About the Block Island Film Festival

“Hollywood comes to Block Island”

Mission Statement

To promote global film-making and screenwriting talent with a cultural awareness for the arts and environmental issues for the betterment of Block Island.

The Block Island Film Festival was founded by award-winning screenwriter, journalist and filmmaker Cassius Shuman in 2018. Shuman has worked as a producer and filmmaker in the motion picture business in Hollywood. He has also written, directed, and produced theatrical stage plays in New York City, and Los Angeles. He lives on Block Island year-round. 

Shuman knew his love of movies and respect for the professionals who make them, as well as his affinity for Bock Island would make it the perfect locale to host a film festival. He conceived the Block Island Film Festival with the vision that it assembles a consortium of global filmmakers and student filmmakers annually, who gather to share ideas, philosophies and film-making processes.

Jami Newell serves as the Block Island Film Festival’s Director of Operations and Programming. She brings a passion for film, the film-making process, and an energy and enthusiasm, combined with a host of skills, to the film festival team. She resides on Block Island year-round.

The film festival’s panels will be hosted by a pair of highly acclaimed actors in Kristin Carey (Hall Pass, Scandal, Criminal Minds), and Ayman Samman (American Sniper, The Looming Tower, NCIS: New Orleans). Emmy winning actor Kim Estes (ER, House M.D., Dexter, Cold Case) will speak about the craft of acting and the motion picture industry as part of a special signature program.

The Block Island Film Festival team strives to remain true to the festival’s mission, while promoting the importance of education through a student filmmaker competition. The student competition will be hosted by several entities, including the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, Entertainment Studies, in partnership with the Island Free Library and library Director Kristin Baumann. 

The Block Island Film Festival aspires to become one of the preeminent destination film festivals in the world. The festival will boast featured motion pictures, tribute award ceremonies, film screenings, signature programs, and social mixers, with accommodating hospitality on a breathtaking, picturesque resort island.

Please join us for the inaugural Block Island Film Festival, June 11-15, 2019.

Buy Your Ticket(s)!

Patron and special passes for the Block Island Film Festival are available here for purchase and can be claimed at the festival’s headquarters/ticket table at Ballard’s during the festival. Early bird passes are also available here. All other tickets can be purchased during the Film Festival.

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