Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

Welcome to the 23rd anniversary of the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

This has been a challenging year for everyone. Many people look forward to this Festival which is why the Board of Directors decided to offer a hybrid festival with films you can watch at home and films you can watch at the Cinema Art Theater. All screenings at the CAT will continue to operate with a reduced, safe-distance, seating plan. 

Michael Tuckman, Director of RBIFF Programming, was given one condition this year – select all positive films. You will see that he came through with a wonderful assortment of international and American features as well as some unique documentaries.

This year’s offerings are available to everyone at the same time as Festival Passes are not being used.

Whether you come to CAT or watch films from home, we hope you will enjoy this year’s Festival experience which will certainly be memorable.


Film at CAT - I Am Woman

View Screenings

“I Am Woman” is a biographical music drama about an iconic 1970’s musician and activist.

This uplifting film chronicles the joys, pains, and complexities of Helen Reddy's amazing career. Her 1971 hit single "I Am Woman" became an anthem for second-wave feminism that continues to reverberate in today's #MeToo moment. But the story behind the song is itself an inspiration. Demanding artistic autonomy while striving to cultivate a productive private life, Reddy pioneered a path that many have followed - and must continue to fight for. The film opened the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College of Colombia University in New York which celebrates women. [2019, Australia, 116 min, Rated: NR].

Rich Cline of “Shadows on the Wall” writes, “Energetic and engaging, this biopic about singer Helen Reddy carefully highlights the larger issues that drove her career and inspired her bigger hits, even as it sidelines major elements of her life.”

 Christy Lemire of “FilmWeek” writes, “The lead performance is so warm and accessible...A cool little slice of American history. JimmyO of “We Live Entertainment,” says, “If you need a cinematic escape, one with classic pop tunes, charming characters, and a message of hope, this inspiring tale is well worth opening your heart up to.

Athena Breakthrough Award (Athena Film Festival 2020)

Don’t let the recent death of Helen Reddy keep you from enjoying this tuneful biopic about the 1970s icon, the singer who raised the catchy pop hit “I Am Woman” to the level of a national anthem for equality. Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai) brings a sultry brand of perkiness to the role of Reddy, facing each new obstacle — from a sexist music industry to a parade of no- good husbands — with a flinty determination echoed in her dozen-plus hits. Music video director Unjoo Moon and writer Emma Jensen (Mary Shelley) move briskly through Reddy’s life, pausing for welcome reprises of Reddy’s greatest hits.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged for other screening dates/times or film title.

Location: Cinema Art Theater   

Admission

  • $11.00 RBFS Members
  • $12.00 General

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Film at CAT - 9to5: The Story of a Movement

View Screenings

“The Story of a Movement” is an illuminating documentary about what happened when one band of fed-up working women decided enough was enough and did something about it.

In the early 1970s, clericals were the low-wage workers of their era. A group of secretaries in Boston decided that they had suffered in silence long enough.. They started fighting back, creating a movement to force changes in their workplaces and inspired the making of a movie. This movement became national, and is a largely forgotten story of U.S. twentieth century history. It encapsulates a unique intersection of the women’s movement with the labor movement. The awareness these secretaries brought to bear on women’s work reverberates even today. America now confronts the growing reality of deep income inequality. The stories and strategies of these bold, creative women resonates in contemporary America. [2020, USA, 86 min, Rated: NR].

Emma Sarappo of “Washington City Paper” writes, “The film is a snappy labor history that takes care not to get too star struck by its celebrity connections and to be honest about the movement's failures as well as its triumphs.” Caryn James of “Hollywood Reporter” exclaims, “Energetic, informative and bracing.”

In this triumphant story of a relatively recent yet strangely forgotten era, Oscar-winning documentarians Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (American Factory) recall when the wheels of American enterprise spun on the axles of “secretaries.” These low-paid women ostensibly served male bosses — often abusive men — whose grand ambitions would have come to naught if not for their industrious, sometimes ingenious, labors. As the 1970s unfold, a group of Cleveland, Ohio secretaries rise up in protest, sparking a movement that found a lasting voice in the Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin/ Dolly Parton comedy 9 to 5. Fonda appears here, militant as ever, to sound a continuing call to arms.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged for other screening dates/times or film title.

