Working with the Rhode Island International Film Festival has been a truly eye-opening and rewarding experience. I am going to miss reviewing independent films everyday, seeing my coworkers each morning, and interacting with filmmakers around the world! With that said, I am excited to share that I am going to be serving on the RIIFF advisory board in future, so I will still maintain a role in the film festival.
My summer with RIIFF certainly went out with a bang, as my last full week working there just happened to be during festival week! The week of the festival was jam-packed with preparing for events, hosting screenings and running the behind-the-scenes of it all. I am most proud of our Opening Night, as it was extremely successful in regards to sponsorship, attendance, and the films screened. I was elated to be present for the awards ceremony and to hear the announcement of the 2017 award winners, including the three films that were chosen as RIIFF’s Academy Award Nominee. These films are under the category of Animation Short, Live Action Short and Documentary Short.
I initially set out with three particular goals for the summer in mind: to explore Providence and greater Rhode Island, make connections in the film industry, and learn more about the marketing and creating of independent films. Throughout the summer I feel as though I made steady progress in regard to these goals, through interacting with filmmakers, meeting with potential sponsors in Rhode Island and learning about the ways in which filmmakers market their pieces. However, during the film festival itself I experienced accelerated progress and learning in all of these goals. I was able to interact with the filmmakers everyday, by attending networking events at night, ticketing their screenings and interviewing them after their films. These opportunities for building connections and fostering new understandings of independent filmmaking were invaluable. In addition, the week of the festival featured events, workshops and screenings throughout Providence, so I was able to see even more of the city in a variety of contexts.
This internship has helped me to pinpoint my interest in the film and entertainment field more specifically. After talking to so many filmmakers during the film festival, I have a better idea of how I would like to pursue my own career in filmmaking. It was also helpful to hear the many different ways in which the filmmakers got involved in the field and eventually reached their current career point.
My advice to students interested in film internships would be to search early, as more is available the earlier you inquire about potential positions. In addition, I would advise students to pursue their internship search thoroughly and creatively; often internships in the film field can be found in companies that are not typically associated with film. Lastly, I would suggest working to get to know and learn from all of those you come into contact with. For me, there has been nothing more valuable than making the most of the people and work experiences I have been fortunate enough to have!