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NewportFILM’s Terri Conners: 13 To Watch in RI in 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


You know you've got a visionary on your hands when she's shuttling filmgoers back and forth to an island in the middle of Narragansett Bay--to watch a documentary projected on 36-foot blowup screen on tiny Rose Island.

That's the handiwork of Terri Conners, the executive director of newportFILM, the innovative and ambitious non-profit documentary film festival showcasing local talent and festival run films. And if newportFILM's 2012 was any indicator, Conners is poised to make an even bigger splash with high-quality documentaries screened in remarkable spaces both indoors and out--in 2013.

Building on the artistic vision of newportFILM's founder Andrea Van Beuren, who founded the the organization in 2010, Conners brings the entrepreneurial can-do and deep experience in the marketing, development and management of film festivals and special events that are propelling newportFILM into a destination series of events that both attract visitors and serve the local community.

Behind the scenes

Before taking her post as executive director, Conners worked on location as a Unit Publicist for a number of big-budget films shot in and around New England. She also spent time in New York City working as a Publicist for New Line Cinema, and went on to head Theatrical Publicity for Palm Pictures in New York and Los Angeles. Conners began splitting her time between Newport and NYC in 2005 to co-found the successful parenting accessories line and children’s boutique, Little Bits. Now it's all about the film, and she's got big plans for this season.

With programs that feature outdoor films, kids films, and "green screen" films that shine a light on environmental challenges, newportFILM promises more creative delights under Conners in 2013. Standing out for February: a Valentine's Day showing of Love, Marilyn, Liz Garbus' critically acclaimed new film about the iconic beauty. In typical Conners fashion, there's a pairing in the works as well--in this case, a "Marilyn's Hollywood"-themed friend-raiser on February 9 at Christie's Restaurant.

With an eye on building bigger partnerships on Aquidneck and statewide, Conners is the player to watch on a burgeoning, exciting film scene in Rhode Island.


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