Location: Cinema Art Theater   

Admission

  • $11.00 RBFS Members
  • $12.00 General

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Film at CAT - Farewell Amor

View Screenings

“Farewell Amor” is a moving drama about a newly reunited immigrant family of three.

After 17 years in exile, Walter’s wife and daughter from Angola are reunited with him in the U.S., now absolute strangers they must share a one-bedroom apartment. They struggle to overcome the personal and political hurdles between them, sacrificing the lives they built while separated. They discover a shared love of Angolan dance that may help them overcome the distance between them as they rediscover each other. [2020, USA, 95 min, Rated: NR]

Stephen Silver of “Living Life Fearless” says, “A lovely, very human family story.” Aramide Tinubu of “Shadow and Act” exclaims, “It's a captivating and well-acted character study about connection, loss and the emotional labor needed for second chances.”

Walter, a mild-mannered New York cab driver, has driven to JFK airport countless times, but today is different: Today he is picking up his wife and daughter, neither of whom he has laid eyes on in 17 years since he left them in Angola to lay the groundwork for a new life in the United States. In her breathtakingly human drama, writer/director Ekwa Msangi gives the film’s father/husband (The Chi’s Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), mother/wife (Zainab Jah) and daughter (Jayme Lawson) equal time as we experience not only the family’s experiences getting used to their new country — and each other — but also how they internally perceive their behavior, which is often quite different from what others see. The cast is flawless.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged for other screening dates/times or film title.

Location: Cinema Art Theater   

Admission

  • $11.00 RBFS Members
  • $12.00 General

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Film at CAT - One Last Deal

View Screenings

“One Last Deal” is a feel-good drama about an elderly art dealer that investigates the history behind an unsigned painting that promises to bring his suffering career to a successful end.

Olavi is widowed, about to retire, estranged from his daughter and yearns for a spectacular coup to close out his otherwise narrow life. That chance arrives in the form of a tucked-away painting - unsigned, possibly of a monk, tantalizingly evocative of the Russian master Ilya Repin. Staking everything he has on one final gamble, Olavi sets out to prove the provenance of his find and wrest it from the grasp of more powerful, unscrupulous rivals. The beautifully crafted film is an art-history detective story, an absorbing indoctrination into the tricks of Olavi's trade, and a moving quest for redemption. The film played at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2019 Palm Spring Film Festival. [2018, Finland, 95 min, Rated: NR, in Finnish/Swedish with English subtitles].

Christopher Machell of “CineVue” remarks, “A redemptive, moving and stunningly shot depiction of the search for meaning in later life.” Stephan Dalton of “Hollywood Reporter” pens, “This warm-hearted charmer presses some obvious emotional buttons, but with enough deadpan humor and self-aware attitude to avoid schmaltzy overload.”

Igmar Bergman Prize-winning Finnish director Klaus Härö has made a career of crafting intimately focused dramas. His portrait of a down-on-his-luck art dealer (Heikki Nousiainen) who stumbles upon what may be the find of a lifetime again proves his unsurpassed skill for drilling into the core of a character. Befitting a film that explores the nexus of life and art, cinematographer Cuomo Hutri frames the story in exquisitely curated hues and shadows.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged for other screening dates/times or film title.

Location: Cinema Art Theater   

Admission

  • $11.00 RBFS Members
  • $12.00 General

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Film at CAT - The Last Shift

View Screenings

“The Last Shift” is an American dramedy of two men struggling in the same town, while worlds apart.

Stanley (played by Richard Jenkins), an aging fast-food worker, plans to call it quits after 38 years on the graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish. His last weekend takes a turn while training his replacement, Jevon a talented but stalled young writer whose provocative politics keep landing him in trouble. These two who share little in common are brought together through circumstance. Stanley, a high school dropout who has watched life pass by his drive-through window, proudly details the nuances of the job. While Jevon, a columnist who’s too smart to be flipping patties, contends their labor is being exploited. A flicker of comradery sparks during the long overnight hours in a quiet kitchen. [2020, USA, 90 min, Rated: R]

Nick Allen of “RogerEbert.com” remarks, “Richard Jenkins gives one of his most soulful performances in years.” Linda Cook of “OurQuadCities” pens, “Director/screenwriter Andrew Cohn has a knack for showing how real people talk, and what they talk about. I really appreciate the dialogue in this dramedy.”

