Flickers' Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival launches its 22nd 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 22nd Annual Flickers’ Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival (VORTEX), Oct. 16-24.

This year Vortex will again be a hybrid event with programming appearing online and select screenings at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-in. Webinars, industry workshops, forums, the popular Lovecraft Walking Tour, special tributes, coffee talks, filmmaker interviews, and post film screening Q&A’s. The 2021 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 bracing fall weather, the seasonal return of the H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour could not be timelier. The 90-minute 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. Attendance is limited to 15 guests per tour.

Double-bill screenings at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, 195 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield, will take place during the week of Oct. 18-22 (rain dates will apply).

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

This year’s programming has been curated by Shawn Drywa, who created the Vortex Festival 22 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,” noted Drywa. “Plus, we have some great panelists and a virtual awards ceremony and closing night virtual wrap party for participating filmmakers. We truly have something for everyone which should offer broad appeal on our new virtual entertainment reality.”

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 17 countries including the United Kingdom, China, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, France, Russian Federation, Mexico, Argentina 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 via the planned online conversations using Zoom and Facebook Live.

Most events will be free to the general public except the Lovecraft Walking Tour ($22 per person) and the screenings at the Rustic Drive In ($22 per carload).

Flickers, vortex


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