The 13th edition of the Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) took place from September 15th through September 18th at the Historic DeSoto Theatre in Downtown Rome, Northwest Georgia’s largest city. Dozens of filmmakers were in attendance from around the world, representing the 57 films from 18 countries included in the program.


On Saturday, September 17th, Executive Director Seth Ingram and Festival Producer Cameron McAllister were joined on stage at the DeSoto by actor C. Thomas Howell (“E.T.,” “The Outsiders”) for the annual awards ceremony. Howell attended the festival to promote the inclusion of his latest film “Attack of the Killer Donuts,” which screened later that evening. Howell presented each of the nine juried award categories. Audience Award winners were announced on Sunday night, following the closing night film, CHEERLEADER.


Feature film award winners include Xavier Diskeuve’s WHAT JACQUES SAW and Thomas Woodrow’s WE’VE FORGOTTEN MORE THAN WE EVER KNEW in the narrative categories and Kristin Catalano’s CLARENCE for Best Documentary. Irving Franco’s CHEERLEADER and Adam Pinney’s THE ARBALEST received Special Jury Prizes.


Short film award winners include Winston Azzopardi’s HEAD, Josh Wolff’s GUIDANCE, James Scott’s LOVE BITE: LAURIE LIPTON AND HER DISTURBING BLACK & WHITE DRAWINGS and Mallory Grolleau’s NOTORIOUS CORN. HEAD also won the Audience Award for Short Film. Steven Doxey’s ARTIFICE was the Audience Award winner for Feature.


  • Best Foreign Narrative Feature: WHAT JACQUES SAW (JACQUES A VU) (directed by Xavier Diskeuve)
  • Best Domestic Narrative Feature: WE’VE FORGOTTEN MORE THAN WE EVER KNEW (directed by Thomas Woodrow)
  • Special Jury Prize for Narrative Feature: CHEERLEADER (directed by Irving Franco)
  • Special Jury Prize for Georgia Feature: THE ARBALEST (directed by Adam Pinney)
  • Best Documentary Feature: CLARENCE (directed by Kristin Catalano)
  • Best Foreign Narrative Short: HEAD (directed by Winston Azzopardi)
  • Best Domestic Narrative Short: GUIDANCE (directed by Josh Wolff)
  • Best Documentary Short: LOVE BITE: LAURIE LIPTON AND HER DISTURBING BLACK & WHITE DRAWINGS (directed by James Scott)
  • Best Animated Film: NOTORIOUS CORN (directed by Mallory Grolleau)
  • Audience Award – Feature: ARTIFICE (directed by Steven Doxey)
  • Audience Award – Short: HEAD (directed by Winston Azzopardi)


The 14th Rome International Film Festival will take place in the Fall of 2017. Dates are forthcoming.


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