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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's RiverRun Film Festival Season!

All has been quiet on the blog lately. That's because I dove headfirst into RiverRun season as their Publicity Manager (a step up from last year)! This work truly is a labor of love. The Festival is hard work, but it's exciting and worthwhile, and sometimes, it's life-changing for those who experience it.

RiverRun International Film Festival will be held April 4-13 in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Now in its 16th year, RiverRun has grown not only in support and attendance, but also in prestige. This year RiverRun International Film Festival was recognized by the Academy Awards® as a qualifying festival for the Oscars® in the documentary shorts category. This designation means that this year's winning documentary short selected by an expert jury panel may be entered for consideration for an Academy Award® without having to run the usual festival circuit. This is not only exciting news for the Festival, but especially for our filmmakers.

Speaking of filmmakers, there will be more than 80 film industry guests attending the Festival, introducing their films and staying for Q&A following their screenings. Director David Gordon Green and actor Tye Sheridan will be on hand for the screening of their film "Joe," also starring Nicolas Cage. Elizabeth Spencer (age 94) author of the famed novella "Light in the Piazza," will attend "Landscapes of the Heart: The Elizabeth Spencer Story" along with director Rebecca Cerese. Donna Zaccaro, daughter of Geraldine Ferraro will attend the screening of the documentary about her mother she directed, "Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way." Director Damian Lahey, UNCSA alum, will attend for his film "Heroes of Arvine Place," along with the film's star and Winston-Salem native, Cullen Moss ("East Bound and Down," "One Tree Hill," "The Secret Life of Bees," "The Notebook"). And another favorite of mine is "Hank & Asha," a sweet romantic comedy directed by UNCSA alum James Duff and starring NC native Andrew Pastides. Director Tommy Oliver will attend with his gritty film "1982." The list of guests is too long to include in this post, y'all!

The 2014 Festival will screen 145 films from 33 countries in 10-days! There is truly something for everyone, whether you're a fan of documentaries, dramas, comedy, foreign film, sci-fi, or horror. This year even has a curated selection of rare 35mm and other archival films from collections around the country that you'll likely never have the opportunity to see again in your lifetime. Two of these archival films, "Lonesome" and "Upstream," are silent and will feature live piano accompaniment as they were screened in days of old.

Kids can enjoy RiverRun's Saturday Morning Cartoons both Saturdays of the Festival for FREE (up to age 18), along with a free pre-screening concert by Chuck Folds' (yes, brother of Ben Folds) band, Big Bang Boom, and chase it all down with free Krispy Kreme doughnuts after the screening.

Other free screenings the whole family will enjoy include the dog-friendly outdoor screening of Pixar's "Up" April 5 at 6:30pm (festivities, film at dusk) at One Park Vista (that grassy square at Fourth & Trade Streets) and the rare chance to see "The Wizard of Oz" on the big screen April 8 at 6pm at Hanesbrands Theatre.

Opening Night Film "To Be Takei"
Join us and find out what all the buzz is about at our Opening Night Gala April 4 at 9pm at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) following our two opening night films. Tickets to the Gala are only $12.

For the full film lineup, visit I hope to see you there!

Want more details? Read my post RiverRun Insider Tips.

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