A little brother builds a film festival to help Big Brothers

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s fitting that the only feature length film in the 401 Film Fest is about pint-sized super heroes.

“It’s called Return of Brute Force,” festival creator Adam Theroux said.

Theroux is a filmmaker himself, but he had loftier goals when he launched the film festival last year. Approximately 1,200 submissions came from around the world for the inaugural event, with 700 more submitted this year.

Theroux picked 60 films for three days of showings that start Oct. 21 in West Warwick.

He said in some cases, entries can be eliminated in a matter of minutes.

“I can find what will work from the start,” Theroux said. “Get to the story. The content is what I’m looking for.”

He loves film, but the goal of the festival is even deeper than that.

About 18 months ago, Theroux, who is a little brother to a sibling who’s 7 years older, became a Big Brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State.

“His name is C.J.,” Theroux said. “He feels like my actual little brother.”

As he thought about the quest to find more mentors for the children in the program, he decided to start the film festival to raise money for the organization that’s always looking for new candidates.

“I’ve always been the little brother,” Theroux said. “Now I kind of get to be that older positive influence. But I’ll tell you, this kid brings out hte 8 year old in me. It’s so much fun. I haven’t had this much fun in who knows how long.”

Last year, the 401 Film Fest raised $1,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Theroux hopes to at least match that next month with the event’s donated food and raffle items.

“I have more fun with my little brother,” Theroux said. “It’s like I’m the 8-year-old.”

Or maybe he and C.J. are characters in their own version of Return of Brute Force.

Send your story ideas to Walt at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow us on Twitter:@StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

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