Flickers' Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival launches its 21st genre-filled year


A phantasmagoric symphony of international genre films return to the Ocean State as the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival launches its 21st annual Flickers’ Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival (VORTEX), Oct. 17-25.

This year Vortex will be a hybrid event with programming appearing online and select screenings at the Rustic Drive-in. Webinars, industry workshops, forums, the popular Lovecraft Walking Tour, special tributes, virtual coffee talks, filmmaker interviews, post film screening Q&A’s, the 2020 Festival will continue popular annual programs “Virtually,” including a special episode of the Flickers’ series “doubleFEATURE” that will air on Rhode Island PBS.

With the popularity of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” the seasonal return of the H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour could not be timelier. The Tour, presented in collaboration with the Rhode Island Historical Society will take place over four days during the Festival and follow Rhode Island Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Attendees are expected to maintain social distancing from their guide during the tour, as well as wear masks while on the street and in public.

Double-bill screenings at the Rustic Drive-In, 195 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield, will take place during the week of Oct. 19-23 (rain dates will apply).

The full schedule for this year’s Festival can be found on Oct. 9 at www.rifilmfest.org.

This year’s programming has been curated by Shawn Drywa, who created the Vortex Festival 21 years ago while a student at Rhode Island College and a Flickers’ intern. He has partnered with Shawn Quirk, RIIFF’s program director for the main Festival, in creating this year’s hybrid event.

“We have a wonderfully diverse list of entries and events for this year’s festival. Everything from traditional horror and horror comedy to thought provoking science fiction and animation. Our Drive-In program at the Rustic is diverse, entertaining and memorable. Plus, we have some great panelists and a virtual awards ceremony and closing night party. We truly have something for everyone which should offer broad appeal on our new virtual entertainment reality,” noted Drywa.

The Flickers’ Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival celebrates and showcases imagination and creativity in filmmaking and will include a bevy of World and U.S. Premieres. In all, over 70 films have been selected from over 3,000 genre submissions. They represent 15 countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, France, Russian Federation, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, and the United States. Many of the filmmakers will be in virtual attendance, so audience members will have a chance to meet, ask questions, and even network with the next generation of genre filmmakers.

Most events will be free to the general public except the Lovecraft Walking Tour and the screenings at the Rustic Drive In, which will be $20 per carload.

The Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year. Ranked as one of the top 10 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is a qualifying festival for the Live Action, Animation and Documentary Short Film Academy Awards through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). There are only 10 film festivals worldwide that share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England. The Festival takes place every August.

For more information about the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, running Aug. 9-15, 2021, at The Vets (formerly Veterans Memorial Auditorium), please visit our website at RIFilmFest.org or call 401-861-4445.


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