One entry in the Rhode Island International Film Festival was made right here in Providence — “Breakfast with Curtis” was written, directed, and shot by Laura Colella, teacher of directing and film production at RISD. She writes of the film’s unique genesis in the Wall Street Journal (“How to Keep Your Indie Feature on Track: Shoot your Neighbors”).
It was June of 2010 . . . I looked around at the characters in the three-family purple house where I lived. On the first floor was an eccentric online bookseller, who started drinking wine at 10 a.m. with his quietly witty and stylish partner. On the second floor was our free-spirited landlady, who was in her seventies. And on the third floor, was my artist-performer boyfriend and me. We all loved to hang out on the porch and in the yard, which had homemade patios from salvaged brick and granite, two fountains, a swing, a “bedswing”, a ping-pong table, and an extensive vegetable garden.
The couple next door lived in a one-family house with two sons . . . They were regular visitors, and we had lots of laughs over beers and a variety of cocktails . . . Great locations, vibrant characters, compelling situations from our lives and imaginations . . . the elements for a movie were brewing right under my nose. I threw out the idea of a homegrown movie project to everyone, and they were immediately seriously committed to making it happen.
The film recently screened to rave reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival and comes highly recommended by Christina Bevilacqua despite the near total absence of whales.
$10, “Breakfast With Curtis,” (6:30pm shorts), 7pm feature, Friday, August 10, the Vets, running time 82 minutes, Q & A with cast and crew follows