Film Festival Debuts With Scathing Satire


It was standing room only at the Jane Pickens Theater & Events Center on Wednesday for the exuberant opening night of the 12th annual Newport International Film Festival. NewportSeen was on hand for the film and the after party at Studio 3. Rhode Island rocked.

Introduced by Chairman of the Board Allan Weiss, himself a bit of a stand-up comedian, and by new Festival Executive Director Jennifer Maizel, who has been called a movie star herself, the Festival was off to a roaring start.  

The film, In The Loop, a scathing, hilarious, fast-paced political who-said-it, was a creative, curse-crazy, behind-the-scenes diplomatic satire of events leading up to a bi-governmental decision to go to war in the Middle East.  Purely fictional, of course, and starring James Gandolfini, of “The Sopranos” fame.

Actress Mimi Kennedy  was on hand with actor Zach Woods to answer audience questions about the filming process, the gifted director Armando Iannucci, and the number of takes required for the final version on scenes.

Former NIFF Director Laurie Kirby was in from California to cheer the Festival on.  Brendan Kelley, former Chairman of the Board, and now Chairman Emeritus, chatted with Kathy Staab, owner of the James Pickens.

Guests, fans, and film types attended a more than sold out after party at 1 Pelham, an upstairs disco with spectacular views and excellent hors d’oeuvres, dancing well into the night. For information on upcoming events and films, go to

Jennifer Maizel, Executive Director of NIFF, & staff

Niff Artistic Director Tom Hall & actress Mimi Kennedy

Kathy Staab with Chairman Emeritus Brendan Kelley

Laurie Kirby & NIFF Director of Operations Joe Ruggeri

In the Loop actor Zach Woods (r.) with friend

Newport International Film Festival Box Office opening day

Studio 3’s disco, early

Studio 3’s disco, late












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