Richard Jenkins, the cinema’s most stealthy actor, inhabits this story of Stanley, an aging loner punching the clock for the last time after 38 years working the overnightr shift at a 24-hour diner. His last assignment: Hire his replacement, a streetwise youngster named Jevon (“What kind of name is that?” blurts Stanley’s only friend, played by Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill). Writer/director Andrew Cohn (Medora) has an eye and ear for the rhythms of lower-middle- class America and the unspoken anxieties that lurk there. The Last Shift plays like an expedition to those remote reaches of society, empathetic and ultimately optimistic.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and may not be exchanged for other screening dates/times or film title.

Location: Cinema Art Theater   

Admission

  • $11.00 RBFS Members
  • $12.00 General

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Streaming Film - Billie

“Billie” is a compelling musical documentary about one of America’s most famous jazz singers.

Billie Holiday, one of the greatest voices of all time, was always controversial - a proud black woman who preferred white audiences, an exploited artist, drug addict, a loyal friend, vindictive lover and a blues singer who didn’t sing the blues.

In 1971, journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Billie. Over 8 years, she tracked down and tape-recorded over 200 hours of interviews with the extraordinary characters that populated the iconic singer’s short, tumultuous life. Raw and brutally honest, incredible testimonies from musical greats like Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, and Count Basie. Linda’s book was never finished and the tapes never heard - until now. [2019, USA, 96 min, Rated: NR].

Chris Williams of “Variety” writes, “’Billie’ passes the test for any doomed-singer documentary: There's a creditable emphasis on the gift, not just the grubbiness.”

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - Citizens of the World

“Citizens of the World” is a delightful comedy that follows three Italian retirees as they embark on a journey to find a new country in which to live.

A happy trio of friends, Attillio, Giorgetto and II Professore, decide to move away from Rome to find a better standard of living in a country where their meager pensions will go that much further. Planning for the trip sees the trio trawl the pubs and restaurants of a sun saturated Rome and discover that even at an old age they can still learn one or two lessons about themselves and life. A warm and delightful reflection on life with characters you’ll want to spend many more hours with long after the credits roll. [2019, Italy, 92 min, Rated: NR, in Italian with English subtitles].

Dave Calhoun of “Time Out” exclaims, “A gentle celebration of good company, good wine and good intentions.” “Empire Magazine” says “This is a gem!”

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - Donut King

“The Donut King” is a poignant award-winning documentary about the rags to riches story of a refugee from Cambodia arriving in America to build an unlikely empire.

The token donut king is 77-year-old Ted Ngoy, who has attained mythic status among many Cambodian Americans in Los Angeles and Orange County since his arrival in the U.S. in 1975. The sponsor of more than 100 refugee families, Ngoy is almost single-handedly responsible for his compatriots' domination of the mom-and-pop donut shops in Southern California, of which 80 percent were owned by Cambodians by the mid-1990s. His story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption; but, in life, great rise can come with great falls. [2020, USA, 94 min, Rated: NR].

Sarah Ward of “AWFJ” explains, “More than just a movie about doughnuts... or about a self-made man who earned a fortune making them, ‘The Donut King’ serves up a weighty musing on a variety of facets of the immigrant experience.” John Fink of “The Film Stage” says, “A moving and lively portrait of multiple family businesses and the man that envisioned and executed a delectable kingdom of confections.”

One in a Million Documentary (Sun Valley Film Festival 2020)                         

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.                                       


Streaming Film - Minyan

“Minyan” is an evocative drama about a young man who is an outsider among outsiders.

