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Pawtucket, R.I. Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Convergence Film Festival
Ready to Roll

By WIIIAM HAMILTON
Times staff writer


PAWTUCKET -- This isn't Cannes, Toronto or Venice.

But Rick Roth says he's assembled the second annual Pawtucket Film Festival in part to prove that the birthground of the Industrial Revolution isn't the "dumpy place" some outsiders think it is.

Roth is the owner of Mirror Image, a high-quality screen-printing company that moved to this city two years -- a move Roth says is "the best thing I could have done."

The festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the Visitors Center theater, is Roth's brainchild and is again tied into the Convergence Pawtucket arts festival.

"There are no movie theaters in Pawtucket," Roth says. "I'm trying to bring films here."

We're not talking multi-million-dollar blockbusters here. The film festival features seven films you'll never see at the local cineplex, which were produced by people well-known in independent film circles and have garnered critical acclaim.

It's a festival formula Roth developed last year when he assembled a line-up of independent films and musical acts through friends and friends of friends in the independent film world. Filmmakers were even available for question-and-answer sessions after the showings.

It proved to be a success.

Roth said people recently approached him to say they had a great time last year and were looking forward to the 2001 edition.

So the festival returns again this year.

It's one of the few Convergence events that charges an admission -- $10 each night -- but that price includes a free T-shirt, food and beverages, the music art, plus a short-length and a feature-length film.

"It's a bargain," says Roth.

Case in point: On Thursday, Dana Colley, saxophonist from the band Morphine, is set to perform before a 10-minute film entitled "Dragonflies, the Baby Cries," by Jane Gillooly, and a feature film, "Our Song," written and directed by Jim McKay.

"Our Song" follows three friends from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, during the closing weeks of summer and rigorous rehearsals with their 60-piece marching band. Roth said the film has drawn critical acclaim and was a favorite in the new directors series at New York's Museum of Modern Art last year.

On Friday, musician Christian McNeil of Hybrasil and Orchestra Morphine is scheduled to perform before the showing of two short films, "The One Who Looked," by Kristie Woo, and "1,000 Marys," by Christina Gruppuso. The night will end with a documentary film, "Unfinished Symphony," by Bestor Cram and Mike Majoros.

On Sunday, Pawtucket's own Rich Gilbert of Frank Black and the Catholics, Coronet Premiers and the Zulus is slated to play with Judy Winters and Slim Cessna. There will also be a showing of a short film, "A Walk in the Park," by Mike Goodier, and an animated feature, "Ape," by Julie Zammarchi.

Each day of the festival begins at 7 p.m. There will be no showings on Saturday.

Roth says the filmmakers will be available for questions. Seating is limited, so Roth asks that those wishing to attend call 724-5353 to make reservations. The festival is only open to people 21 and older.

ŠThe Pawtucket Times 2001


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