The third annual Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) held
Connecticut from June 1 - 4, 2017, was an incredible experience that featured
over 60 international film premieres and screenings, educational panels and
workshops, and parties that celebrated the art of film. It was a continuous
round of excitement that educated, amused, and delighted audiences.
A few of the many highlights we attended
Betteridge - "Changemaker" Cocktail Reception
The Greenwich International Film
Festival opened with the elaborate "Changemaker"
Cocktail Reception sponsored by Betteridge and Cartier on June 1, 2017. Held at the stunning Betteridge store, jewelers since 1897, located at 239 Greenwich
Avenue, chilled champagne flowed steadily and bowls of caviar beckoned, when
one could take one's eyes off the luxurious displays of jewelry, including
exquisite estate pieces, a few of which (Debra) had to try on. To celebrate the
festival, Cartier brought some very special watches to tempt and dazzle the
eyes including their stunning Panthθre watch.
Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta
On The Red Carpet -"Changemaker" Cocktail Reception
Academy Award-winning actress Renιe
Zellweger, a recipient of the 2017 festival's "Changemaker Award for her
leadership and support in the search for effective treatments and a cure for
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)" mingled with the guests, as did humanitarian,
maternal health advocate and model Christy
Turlington Burns who also received a "Changemaker Award" for her work with
Every Mother Counts, an organization she founded to make pregnancy and
childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere," and Honoree Andrew Niblock, who has ALS. A gala dinner followed at L'Escale at the Delamar Hotel.
Renιe Zellweger and Edward F. Nesta
The 4-day festival films
consisted of Narrative Features, Documentary Features, and Shorts Programs. We
attended the Opening Night Film & Party,
on June 2, 2017, that began with the dynamic premiere of the Documentary
Feature Film, Bending the Arc, an American 102-minute film directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos. Held at the Bow
Tie Cinema on Railroad Avenue, complimentary wine helped kick off the
celebratory film festival with panache.
Colleen deVeer, Wendy Stapleton Reyes, and Ginger Stickel
The film is about "the extraordinary
team of doctors and activists - including Paul
Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl - whose work thirty years
ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the
halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is
a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will
to turn the tide of history."
Bending The Arc - Panelists
The screening was followed by a
Q&A with Ophelia Dahl, Cori Stern, Joia Mukherjee, and Dr.
Rifat Latifi (Westchester Medical Center) and Moderated by Barbara Pierce Bush. We had the
opportunity to speak with Ophelia Dahl and Cori Stern after the Q&A to
learn more about the film, and their involvement, and were impressed by the
entire group's passion and humanity.
Ophelia Dahl and Edward F. Nesta
Cori Stern, Screenwriter and Debra C. Argen
An over-the-top Opening Night Party followed at the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club, presented
by Betteridge, Alfa Romeo, and Casamigos,
where a concert by Flo Rida kept the
audience dancing throughout the evening. A well-stocked bar and delectable hors
d'oeuvres by Cuisinart along with top
area restaurants including The Little
Pub, BarTaco, DiCicco & Sons Events & Cuisine,
Fortina, and more, complemented the
Flo Rida and Guests - Opening Night Party
Activist and head of the Social
Impact Jury, Sophia Bush presented
the film awards, with top honors going to director Matthew Heineman for the Best Social Impact Film, City
of Ghosts, earning a $10,000 cash award. Other award-winning films
included: Best Narrative Feature Film, The Strange Ones, directed by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein, Best Documentary
Feature Film, Bending The Arc, directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos,
Best Narrative Short Film, Under Pressure, directed by Lilli Schwabe, Best Documentary Short
Film, The Rabbit Hunt, directed by Patrick Bresnan, and Best Connecticut Shorts Film, Blind
Sushi, directed by Eric Heimbold.
Edward F. Nesta and Debra C. Argen
Opening Night Party
On June 3, 2017, we saw the
American, 93-minute, Narrative Feature, The Hero, (genre: Comedy/Drama)
directed by Brett Haley, with
screenwriters: Marc Basch and Brett Haley, Cast: Krysten Ritter, Laura Prepon,
Nick Offerman, Sam Elliott, and Katherine
Ross, Producers: Sam Bisbee, Amy Jarvela, Houston King, and Erik
"The Hero stars the legendary Sam
Elliott as an aging actor confronting mortality. Lee Hayden (Elliott) is a
Western icon with a golden voice, but his best performances are decades behind
him. He spends his days reliving old glories and smoking too much weed with his
former-co-star-turned-dealer, Jeremy (Nick Offerman), until a surprise cancer
diagnosis brings his priorities into sharp focus. He soon strikes up an
exciting, contentious relationship with stand-up comic Charlotte (Laura
Prepon), and he attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Lucy
(Krysten Ritter), all while searching for one final role to cement his legacy."
As longtime fans of Sam Elliot
"the voice" and Katherine Ross, it was a pleasure watching the on-screen
chemistry between this dynamic couple who have been married since 1984.
Celebrating its third anniversary
in 2017, the Greenwich International Film Festival is about "Making an Impact,"
and with the high-quality of films, programs, and parties, they clearly
succeeded in hitting their mark. We eagerly look forward to the 2018 Greenwich
International Film Festival.
"Greenwich International Film
Festival (GIFF) is a non-profit organization that hosts a world class film
festival each June, and supporting events throughout the year. It was founded
to bridge the worlds of film, finance, and philanthropy. The Festival's mission
is to provide filmmakers with the opportunity to showcase their work with the
goal of finding financing for future projects. Additionally, GIFF harnesses the
power of film to serve the greater good by supporting charity partners with
"GIFF strives to Make an Impact on
the local community and the world beyond. To date, GIFF has:
||Donated more than $125,000 to charity partners
||Awarded $70,000 to talented filmmakers
||Offered a wide variety of free educational programs to the community
||Raised awareness on important issues facing the world today through
our programming. Topics have included:
Human rights Cyber bullying Gun Control Racial Injustice
Prison Reform Educational Reform Environmental Issues Forced Migration
Mental Health Women's Rights
||Honored Humanitarian Changemakers including Trudie Styler, Freida
Pinto, Harry Belafonte, Mia Farrow, and Abigail Breslin"
To learn more about attending or
submitting films for consideration for the next Greenwich International Film
Festival, please visit the website: www.GreenwichFilm.org
Greenwich International Film Festival
55 Old Field Point Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
Telephone: +1 203-717-1800
Fax: +1 203-717-1804
Follow the Greenwich International Film Festival on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GreenwichFilm
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