Celebrating its 21st season, the RiverRun International Film Festival will take place April 4-14 and will feature screenings in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. The 2019 Festival will feature a wide variety of features, documentaries, shorts, and animation in competition programs, as well as many films in non-competition sections.
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.”
“Our 2019 RiverRun International Film Festival features a diverse collection of more than 170 films from nearly four dozen countries across the globe,” said RiverRun Executive Director Rob Davis. “Each of these films is reflective of our mission to engage our audiences in an exploration of new and divergent cultures and perspectives through the art of film.”
RiverRun will kick off Opening Night with two films on Thursday, April 4, both presented by PNC Bank. The first film is “Ode to Joy,” where Charlie (played by Martin Freeman) suffers from a narcolepsy-inducing affliction, especially if a situation is a joyful one. He develops a range of tricks to deny himself pleasure, but all of that is put to the test when he falls in love. Morena Baccarin and UNCSA alum Jake Lacy also star in this endearing comedy based on a radio story from “This American Life.”
The second opening night film is “This Changes Everything,” giving an inside look at the topic of gender disparity in Hollywood, featuring accounts from well-known actors, executives, and artists in the Industry including Sandra Oh, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett and many more.
“RiverRun believes in not only preserving the cinematic experience by bringing unique, independent films that would rarely be seen on the big screen to Winston-Salem, but even more, in highlighting diverse viewpoints to open lines of communication throughout our community,” said RiverRun Program Manager Mary Dossinger. “We believe in pushing boundaries, highlighting new cinematic forms and providing a platform for filmmakers to connect directly with their audiences and have important conversations about our world and the human experience.”
Included in the non-competition lineup this year is a six-film Spotlight: United Artists Centennial. Founded in 1919 by four of the most popular Hollywood figures of their time – Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith, their goal was to retain more creative control with their film projects. During the last century, United Artists has 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 12, RiverRun will screen a restored version of “Dr. No,” the first James Bond film, which set the standard for the franchise.
The Festival will close on April 14 with “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” presented by the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Late Night comedy writer Steve Young has stumbled upon some vintage records that opened the door to a hilarious, hidden world of entertainment. Bizarre cast recordings revealed full-throated, Broadway-style musical shows about some of the most recognizable corporations in America. David Letterman, Chita Rivera, and Martin Short offer insights, among others.
For more details about the films and to purchase tickets, please go to riverrunfilm.com.