Block Island Film Festival 2023
May 8, 2023 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do
When: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - Friday, June 2, 2023
The Block Island Film Festival is an annual event that takes place on the picturesque island of Block Island, located off the coast of Rhode Island. The festival showcases a variety of independent films from around the world, and attracts filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie fans alike.
The Block Island Film Festival was founded by award-winning screenwriter, journalist and filmmaker Cassius Shuman in 2018. Shuman works as a producer and filmmaker in the motion picture business, having spent years in the studio system in Hollywood. He has also written, directed, and produced theatrical stage plays in New York City, and Los Angeles. He lived on Block Island year-round while founding the film festival.
One of the unique aspects of the Block Island Film Festival is its focus on environmental themes. Many of the films screened at the festival address issues such as climate change, sustainability, and conservation. This reflects the island's own commitment to preserving its natural beauty and fragile ecosystem.
The festival is held at various locations around the island, including the historic Harbor Baptist Church, the Block Island School, and the newly renovated Spring House Hotel. In addition to film screenings, attendees can participate in Q&A sessions with filmmakers, attend workshops and panel discussions, and enjoy special events such as a sunset sail around the island.
One of the highlights of the festival is the "Island Voices" program, which showcases films made by or about the people of Block Island. These films offer a unique perspective on life on the island and the challenges faced by its residents.
Another unique aspect of the festival is its commitment to accessibility. All venues are wheelchair accessible, and the festival provides open captions and audio descriptions for select screenings to make them accessible to people with hearing or visual impairments.
The Block Island Film Festival also offers opportunities for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work. The festival hosts a Young Filmmakers' Workshop, where young filmmakers can learn the basics of filmmaking and screen their own short films.
In addition to showcasing independent films, the festival also honors accomplished filmmakers with its Visionary Award. Past recipients of the award include documentarian Josh Fox and filmmaker and activist John Waters.
The Block Island Film Festival is also committed to sustainability. The festival partners with local organizations to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices, such as providing water refill stations and encouraging attendees to bring reusable water bottles.