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Greenwich International Film Festival announces 2017 dates

October 4, 2016 GMT

GREENWICH — Circle the date in your calendars. The Greenwich International Film Festival is coming back in 2017 for its third year and the dates for the festival have been announced as June 1 through June 4.

“We’re thrilled to be going into our third year,” GIFF’s Chief Operating Officer Ginger Stickel said on Tuesday. “We want to make an impact on the community and beyond. We have lofty goals for our charity work and being able to talk about issues of social importance. Everyone working for the festival and on the board is so excited about moving forward.”

And Stickel’s wish to make an impact is not just words. It is the theme of the film festival for 2017.

“The Greenwich International Film Festival will make an impact with its programming, it’s films, its community support and charitable giving,” Stickel said.

This past June, the second Greenwich International Film Festival had 53 films and 80 events and attracted celebrities like John Turturro and Will Arnett, as well as high profile writers and producers for panel and one on one interviews. The number of films went up in 2016 to 53 over the 31 shown in 2015’s inaugural year and festival officials said back in June they thought things took a big step forward in establishing the GIFF as a major annual event.

Now the planning work is underway for 2017 and that means finding films to show as well as setting up panels that not only tackle fun topics like successful comedy movies and how to adapt successful books into a film, but also about the role of women in production and creating social change from investment in film. Those were all covered in the most recent festival and big themes will again be tackled in 2017.

But it’s not as though the film festival will be going silent until next June. Just as it did last year, between the first and second year, several events are being planned to keep the word going about the festival. Stickel estimated that two or three of those events are likely and the first could happen before the end of the year, though she did not reveal what it might be.

The slate of films is likely to be announced in early May, a month before the festival is scheduled to begin. And that is only one of the big announcements that will come as the festival will again present its Changemaker award to someone who has used their celebrity to make a difference through giving back.

Festival officials collected feedback after this year’s event was concluded, as they had after the first year. And Stickel reported extremely positive results, saying 98 percent said they would come back for the next festival and 100 percent said they would recommend the film festival to a friend.

“People were extremely impressed with the films offered and the programming of the festival,” Stickel said. “They felt it was on par with a lot of the bigger festivals. They were so impressed with the quality of the festival and the panels and the celebrities we had.”

kborsuk@scni.com