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TAKE ONE: Dover filmmaker Alfred Thomas Catalfo earned top honors in the recent Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition for his film “Betrayed.” The film revolves around a newspaper editor who comes face to face with a disheveled man claming to be his older brother, an Air Force pilot reported missing in action 40 years earlier. The festival also screened Catalfo's short film, “Rocketship,” about a bond forged between a lonely boy and an elderly man claiming to be a former astronaut. Together, they transform a vintage vacuum cleaner into a rocketship (above) for a surprising journey. 

Dover filmmaker earns kudos at Rhode Island fest, plans road trip

Dover screenwriter and filmmaker Alfred Thomas Catalfo earned the grand prize in the Rhode Island International Film Festival's screenplay competition this month for this feature script "Betrayed."

More than 200 feature-length, documentary and short films from 65 countries and 36 states across the United States were screened during the six-day festival. Films were selected from a record pool of 5,114 submissions, event organizers said.

The screenplay competition was judged on character, dialogue, originality, innovation, setting, plot and technique.

"Betrayed" revolves around a small-town newspaper editor who answers the door in the middle of the night to find a disheveled man who claims to be his older brother, an Air Force pilot shot down over North Vietnam in 1972 and reported missing in action. His joy at reuniting with his sibling after 40 years quickly turns to terror when shadowy assassins begin pursuing them. As they embark on a dangerous mission to reveal the truth, his faith in the man's claims threatens to tear his family apart.

Catalfo, a New Hampshire attorney, also wrote and directed the short film "Rocketship," which was screened at the Rhode Island film festival. The 15-minute family drama centers on an unlikely bond forged between a lonely boy and an elderly man claiming to be a former astronaut. Together, they transform a vintage vacuum cleaner into a rocketship for a surprising journey.

The film was inspired by the rocketship sculptures of artist David Random, who fashions his works of art from repurposed artifacts.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival, in its 17th year, is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for Best Live Action Short Film.

"Rocketship" also is an official selection of the 36th Mill Valley Film Festival, sponsored by the California Film Institute Oct. 3-13 in San Francisco's Bay Area.

In addition, the film won the jury award for New Hampshire Film of the Year at the New Hampshire Film Festival in 2012.


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