Michael Palmaers’ Nuru and Kevin Meul’s The Extraordinary Life of Rocky both won awards at the FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF). Nuru took first prize for Best Animation while The Extraordinary Life of Rocky grabbed the Grand Prize for Best Comedy Short.
These are not the first US awards for either film: Nuru had already won Best Animation at the Palm Springs Shortfest while The Extraordinary Life of Rocky (pictured) received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short in Seattle. In Nuru an opportunistic director of an abandoned zoo assigns a doctor to perform medical experiments on an gorilla. The film is inspired by the paintings The Explanation and The Empire of Light by René Magritte and was produced by Eric Goossens for Walking The Dog.
In Kevin Meul’s short about a boy with a talent for bad luck, Rocky grows up surrounded by death. Everyone around him dies and he’s at the centre of all the accidents. The film is produced by Steven Dhoedt for Visualantics. Nicolas Karaktsanis (Bullhead, The Loft) was in charge of cinematography. Paris-based sales outfit Premium Films is handling international sales. Director Kevin Meul is currently working on a new short, Cadet.
The 16th Rhode Island International Film Festival took place from 7-12 August. RIIFF is the largest public film festival in New England with 200 features, documentaries and short films from over 50 countries.