In the 1980’s Brooklyn community Brighton Beach, a Russian Jewish teenager wrestles with his identity, faith, and sexuality, all of which seem irreconcilable until he befriends two closeted men in his grandfather's senior housing complex. [2020, USA, 118 min, Rated: R]

David Rooney of the “Hollywood Reporter” writes, “A vividly drawn milieu, complex characters, and textured performances…the gritty visuals convey soulful intimacy, accented with occasional understated touches of wry humor." Brain Bromberger of the “Bay Area Reporter” writes, “Magnificent in every way. Skip it at your own peril.”

Grand Jury Prize, Best U.S. Narrative Feature (OutFest, Los Angeles 2020)

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - The Hidden Life of Trees

“The Hidden Life of Trees” is a beautiful nature documentary based on Peter’s Wohlleben’s non-fiction best seller of the same name that opens our eyes to the hidden world of the woods.

Are trees able to talk? Do they have a memory and a social life? The whole world is talking about the environment, but frequently fails to listen to nature itself. Wohlleben has made it his mission to change this with his book. Published in over 40 countries, he has reached millions of people as he brings us closer to these astounding living entities. Film Director Jörg Adolph combines the exciting portrait of a man who understands the language of trees with breathtaking footage from the world of forests to create a documentary which is just as entertaining as it is fascinating. [2020, Germany, 96 min, Rated: NR, German with English subtitles].

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - The Mole Agent

“The Mole Agent” is a warmhearted story of the most unusual documentary of the year about an 83-year-old man that goes undercover in a Chilean nursing home.

Recent widower Sergio answers a classified ad for an unusual job at a private investigation service. It's unusual in part because it’s looking for men between the ages of 80 and 90, who are good with technology, and independent. After he wins the gig, Sergio learns that he’ll be infiltrating a retirement home. Sergio's mission is to make sure that one client’s mother, who is at the facility, is not being abused, or having her things stolen. It's a job that the stoic senior will take on with his clear sense of pride, and compassion. The film is an earnest look at aging, and a community full of people just like Sergio. [2019, Chile, 90 min, Rated: NR, Spanish with English subtitles].

Lisa Kennedy of “AARP for Grownups” writes, “There's humor and intrigue, but it's Sergio's blossoming friendships with a number of the women in the nursing home that make this covert operation brim with grace.” Lisa Trifone of “Third Coast Review” remarks, “Alberdi's warm and moving film is a welcome reminder of the life left to be lived in our seventh, eighth decades and beyond.”

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - The Perfect Candidate

 “The Perfect Candidate” is an intriguing drama about a courageous woman’s struggle to run for a local political office.

When Maryam, a hardworking young Saudi doctor in a small-town clinic, is prevented from flying to Dubai for a conference without a male guardian’s approval, she seeks help from a politically connected cousin, but inadvertently registers as a candidate for the municipal council. She then realizes that the election could be a way to fix the muddy road in front of her clinic and her campaign slowly garners broader appeal.

Director Haifaa Al Mansour (the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia) finds an inadvertent heroine in Maryam, who learns to run a campaign from a web article and creatively navigates a restriction barring her from addressing male voters directly. With spirit and authenticity, the film offers a rare glimpse into a still-obscure society. “The Perfect Candidate” premiered at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival. [2019, Saudi Arabia, 101 min, Rated: NP, in Arabic with English subtitles].

Rebecca Harrison of “The Afternoon Show” exclaims, “A powerful film about systems of oppression and personal emancipation with glorious cinematography and a stand-out lead performance.” Alonso Duralde of “TheWrap” writes, “With exquisite subtlety, director Haifaa Al Mansour brings us into her heroine's world and lays out the series of indignations (some tiny, some massive) she is forced to face on a daily basis.”

Audience Award Winner (Florida Film Festival 2020)

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - Twilight's Kiss (Suk Suk)

“Twilight’s Kiss” is an award-winning sensitive drama that studies the subtle day-to-day moments of two men as they struggle between conventional morals and their personal desires in their twilight years.

