URI Film Festival to feature Vows of Silence and more, April 21-24

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KINGSTON, R.I. — April 17, 2008 — The University of Rhode Island’s 10th annual student film festival, Visualizations, will be held April 21-24, and will feature special guest, investigative journalist Jason Berry. Berry will screen his new film, Vows of Silence, and be available for a Q&A session following the presentation.

Vows of Silence explores the Vatican cover-up of Father Marcial Maciel, one of the most powerful priests in Rome. For years Maciel drew public praise from Pope John Paul II, despite a trail of accusations that he abused seminarians. In 1941 Maciel founded the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order that now has a $60 million budget, roughly one-fourth that of the Vatican. In 1998 eight former Legionaries filed a canon law case in the office of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, seeking Maciel’s expulsion from the priesthood and the church. Ratzinger tabled the case. But in late 2004, realizing that he might become pope, Ratzinger ordered an investigation. The film chronicles the long road taken by the victims seeking justice, men from Mexico and Spain, and goes well beyond testimonies given to Ratzinger’s canon lawyer to assemble a haunting narrative of Maciel’s rise to power from his youth in Mexico.

Jason Berry is an author and independent film producer who has been widely interviewed in the national media, with many appearances on Nightline, Oprah, ABC, NBC and CNN. USA Today called Berry “the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance.”

Festival Events

Screening of “You Must be This Tall” with David Bettencourt (URI ’97) on Monday, April 21, Chafee Social Science Center, Room 271, 7:30 p.m. This is a documentary about the history of Rhode Island’s Rocky Point amusement park.

  • Vows of Silence with Jason Berry on Tuesday, April 22, Chafee Social Science Center, Room 271 at 8 p.m.
  • Screening of 2nd & 3rd place winning films, Wednesday, April 23, Chafee Social Science Center, Room 277 at 7 p.m.
  • Screening of 1st Place winning film and Awards Presentation, Thursday, April 24, Independence Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Selection of Joyal “Best of Festival Prize” and special Presentation by former Visualizations winners, Dan Riordan ’03 and Dana Saint, Gnarly Bay Productions.

All of these events are free and open to the public and discounted tickets to the RI International Film Festival will be provided to all who attend!

About the Festival

Every spring, the College of Arts & Sciences holds this annual Visualizations Film Festival. Undergraduate students, in any major or college, who are interested in film and/or video are eligible to enter this competition, in which winners are awarded cash prizes and receive recognition for their achievements.

The Festival also provides an opportunity for student filmmakers to meet various film industry professionals and have their work screened and recognized by their peers, faculty, friends and family. The screenings and awards ceremony are free and open to the public.

Visualizations 2008 includes six production categories: Animation, Experimental, Documentary, News Segment, Commercial/PSA, and Narrative/Open; plus two writing categories: Critical Essay and Film Treatment. All undergraduate students enrolled for the academic year 2007/2008 were eligible to submit competitive entries to the Festival.

Major funding for Visualizations provided by Fred Joyal ’78, The Rhode Island International Film Festival, The College of Arts & Sciences Richard Beaupre Hope & Heritage Fund, and The URI Film Media Program. Additional funding by: Brand Games, Scott Randall’76; Lowel Lights; The College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Excellence Fund; Dept of English; Honors Program; Dept. of Communication Studies.

For more information, visit http://www.uri.edu/artsci/visualizations