Rome International Film Festival receives grant, announces plans for growth
By Oz Online | Published on August 25, 2019

Rome’s film festival has been awarded a grant that will foster artistic growth in a younger generation of artists and filmmakers throughout the region and beyond.

The Rome Area Council for the Arts has named the Rome International Film Festival the recipient of a $2,500 grant to enhance its new RIFF Student Scholars program which is geared toward high school and college students region-wide. The grant makes it possible to offer film festival passes to 100 students at a reduced rate, creating a unique opportunity for those who qualify.

“This is an educational and networking opportunity unlike any other offered in the area,” said RIFF Executive Director Seth Ingram. “This not only encourages teens and young adults to get involved in film and media arts, but presents scenarios for them to network with filmmakers and other industry professionals.”

RIFF Student Scholars will have access to all film screenings as well as workshops led by film industry experts during RIFF, which is slated for Nov. 6 -10 at the Historic DeSoto Theatre and Rome City Auditorium.

RIFF’s grant opportunity is just one of several new changes that strengthen the festival — now in its 16th year — with more advanced, user-friendly technologies as well as substantial operational growth.

“We have several announcements coming down the pipeline,” said President of RIFF’s Board of Directors Jesse Bishop. “Every one of these new changes will benefit our film festival, but for now, all we can say is ‘stay tuned.’”

RIFF passes on sale, sponsorship, volunteer opportunities open

Passes ranging from all-access to single-day are available for purchase, and Festival Executive Director Seth Ingram encourages people to get them now.

“With so many amazing films to screen, surprise celebrity attendances and great networking opportunities, we encourage people to support the art of independent filmmaking and the presence of RIFF in Northwest Georgia,” said Ingram.

Each year, RIFF brings in film fans and filmmakers from all over the world. This sparks an interest for movies to be filmed throughout the Northwest Georgia region, which can reap positive economic impacts.

RIFF sponsorships put Northwest Georgia on the map and help inform visiting filmmakers, patrons and tourists about the businesses, restaurants, hotels and other unique features the area has to offer.

“RIFF sponsors receive customized partnerships and branding opportunities through over $100,000 of media and an effective social media campaign,” said Douglas Collins, Development Director. “We have educational workshops, feature films, and events that can leverage our sponsors’ marketing dollars and deliver powerful results while enriching the arts in our community.”

Those interested in becoming a sponsor or learning about marketing opportunities offered by the festival may contact Collins at [email protected], call 775.742.8403, or visit

RIFF would not be possible without the help of countless volunteers. Melissa Rutledge, now a RIFF board member, has volunteered for the festival in the past and said it was unforgettable.

“Our volunteers work side-by-side with board members, staff, and programmers to help keep the festival and all its moving parts running smoothly,” says Rutledge. “If you’ve ever aspired to take part in the booming film industry, volunteering at a film festival is a great place to start.”

Festival volunteers also receive the benefits of free passes for all films and a t-shirt. To review volunteer guidelines and sign up, visit


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