Celebrating its 21st season, the RiverRun International Film Festival will take place April 4th-14th, and will feature approximately 175 screenings in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Based in Winston-Salem, RiverRun is an Academy Award-qualifying festival in two categories: Documentary Short and Animated Short.
In April 2018, RiverRun was named by Moviemaker magazine as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worldwide, Worth the Entry Fee.” More recently, in January 2019, USA Today named RiverRun one of the “10 amazing film festivals worth traveling for.”
“RiverRun has evolved into one of the region’s premier film festivals since our inception a little more than two decades ago,” RiverRun executive director Rob Davis said. “We have another great lineup of films under consideration for this year’s festival, which will include films that will appeal to a broad range of people and will reflect the artistry of many rising filmmakers.”
Each year, RiverRun includes its “Spotlight: Perspectives Through Retrospectives,” which features films curated around a central theme. The 2019 Spotlight will focus on the centennial of United Artists, a company founded by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith as a means of maintaining more artistic control over their productions. United Artists is widely viewed as a predecessor to today’s independent films movement.
During the last century, United Artists maintained a position of producing and distributing prestigious and commercially successful films, including the hugely popular James Bond franchise. As part of the 2019 Spotlight, on April 12th at 7 p.m., RiverRun will screen a restored version of Dr. No, the first James Bond film, which set the standard for the franchise.
In addition, the 2019 RiverRun Festival will feature a Family Day, from morning until night, on Saturday, April 13th. All of RiverRun’s Family Day events are free and open to the public. Family Day begins at Hanesbrands Theatre at 9 a.m. and includes a “Prop Shop Pop Up” by Peppercorn Theatre at Kaleideum and activities by the Kaplan Early Learning Company. The screening of Saturday Morning Cartoons, sponsored by Salem Smiles Orthodontics, follows at 10 a.m.
“We search high and low for the best new animated shorts to screen during Saturday Morning Cartoons and think the films will appeal to both children and parents alike,” Davis said. “This year we have a wide array of films encompassing many different interesting animation techniques and stories.”
Later in the morning on April 13th, Peppercorn Theatre at Kaleideum will present a live performance of TheNavigators, an adventurous tale about two navigators who must use their knowledge of maps, geography, and weather to chart their course. The morning concludes when RiverRun presents a Charlie Chaplin film from 1916 called The Rink. This short film features Chaplin as a bumbling waiter who, after already causing chaos at his restaurant, proceeds to tear up the local roller rink with his questionable skating ability!
Family Day continues when gates open at 6:30 p.m. for a free outdoor screening, sponsored by Mast General Store, of the United Artists classic children’s film Chitty ChittyBang Bang, a delightful family musical starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the story of a down-on-his-luck inventor (Dick Van Dyke) who turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.
The Chitty Chitty Bang Bangscreening is at Bailey Park and will begin at sundown. Rain location for the screening is Biotech Place. The evening also will include a photo booth, live music, and activities by the Kaplan Early Learning Company. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
If you can’t make it on April 13th, RiverRun will present a free screening of Saturday Morning Cartoons on Saturday, April 6th—again sponsored by Salem Smiles Orthodontics. In addition, there will also be a free, sensory-friendly screening of the cartoon program on Saturday, April 6th, at 2 p.m., sponsored by Salem Smiles Orthodontics and The Winston-Salem Foundation.
For more information, please go to riverrunfilm.com.