Despite years of societal and personal pressure, Pak, a 70-year-old taxi driver who refuses to retire, and Hoi, a 65-year-old retired single father are proud of the families they have created through hard work and determination. Yet, when they meet, something that had been suppressed for so many years is unleashed in them. As the two fall in love they contemplate a possible future together. The film paints a delicate picture of the lives and issues of identity that the two men face. It captures with a warm gaze the joy of life, sympathy and solidarity, passion and suffering, and the subtle play of emotions they experience. 

The film is playing at numerous US film festivals and over 23 festivals worldwide. [2019, Hong Kong, 92 min, Rated: NR, in Cantonese with English subtitles].

Elizabeth Kerr of “Hollywood Reporter” concurs, “A rare, mature gay romance with plenty on its mind.” Allissa Simon of “Variety” says, “Strong performances by veterans Tai Bo and Ben Yuen make the protagonists' struggle concrete and affecting.”

Best Narrative Feature (Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival)

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - Veins of the World

“Veins of the World” is a touching drama that tells the story of Mongolian boy who must find a new way to the future after the sudden death of his father.

In a province in the middle of the Mongolian steppe, 11-year-old Amra lives a traditional nomad life with his family. He loves to watch YouTube videos and dreams of being on “Mongolia’s Got Talent,” but finds his way of life upended when his father is killed in a car accident. Survival takes precedence above education and his cherished dreams. But is working for the illegal gold miners who carve up the steppes the best way to honor his father and his family?

The film is a child’s-eye view of the pressures facing the nomadic herder’s lifestyle and on the environment which has supported it. [2020, Mongolia, 96 min, Rated: NR, in Mongolian with English subtitles].

Wendy Ide of “Screen International” claims, “While the pacing reflects the unhurried rhythm of nomadic life a little too effectively at times, there's a slow-burning inevitability to the film's bittersweet conclusion.”

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - Yalda, A Night of Forgiveness

“Yalda, a Night of Forgiveness” is a provocative drama about a woman who faces the death penalty after she accidently kills her husband.

22-year-old Maryam accidentally kills her 65-year-old husband Nasser and is sentenced to death. Iranian law allows for the victim’s family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam’s fate will be decided by Nasser’s daughter, Mona, on the country’s most popular televised reality show “Joy of Forgiveness.” In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they are forced to relive the past. [2019, Iran, 89 min, Rated: NR, in Persian with English subtitles].

Andrew J. Salazar of “Geeks of Color” remarks, “A brutally authentic window into what a woman's day in Iran can be like, Yalda is not to be ignored. Cinema used for its greatest power and full potential - to move, expose, and enlighten minds.” Wilson Kwong of “Film Inquiry” says, “This emerging filmmaker is showing no signs of dampening his creative intentions. With his latest effort, he's crafted a socially conscious film while making some truly bold cinematic choices.”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic (Sundance Film Festival 2020)

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


Streaming Film - I am Woman

“I Am Woman” is a biographical music drama about an iconic 1970’s musician and activist.

This uplifting film chronicles the joys, pains, and complexities of Helen Reddy's amazing career. Her 1971 hit single "I Am Woman" became an anthem for second-wave feminism that continues to reverberate in today's #MeToo moment. But the story behind the song is itself an inspiration. Demanding artistic autonomy while striving to cultivate a productive private life, Reddy pioneered a path that many have followed - and must continue to fight for. The film opened the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College of Colombia University in New York which celebrates women. [2019, Australia, 116 min, Rated: NR].

Rich Cline of “Shadows on the Wall” writes, “Energetic and engaging, this biopic about singer Helen Reddy carefully highlights the larger issues that drove her career and inspired her bigger hits, even as it sidelines major elements of her life.”

 Christy Lemire of “FilmWeek” writes, “The lead performance is so warm and accessible...A cool little slice of American history. JimmyO of “We Live Entertainment,” says, “If you need a cinematic escape, one with classic pop tunes, charming characters, and a message of hope, this inspiring tale is well worth opening your heart up to.

Athena Breakthrough Award (Athena Film Festival 2020)

Stay tuned for availability of streaming link.


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Located on Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean coast in a vibrant resort town, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society promotes cinematic arts and provides education and cultural enrichment.