RWU to Host First Virtual Roving Eye International Film Festival From April 27 to May 3

In its 15th year, the international film festival, curated by University students, celebrates the power of art and culture in affecting positive change.

By Public Affairs
Painting of bird in cage and whale on the surface of the ocean.
From the film, "The Bird & The Whale"

BRISTOL, RI – The 15th Annual Roving Eye International Film Festival at Roger Williams University, presented in collaboration with the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, kicks off April 27 and runs through May 3 for the first time ever as an online program. It can be found at or starting next Monday with all programming free to viewers. 

The festival is student-run, through the Film minor senior-level course, Curation and Film Festival Production, taught by Executive Director of Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival and RWU Professor, George T. Marshall. The Festival theme this year is “Heighten Your Perception,” and celebrates the power of art and culture in affecting positive change. 

This year’s programming features over 60 films from across the world including numerous World and US Premieres; virtual panel discussions/symposia; Filmmaker Q&A’s, and student film showcases. Virtual guests at this year’s event have been curated from interviews undertaken by Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office, for the television series, "doubleFEATURE," produced by Flickers on Rhode Island PBS. 

Close-up shot of face from movie, April in Winter
From the film, "April in Winter"

This year's guests include: director, Tommy DeNucci; Screenwriter, Chris Sparling; director, Kevin Lima; actor, Robert Capron; costume designer, Deborah Newhall; director/cinematographer, Eric Latek; and actor, Duncan Putney. 

The event will conclude with the Spring 2020 Soforenko Foundation Film Series On The Jewish Experience.

The Festival’s annual Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation Film Series On The Jewish Experienceexplores representations of the Jewish experience in Israel, across the globe and the Holocaust through 11 premiere films. This includes sneak peeks of films that will play at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August. 

Movie poster for "The Ribbon."
From the film, "The Ribbon"

This year, 23 students spent the first part of the spring semester reviewing more than 800 films provided by Flickers and from there went on to create the entire Roving Eye Festival. The students developed active marketing and PR strategies, including the planning for events throughout the week.

With the emergence of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, plans shifted quickly to ensure that the Festival took place. Students have met numerous times weekly on the Zoom platform to plan out the festival, reach out to filmmakers and work on marketing and promotional collateral, including a new logo design, posters and promotional videos. To gain a better understanding of the importance of curation, the class has been assisted by RIIFF’s program director, Shawn Quirk.

Students in the Curation and Film Production class include: Elias Bakas, Samuel Bartoes, Owen Bearer, Cameron Bortolussi, Luke Brennan, Sarah Coleman, Benjamin, Crawley, Matthew Fernandes, Williams Guido, Jordan Hawkes, Robert Libertini, Chloe Noyes, Gavin Okun, Molly Ortiz, Sara Osborne, Tyler Porter, Mariah Richards, Makenzie Rose, Paul Schnadig, Leia Stone, Jordan Sweenie, Angeli Tillet and Cullen Zurcher.

The 2020 Roving Eye International Film Festival is sponsored by The RI Film & the Television Office; Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival; WSBE Rhode Island PBS; Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Edge Media Network, the Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation, RWU School of Humanities, Arts and Education, Dean Cynthia Scheinberg, RWU Department of Communication, Graphic Design and Web Development, Dr. Robert Cole, Department Chair, RWU Hillel, THE RWU HAWK'S HERALD, and WQRI Radio at Roger Williams University. 

To see a listing of this year's programming and to learn more about the Roving Eye Festival, go to: or