2014 Spark Award honorees Sophie Desmarais and Tyler James Williams

2014 Emerging Master Award honorees Debra Granik (L) and Melanie Lynskey (R)

2014 Narrative Features jurors Mike D'Angelo, Andrea Arnold and Barry Jenkins

Bill Pullman at Down Home Supper

Ron Livingston attends a screening of his film Queens of Country at RiverRun 2012

Down Home Supper at Old Salem


The RiverRun International Film Festival is a regional event based in Winston-Salem, NC and is one of the premier film festivals in the southeastern United States. The 17th annual RiverRun will be held April 16-26, 2015.  In 2014, RiverRun earned distinction as an Academy Awards ® qualifying festival in both the Documentary Short and Animated Short sections.

Founded in 1998, RiverRun was inspired by the French Broad River near Brevard, North Carolina, where the festival was originally held. Each year since its inception, RiverRun has grown substantially. For the 2014 Festival, more than 16,000 tickets were issued to the 140+ films from 30+ countries that were shown. Increasingly, RiverRun has been able to present high-profile, critically-acclaimed films to its passionate audiences. Some of the Festival’s landmark films from the past few years include: MudWin Win, Meek's Cutoff, Wuthering Heights, Mao’s Last Dancer, 500 Days of Summer, Paris, je T'aime and The Notebook. The Festival has also showcased an eclectic mix of substantial Documentary Features over the years, including Chasing Ice, Twenty Feet From StardomFood, Inc., Chimpanzee, Up the Yangtze, Manufactured Landscapes and Last Train Home. In addition, the Festival regularly presents filmmakers or performers with special awards for overall artistic achievement. Recent recipients of RiverRun’s Master of Cinema Award, a career award recognizing an outstanding body of work, include Kartemquin Films (2014), Peter Bogdanovich (2010), Bill Pullman (2008), Pam Grier (2008), Ned Beatty (2006) and Cliff Robertson (2005). Recent recipients of RiverRun's Emerging Master Award, recognizing exciting and visionary new talents in cinema, include Melanie Lynskey (2014), Debra Granik (2014), Jeff Nichols (2013), Paul Schneider (2012), Michael Shannon (2011), David Gordon Green (2010), and Ramin Bahrani (2009).  Other notable special guests have also included Andie MacDowell, Sissy Spacek, Will Patton, Colin Hanks and Rosemary Harris.

During the run of the Festival, RiverRun creates an inspired environment in downtown Winston-Salem featuring a dynamic combination of talent, film-loving audiences and industry heavyweights. A hotbed of discovery and interactivity, this cultural event offers screenings of yet-to-be released films, opportunities to interact with artists and immersion into the art and business of the independent film world.

RiverRun is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the role of cinema as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Our mission is to foster a greater appreciation of cinema and a deeper understanding of the many people, cultures and perspectives of our world through regular interaction with great films and filmmakers.  In addition to the Festival’s annual line-up of 120+ films, RiverRun also presents a broad range of special events, celebrity tributes, family programs, panel discussions and parties.


Free ITVS Screening: American Denial

American Denial, RiverRun's Films With Class ITVS screening, delves into what 1944 Nobel Laureate Gunnar Myrdal called An American Dilemma: How could America’s belief in liberty and equality also enable the Jim Crow segregation? This documentary focuses its attention on deep-seated prejudices that could be considered systemic and institutional, even in a country many may consider to be a post-racial democracy.

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