Hot filmmaker Farrelly hosts festival party

The Providence Journal Bulletin

  As we close the books on summer, let's take one last peek back at a midsummer event - the opening-night gala for the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

   The party, on Aug. 13 at the historical Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, brought together filmmakers from as far away as Vancouver and Scotland.   Writer, director and Cumberland native Bobby Farrelly hosted the event, attended by Governor Almond and his wife, Marilyn; John Chan, owner of Woonsocket's Chan's Restaurant; and Albany-based film-book author John A McCarty.  McCarty, whose latest book is called Films of Mel Gibson, coned the phrase splatter movies in his 1984 book The Legendary Splatter Movies.

   Some 220 guests mingled in the lobby of the theatre, decorated with ferns and flowers in synch with the building's 1920s motif.  Musician Michael Thurber of Gloucester played a mix of classical, jazz, blues and pop on the piano.

  The governor spoke;  Farrelly was friendly and upbeat; and everyone munched on the assorted dips, including a tasty Cheddar and roasted red peppers.   There was fresh fruit, garlic toast topped with tenderloin, California rolls and grilled pizzas catered by Ninety Eight State Caterers, Bristol.

   Proceeds of $2,500 went to set up a scholarship fund for young Rhode Island filmmakers.

   Bob Billington, executive dir4ector of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, presented Farrelly with an award in recognition of this film achievements and thanked him for chairing this year's festival.  Farrelly in his remarks recalled how he had to persuade film studio executives in Los Angeles to allow the premier of There's Something About Mary to take place in Woonsocket.