RiverRun announces 2018 film lineup

RiverRun announces 2018 film lineup
April 05
04:00 2018

The RiverRun International Film Festival has announced the full lineup of films for the 20th anniversary Festival, running April 19 – April 29.

“Our 2018 RiverRun International Film Festival features a diverse collection of over 160 films from more than 40 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 program manager, Mary Dossinger, said, “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. With over 2,000 films submitted this year, yet again a record number, Program Coordinator Christopher Holmes and I worked tirelessly to curate our Festival with films from a wealth of under-represented countries, individuals and stories you won’t see anywhere else. 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.”

RiverRun will kick off opening night with two films on Thursday, April 19. The first film is “American Animals,” an inventive and unique film that just happens to have been entirely shot in North Carolina.  The film, which is fresh off its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, follows the true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt to pull off one of the most audacious rare book heists in U.S. history.

The second opening night film is “Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me,” a documentary directed by Academy Award nominee Samuel D. Pollard and was produced in conjunction with the award winning PBS series American Masters.  The film features a star-studded roster of interviewees including Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Sidney Poitier and is a stunning tribute to the legendary, multi-talented song-and-dance man.

The Festival will close on April 29 with “Hearts Beat Loud,” the triumphant latest feature directed by UNCSA alum and frequent RiverRun guest Brett Haley (I’ll See You in My Dreams, The Hero). Featuring fantastic performances from Nick Offerman, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Blythe Danner and newcomer Kiersey Clemons, this feel-good, musical film follows a father and daughter who form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college. 

In between, the Festival will feature a wide variety of features, documentaries, shorts and animation in competition programs, as well as many films in non-competition sections.

The following films are ones that may be of great interest to African-American audiences. 


Director: Sean Menard


 In his latest documentary, Sean Menard gives viewers an unprecedented look at UNC legend Vince Carter: the six-foot-six, eight-time NBA All-Star from Daytona Beach who made waves in the Canadian basketball scene when he joined the Raptors in 1998.


Director: Kate Novack


 From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley’s life and career are on full display in a poignant portrait that includes appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik.


Director: Lenny Feinberg


Father Divine was called an ingenious entrepreneur, a civil rights leader, a con man, and a fraud. His followers called him God. His religious movement once claimed to have millions of followers, now only a few remain, living as an interracial family on an estate outside of Philadelphia, struggling to keep his legacy alive.

Go to for more films relating to African-Americans. Go to for a more extensive lineup of films during the RiverRun festival.

RiverRun’s popular Ticket Samplers, redeemable for 10 film tickets for the price of nine, are now on sale at the Stevens Center Box Office. For more information about the many benefits of becoming a RiverRun member, visit Get tickets at the Stevens Center Box Office, via or over the phone at (336)-721-1945. Tickets for RiverRun at RED Cinemas screenings are available through the RiverRun Cinemas box office at 1305 Battleground Avenue in Greensboro or online at

The RiverRun International Film Festival is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the role of cinema as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Founded in 1998, RiverRun is a competitive event that annually showcases new films from both established and emerging filmmakers around the world.

Each spring, RiverRun screens new narrative, documentary, short, student and animated films, offering both audience and jury prizes in competition categories.

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