A Day at RIFF

The Historical DeSoto Theater. Photo by Greggory Karnes.

RIFF, the Rome International Film Festival, was a three day event held in downtown Rome during the second weekend in September.

Friday started with “Directing Episode 13,609”, a documentary that looked inside the process of directing an episode of the soap opera “As The World Turns.”

Ryan Simmons, the executive director of RIFF said, “independent film gives voice to people without a lot of money.”

Throughout the day, this voice was present. From “Out on a Limb”, a documentary about prosthetics, to “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls”, a documentary about modern-day slavery and sex trafficking, the audience was exposed to a wide range of issues and ideas.

Matthew Eppinette, writer and associate producer of “Anonymous Father’s Day”, a documentary about anonymous sperm donors and the effects anonymity can have on children said, “the more voices you bring to the conversation, the better.”

His documentary points out how Hollywood movies have focused the conversation on the plight of the mother and not on the child conceived through artificial insemination.

Helen Simmons, the volunteer coordinator, was excited about RIFF, saying that with independent

film, “you get to create your own story.”

Two of the films that played on Friday were made in Georgia. Those two films were, “Everything’s for Sale”, a movie about a hardworking family man struggling to pay the price, offered by a mysterious woman, for him to be free of his crushing debt, and “Tears of Bankers”, a film that follows the mortgage meltdown of a man’s bed-and-breakfast.

Both were dramas that played at the Rome Area History Museum.