Some local filmmakers are putting their current projects on hold so they can focus more attention on preparation for the Rome International Film Festival, coming November 6th through 10th.

The film festival has been expanded for this year to include more educational opportunities for budding filmmakers, states Executive Director Seth Ingram.  The RIFF Academy will offer film classes taught by professionals to students in kindergarten through 12th grade (mainly middle and high schoolers).  More information is available at

The RIFF Academy is made possible by a grant from the Rome Area Council for the Arts.  Lauren Jones Hillman, newly-minted RIFF board member, says that this is a great opportunity for any youngster with an interest in film.

The cost is $20 for students to participate in the academy.  Young filmmakers may also compete in a Student Film Contest; submissions will be accepted on the website through midnight on October 4th.  Winning films will be screened at the festival.

By the way, RIFF – there’s an app for that!  Festival-goers can get updates on the festival, cast their ballots for their favorite festival films and more via the Rome International Film Festival mobile app, which is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

As far as this year’s special guest at the festival – stay tuned for more details, says Ingram and Jones-Hillman.

Special guests at the festival in recent years have included Judge Reinhold in 2018 and Burt Reynolds in 2017.

This will be the 16th annual Rome International Film Festival.  Again, details are featured on the website at

Ingram and Jones-Hillman have been working on their own film projects in recent days; these projects are currently on hold as they continue to prepare for this year’s festival.