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Rome International Film Festival Announces 2017 Opening & Closing Night Presentations


The 2017 Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) is pleased to announce Opening and Closing Night Presentations that will bookend the 14th annual festival, taking place November 9-12, 2017.

To kick-off the fest, RIFF will showcase feature length documentary MANKILLER as the Opening Night Presentation on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Rome’s historic DeSoto Theatre. From Director/Producer Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (NATURALLY NATIVE) and Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (THE TERMINATOR, “The Walking Dead”), MANKILLER explores the legacy of the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller. The Opening Night film presentation and after-party is presented in partnership with the Chieftains Museum and Georgia Humanities Council and sponsored by Layer 3 Communications. A performance from Tommy Wildcat will precede the screening.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 6:30 PM, RIFF will conclude its 2017 festivities with CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY. Directed by Phillip Baribeau, CHARGED examines the life and recovery of chef Eduardo Garcia after he was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity while hiking in Montana. CHARGED had its World Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and has since won several awards, including an Audience Award at the Sidewalk Film Festival.

Opening & Closing Night tickets and Festival Passes are now on sale at All-Access Passes and Film & Workshop Passes grant admission throughout the entire festival but individual day passes may also be purchased.

Additional programming announcements are forthcoming.


Directed by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl
USA, 2017, English, 74 minutes

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 7:00 PM — DeSoto Theatre

In 1985, after serving as Deputy Chief under a conservative leader, Wilma Mankiller took office as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief. Having relocated from Oklahoma to San Francisco earlier in her life, Mankiller worked with both the nascent Black Panther and the Alcatraz occupation movements, eventually bringing the passion and experience she gained there back to her people. During her decade-long tenure as Principal Chief and beyond, Mankiller’s leadership enabled the Cherokee Nation to become one of the most economically and culturally successful tribes in America. Through rare archival footage and intimate interviews with activists including Gloria Steinem, as well as with Wilma herself, MANKILLER gives us insight into how this remarkable woman successfully navigated through the minefield of bipartisan politics. Veteran filmmaker Valerie Red-Horse Mohl and Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd present a portrait of a composed and assured leader who persevered through sexism and devastating personal setbacks to become one of the greatest leaders in American history.

The film will be preceded by a performance from Tommy Wildcat. Opening Night Film & After-Party presented in partnership with the Chieftains Museum and Georgia Humanities Council and sponsored by Layer 3 Communications.


directed by Phillip Baribeau
USA, 2017, English, 86 minutes

Sunday, November 12, 2017, 6:30 PM — DeSoto Theatre

A successful chef and adventurer, Eduardo Garcia’s life was forever changed after he was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity in a backcountry freak accident while hiking in Montana. Garcia lost his left hand, ribs, muscle mass and nearly his life, but more important than what he lost was what he found. Through the caregiving and patience of his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Jane, he was nursed back to health and learned to embrace his past, his family, and his future. A love story unlike any other, CHARGED is about both a physical recovery and a life newly and fully realized.


For more information about the Rome International Film Festival, visit


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