By Sally Deering
The 17th Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIFF) takes place Tues, Aug 6 and runs through Sun, Aug. 12, and one of the short films on the festival’s schedule is MANIAC directed by Sam Borowski and starring Bill Sorvino of Jersey City. Borowski, whose films have competed at the Golden Door International Film Festival in Jersey City – which is produced by Sorvino – will premiere MANIAC at RIFF for the chance to be an Oscar contender in the Best Short Film category.
MANIAC makes its world premiere on Sunday, the closing night of the festival. In the short film, Sorvino plays ‘The Man’ a good guy who does bad things for good reasons.
“It’s about a man who turns to vigilantism after being pushed over the edge,” Borowski says. “Something happens that makes him turn. It’s like violent philanthropy. He’s trying to rid the world of bad people. It’s a socially relevant film. The last few years have been a sort of Depression. If you look at the social and economic climate of the country, somebody who’s not right is affected even more by the fact that things are really tough out there.
“The character of ‘The Man’ played by Sorvino believes in doing what’s right but he breaks the law,” Borowski continues. “We’re trying to look at what pushes people over the edge. It will get people talking on both sides. That’s why I know it’s relevant. It’s very shades of gray; not all bad, but not all good.”
MANIAC was written by Nihad Shalabi, an Intern at Borowski’s The Naoj Company. Shalabi came to Borowski with a story he wrote, Borowski says he liked it, did a rewrite and put it on his immediate ‘to do’ list.