Wilton resident and Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) director Megan Smith-Harris is bringing the much-loved Jane Goodall to the local movie screen. On Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. RIFF will host a Special Event Screening of Jane, a widely acclaimed documentary about the extraordinary life of legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, at the Ridgefield Playhouse Theatre.

A Q&A with Goodall’s longtime videographer Bill Wallauer and Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) staffer Kristin Mosher, who also traveled to Tanzania with Goodall over many years, will take place immediately following the screening.

“This visually stunning film is a must-see film for people of all ages,” says Smith-Harris. “Audiences will be awed and inspired by the passion and determination of the extraordinary Jane Goodall. Her determination, perseverance and scientific curiosity led to a remarkable body of important work.”

Smith-Harris and RIFF are hoping that the experience will be something families will take advantage of, given the wide appeal of the film’s subject.

“One of the major goals of the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival is to bring communities together through a shared cultural experience so we are giving away 250 tickets free of charge to students. Having Bill Wallauer, Goodall’s longterm videographer at the screening to provide a behind-the-scenes perspective makes this screening event extra special. The film is appropriate for children ages 10 and up so we hope to see lots of Wilton families in the audience,” Smith-Harris says.

RIFF is also celebrating the relationship between Ridgefield and the Jane Goodall Institute, which was based in Ridgefield during the 1990s. Ridgefield was Goodall’s U.S. base when not off in the jungles of Tanzania.

Jane draws from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been stored in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years. Award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman who dedicated her life to chimpanzee research and challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time.

Prior to the screening, Wallauer will provide context to the film, educating viewers on what to watch for in certain scenes. The evening is part of RIFF’s ongoing series of screening events, talks, and parties leading up to the annual festival itself, which will be held at various venues around town October 18–21.

RIFF celebrates independent films from around the world that enlighten, entertain, and inspire moviegoers through compelling visual storytelling. RIFF brings innovative films and filmmakers to the artistically vibrant local community for an annual four-day festival that includes screenings, panel discussions, and nightly parties. Venues are all walking distance and include the Ridgefield Playhouse, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield Library, Keeler Tavern Museum, and the new ACT Theatre.

The 2018 RIFF Event schedule kicked-off earlier this month during the festival’s Oscar® Screening Gala Fundraiser and continues in May with a Special “Behind The Lens” event which will feature Grammy and Emmy-winning Director Thom Zimny presenting and discussing production techniques and creative decisions that went into Elvis Presley: The Searcher, his new multi-part HBO documentary that examines Presley’s musical influences and legacy.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Janevisit the RIFF website. Adult tickets are $15, student tickets for this event are FREE.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is located at 80 East Ridge in Ridgefield.

YouTube video

Megan Smith-Harris
RIFF Festival Director