemporary art, theater, dance, music and the subject of this article: film.

As Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, Jr. said at the press conference held at City Hall, "This Festival is an opportunity to appreciate and experience the offerings of the immensely talented and prolific community of filmmakers and video artists in New England."

This year the filmfest will expand its venue to four theatres – the Cable Car Cinema, AS220 Theatre and the RISD and LIST Auditoriums—and will screen more than 50 original works from June 12 through June 21, after a Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner on June 9th honors two-time Academy Award winner Anthony Quinn for his contribution to film.

In addition to the dinner, the films, and the awards ceremony on June 20 for the best of the juried categories, a free panel discussion will be held on Thursday evening, June 18th at LIST Auditorium featuring Writer/Producer/Director Robert Downey, Sr. as well as other New England film and video-makers on the cutting edge of independent cinema.

A partial list of the highly original Juried Films include:

An American Streaker– Dave Robel and Sean Baker – 15min
Friends and family try to cope with a young man’s unusual behavior.

Anna in the Sky – Mark Edgington – 10min
Justin turns to the dark arts to win back the fickle Anna. Winner of Best Short: Bermuda International Film Festival. Special Jury Prize: Florida Film Festival.

The Bunny Movie – Xander Marro – 16min
Using puppets, this short follows a boy who falls in love with a chocolate bunny that comes in the mail.

Drive – Catherine Rios – 6min
A man wants to buy his son a car for his 16th birthday but can only afford a pathetic clunker.

Gas Huffin Bad Gals – Harry McCoy and Ellen Stafford – 28min
Classic noir, this film follows devious heroines through a series of exploits on the road. Winner of the "Best Genre Parody" award at the Boston Film Festival.

Going Nomad – Art Jones – 97min
El Cid Rivera: A regular guy on an epic journey in a small town called New York.

Melting Pot – Tom Musca – 100min
A latino housepainter challenges a black community organizer for a seat on the city council in Los Angeles, while examining the personal sacrifices of two idealists running for office in modern politics. Premiered this year at the Seattle Film Festival.

My Mother’s Early Lovers – Nora Jacobson – 113min
When Maple finds her dead mother’s diary, she discovers a passionate young woman. But she also uncovers a secret that reveals how chance, love and even acts of violence sustain the web of family.

The Nose – Eric P. Sherman – 15min
In this 1940’s film noir satire a man is killed because of his lover’s nose.

Pioneers – Eric Maierson and Gabe Hakvaag – 7min
The fictitious story of Henry Washburn… the man who almost invented slapstick.

Serial Killing for Dummies – Wayne Beswick – 96min
The young, Ferris Bueller-type hero tries to become a serial killer to impress his girlfriend, played by Lisa Loeb.

A Stranger in the Kingdom – Jay Craven – 112min
The story of a small Vermont town whose veneer of tranquility is shattered when a black former Army chaplain arrives as the new pastor and finds himself at the center of charges of adultery and murder. Winner of the New England Film Festival’s "Spirit of New England Award".

Tax Day – Laura Colella – 76min
A walk to the post office on April 15th becomes an ode to the pleasures of leisure, resisting isolation, and an experience of non-virtual reality.

The Amazing Rainbow – Richard Fienstein and Adrian Sainsbury-Carter – 15min
A glimpse into the world of direct sales via a group of RI vacuum cleaner salesmen.

Conservation of Matter: the Rise and Fall of Boston’s Elevated Subway – Tim Wright – 29min
After the Boston Elevated Subway demolition is documented and its original construction recalled, the steel goes to Osaka, Japan and is melted before it resurfaces in Phoenix, Arizona, where it’s used to build a new structure. Grand Prize & Audience Choice Awards winner, 1997 Super 8 Film/Video Festival.

Courageous Women of Columbia – Robin Lloyd – 24min
Women’s testimony provides a rare perspective on the drug war when an international delegation in Bogota meets with Columbian women.

CP Rail Kanada – Raphael Lyon – 23min
Three young filmmakers take a journey across Canada and document their exploits along the way.

Dearfield, the Road Less Traveled – donnie l. betts – 30min
This film traces the roots of an all black town in Colorado using photography, interviews, voiceover, and re-creations as it details the stories of inhabitants past and present. Silver Award Winner at the Black Filmworks Festival of Film and Video and shown on PBS, Dearfield was nominated for an Emmy.

James Fitzgerald: A Painter’s Journey – Fredrick Lewis – 57min
The recipient of the CINE Golden Eagle Award, this is the story of reclusive painter James Fitzgerald and his extraordinary friendship with Anne T. Edgar Hubert of Dover, MA.

Hello Photo – Nina Davenport – 56min
The filmmaker spent a year travelling through India and capturing one image after another: a jute factory straight out of the industrial age, a rooftop kite festival, cows stuck in traffic jams, elephants blessing people, and the sets of Bombay’s thriving film industry. Not just a revelatory visual experience of India, the film examines the truths and deceptions inherent in making movies.

