RiverRun Film Festival comes to town

Audience at a film screening at a previous RiverRun Film Festival.

RiverRun Film Festival comes to town
March 28
09:00 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

With over 160 films being screened at the RiverRun International Film Festival, there will certainly be films many seniors will find entertaining. As a volunteer for several years, as well as a movie buff, I’m offering these tips to help you make plans to attend film screenings.

Details: Running April 4-14, RiverRun screens films at various venues including Aperture Arts House Cinema downtown, the UNC School of the Arts, SECCA and Hanesbrands Theatre. Tickets are $12 and matinee screenings are $6. There are also several free offerings.

Getting started:

Choose your films. Go to and click on the schedule to see the list of all the films by day and time. By clicking on the film, you will see a brief summary, along with a link to a trailer. Because there are so many films to choose from, I recommended you make a list of those that interest you and the days and times they are showing. If you’re like me, you will end up with a long list that you will need to narrow down.

Purchase tickets. The box office is located at the Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth Street. You can also purchase tickets online at, but there will be a $1.50 service fee. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue an hour before start time of the screening, if there are any tickets available. If a film is sold out, you can put your name on a wait list. If any empty seats remain, theatre staff will sell tickets, first come, first served, 15 minutes before the film begins.

Where to park. For Aperture Cinema downtown, it is recommended you park in nearby parking decks for daytime films. On-street parking on Fourth, Cherry and Marshall Streets is available at no charge after 6 p.m. There are a few designated handicapped on-street spots. For films at the School of the Arts, parking is at the Novant Health Facility at the Gateway Center Building, 1405 S. Broad Street. A shuttle will take you to the three screens located at the ACE Theatre Complex and pick you up afterward. Shuttles run about every 15-20 minutes.

Attending the screening. You must be in your seat at least 15 minutes before the movie begins. Any empty seats will be sold just prior to the movie beginning. Late seating is not allowed, so allow plenty of time to get to the venue. Some venues offer snacks and beverages. Aperture Cinema and Hanesbrand Theatre offer soft drinks, coffee, wine and beer, along with popcorn and candy at their concessions. The School of the Arts does not allow food or beverages in the screening rooms.

Talk-backs and Q&A. Many of the films will have a talk-back or Q&A following the screening. These are often conducted by directors or filmmakers and offer background information or interesting stories about the making of the film.

Here are a few of my picks:

* Care to Laugh – Jesus Trejo is relentless in his pursuit of stand-up stardom, while caring for his aging parents.

* While I Breathe, I Hope – Documentary film that explores what it means to be young, black and Democrat in America.

* One Last Deal – An elderly art dealer disconnected from his family is about to retire when an old painting by an unidentified artist catches his attention at auction.

* Don’t Get in Trouble with Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops Story – The film documents the story of three African-Americans from the hip-hop generation who found a mentor in an 87-year-old fiddler.

* Olympia – Olympia Dukakis lovingly captured as the actress travels back to Greece, shares stories and reflects on her extraordinary career.

* Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool – Stanley Nelson’s latest film uses archival photos and home movies shot by Miles and his colleagues to explore the man behind the music.

* This Changes Everything – An investigative look and analysis of gender disparity in Hollywood, featuring accounts from well-known actors, executives and artists.

* Dr. No – Special screening of the 1962 film that launched the longest continuing film franchise of James Bond.

* The Sunshine Boys – Special screening of the 1975 film starring George Burns and Walther Matthau, two legendary comedians reluctantly agree to reunite for a television special; however, they can’t stand each other.

People come from all over the country to attend RiverRun International Film Festival. It is an honor that Winston-Salem is home to this prestigious event. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this international film festival that is in our own backyard.

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