Ever wonder where all of the good movies have gone? According to Seattle-based director-writer-producer Rick Stevenson, they haven’t gone anywhere. You just need to know where to find them.
That's where Official Best of Fest comes in.
Using an exclusive list of curators, Official Best of Fest finds the best independent films from around the world. Films about love, films that will make you laugh, inspire you, and more.
Official Best of Fest is a cutting edge organization that employs an army of curators who attend the world’s top film festivals on the lookout for the best of the best undistributed shorts and features. The goal is to give underappreciated and overlooked independent films the attention they deserve, or as founder Rick Stevenson puts it, “help a quality-starved public, junk-food fed audience get cinematic nourishment.”
It’s the ultimate international great film find fed by the world’s best film festival programmers. The most well-written, subversive, innovative independent films only appear at a select few of the world’s film festivals, likely to never enjoy wide distribution. How is the public ever supposed to wade through it all to find the diamonds in the rough? Not everyone can just hop on a plane to catch Sundance, Cannes, or Toronto. Official Best of Fest’s team of industry professionals is up to the task of doing the dirty work for everyone.
The series airs on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 9:30 p.m. beginning June 17, with re-broadcast on Tuesdays at 2:30 a.m. beginning June 19.
Episode 1 FRIENDSHIP (June 17)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), take a greenscreen trip to Ireland for a screening of multi-award winning short film TEETH, a short “last laugh” comedy of two old friends on a fishing trip, their teeth, and a series of events that leaves them lost for words.
Episode 2 LAUGHS (June 24)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), take a second greenscreen trip to Ireland for the award-winning film DUTCH BIRD, a comedy about a lonely widower whose love of life is reignited by something ‘a wee bit illegal’. Irish Pigeon Racer, Seamus Kerrigan, gets embroiled in an international drug-trafficking plot to smuggle drugs over to Ireland from Holland using carrier pigeons.
The second comedy is OUR WONDERFUL NATURE, a crowd-pleaser from Germany about the little-known love lives of some of God’s tiniest creatures - an epic martial-arts battle between two shrews for the heart of a female shrew.
Episode 3 LOVE I (July 1)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic) go to Belgium to introduce the Academy Award nominated TANGHI ARGENTINI, a story about an office worker who convinces his bah-humbug friend to teach him to Tango in hopes of wooing a girl he met on the Internet.
They then bring us a short from Australia called ONE LONELY LOST UMBRELLA SEEKS COMPANION, a story about a Josh, brandishing a pink umbrella, who embarks on a mission of love in the library, equipped with awkward advances, timid glances, and passionate hope.
Episode 4 LOVE II (July 8)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka the silent critic), introduce three award-winning films about love—one from the States, one from Australia, and one from England.
NO PARKING - Love at first sight is just the ticket after a young man encounters an attractive meter maid who he hopes will give him more than citations.
LOVE ON TRACK - The promise of true love goes temporarily off the rails when a man and woman have a misunderstanding on the Sydney monorail. Hardly a word is spoken, yet passions ignite and feelings fray. The denouement takes place on a station platform, when a pair of buskers help get the romance back on track.
MR. THORNTON'S CHANGE OF HEART - Thornton is an old misery with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp. Only Mary, his supplier at the flower market, has any time for him. Of course Thornton and Mary are made for each other, but it takes Cupid to bring them together.
Episode 5 LOVE (July 15)
Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), bring us the award-winning short films:
FULL DISCLOSURE, about a very unusual and honest first date. Everett decides to reveal every terrible habit, attitude and hang up on the first date. Shockingly, women don’t respond as he’d hoped... until he meets Brinn.
LUCKY ESCAPE, in which a high-powered career woman decides to end things with her boyfriend in the most unkind of ways, with mixed consequences.
Episode 6 LOVE (July 22)
Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), present the award-winning short films:
THE DELIVERY - An isolated writer hermit and a sweetly shy grocery delivery girl find each other, but can she be the one to bring him out; will he let her in? Some notes, a mouse, and a gift greater than chocolate work their magic.
ACADEMANIA - After trudging through day after day of his dull, lonely life, a stodgy old professor receives an unexpected gift that takes his life in a different direction.
PICKET FENCED-IN - A young woman dreads living an ordinary life in the suburbs. Finding herself living this "nightmare" causes her to take a fresh look at what is really important.
Episode 7 ANIMATION (July 29)
Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), present the award-winning short films: THE MANTIS PARABLE - Created in its entirety by first-time filmmaker Josh Staub, The Mantis Parable is the charming tale of a humble caterpillar trapped in a bug collector's jar and in need of a helping hand.
SMILE - Smile is the tale of a lonely but caring happy face toy with a friend, a happy face balloon. But the menacing deeds of an evil Pirate lead Smile on a daring rescue mission to save the balloon from certain peril.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? - Young Aidan may have tried to follow all the rules, but in a moment of carelessness, his own crayon creation will go horribly wrong...
Episode 8 FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS (August 5)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), present the award-winning short films DANCE LEXIE DANCE, in which a young protestant girl in Derry wants to be a Riverdancer but her grief-stricken father has to be convinced, and LOOKING GOOD, in which Zali gets to spend a day alone with her dad and in her mind plans a fun outing with him... but things don't go as planned.
Episode 9 FATHERS AND SONS (August 12)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), present the award-winning short films LETTING GO, in which a nine-year old decides that he's ready to put his 'blanky' away... but it's his father who has a hard time letting go, and FREESIA OF EDEN, in which the unique friendship between Ned and his 7-year-old grandson, Conan, stems from their devout love of gardening... and when Ned realizes that he is going to die he knows he must explain his death to Conan in the only way he will understand.
Episode 10 REAL PEOPLE (August 19)
Hosts Rick Stevenson and Dr. Brandon Whitehead (aka The Silent Critic), present the award-winning short film ELEGY FOR THE ELSWICK ENVOY, in which artist Nancy Willis is on a quest to find just the right home for her much loved but exhausted car: the remarkable Elswick Envoy. A witty and moving double portrait of a unique vehicle and its owner.