Making Hooky – Richard Allen – 20min
A filmmaker decides to include himself in a film about kids playing hooky.

Oasis of Peace – Jocelyn M. Ajami – 28min
A message of hope, the film tells the story of a village in Israel where Jews and Palestinians co-exist. Features first time footage of the village’s School for Peace. Previously screened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

An Open Movie to Film Audiences – Danny Leo – 17min
A filmmaker crashes his car and gets a French pop song stuck in his head, which send him clambering towards the development of a personal manifesto.

Pop Prov – Lana Germano :45sec
This collage combines 90 still images of familiar architectural/monumental structures in and around Providence with relevant artworks set to electronically manipulated vocals over music.

There Are No Saints in Exeter – Danny Leo – 15min
The Rhode Island vampire myth finally reaches celluloid in this single person autobiographical film. Director’s Citation Winner in the Black Maria Film Festival.

Where is Stephanie? – Bess O’Brien and Mary Arbuckle – 58min
Based on the life and murder of seventeen year old Stephanie Sady, the film explores the dynamics that led to her death and the bizarre twists that followed her murder.

Wonder of the World – Lawrence Buder – 49min
An examination of the Brown and Sharpe Company of RI, the impact of industrialism, and the longest strike in U.S. history. Previously screened at the NY International Short Film Festival as well as the RI Labor History Conference.

Candy – Christy Denes – 14min
Super-8 home movies, some old and in color, some contemporary and in black and white are overlaid with narration reflecting on the nature of photography and the relationship between the filmmaker and her mother.

essential things – LeAnn Erickson – 7min
In an age of phone calls and email, letters still offer a space for the exploration of loss, memory and time.

I Change – Ruthis Ritich- 2:30min
The journey of a caterpillar’s transformation to butterfly as seen through the eyes of the filmmaker and the young children who narrate with words and noises.

La Besofagia – Claudia Caponi – 11min
The story of Thanatos and Aphrodite, two lovers whose all-consuming love devours them both. Literally.

Nothing But Mush – Robert Arellano – 10min
Romeo loses love while pursuing lust. Johnny loses his mind while chasing an escaped meatball.

Providence: A Time Lapse Portrait – Sandor Bodo – 10min
A time-lapse look at Providence during one typical day.

Revolve – Brian Tracy – 10min
Dreams within distorted reality reinforces sensations of atrophy and isolation.

Ryder Was A Home Schooler: the Early Very Long Life of Djuna Barnes – Xander Marro – 7:30min
Presented on home-processed film, this movie limns the filmmaker’s fascination with feminist Djuna Barnes, and is loosely based on her Ryder, her autobiography, and her novel Nightwood.

The Tiger and the Cube – Jocelyn M. Ajami – 7:30min
A reconciliation of the angle and the curve affirming the link between sensuality and spirituality; an artist’s protest against the Puritanism of "conceptual art."

Steam Rises Knowingly – Holly Hey – 13min
Images of texture coupled with a voiceover that deals with stories of anxiety, fear, control, and desire. Sharon Cousin Founders Award winner; Onion City Film Festival.

Turn – Mark Zelis – 8min
A tribute to Jacque Tatti’s "Playtime". Reflections of Providence intertwine with the story of an unfortunate doorman in charge of a revolving door.

All in a Day – Dalila Boyd – 2:30 min
Between sleeping and sleeping fat cat Krispy has a very busy day. He’s gotta fit eating in there somewhere, but his food bowl has other plans.

Inherited Memories – Cynthia Beth Rubin – 3:30 min
A journey into the East European world of the filmmaker’s Jewish grandparents and great-grandparents, based on photographs from Prague, Warsaw, and Krakow.

Lunar Shooter – Ezra Schwartz – 5min
A dumb cop tries to stop a crazy criminal’s plan to blow up the moon. Winner of the "Audience Choice Award" at the East Village Film and Video Festival.

We Will Live Forever – Yvonne Anderson and Dominic Falcone – 5 min
People walk in a night city bearing memories from aboriginal man, wanting to communicate with the magic earth. Winner of the Grand Prize in Animation at the Carolina Film Festival; the Juror’s Award at the Black Maria Film Festival.

Tickets are $4.00 for each venue, and for a more complete listing of all juried and
non-juried entries as well as screening times, contact:
Carolyn Testa, Convergence Film Festival Coordinator at 401-421-7740 ext: 320
or visit their web site at

Tickets are $4.00 for each venue, and for a more complete listing of all juried and non-juried entries as well as screening times, contact: Carolyn Testa, Convergence Film Festival Coordinator at 401-421-7740 ext: 320 or visit their web site at