Community runs to RiverRun

Kimia Ashraf, Staff Writer

RiverRun International Film Festival is an annual event held locally and celebrated by many within our community and beyond. The festival definitely lives up to its positive reputation, as it is considered one of the ten “amazing film festivals worth traveling for” by USA Today and will be celebrating its 21 year  this Spring. RiverRun is also one of the fastest-growing regional film festivals in the country, and a premier film festival in the Southeast. RiverRun has a vast audience of attendees from all over the country and world? ,as the festival has gained immense recognition nationally and internationally.

“It seems to be different from other types of festivals around Winston or any other movie-related events,” senior Nancy Walker White said. “RiverRun is very unique to the Forsyth county community.”

Even those who have not experienced the event first-hand know and have heard about the festival before. It is popular among families with young kids as well as college students and adults of all ages.

RiverRun is also popular in the Reynolds community. Karen Morris, the Arts Magnet Director here at Reynolds, is a regular attendee and fan of the event. Morris not only has personal experience working directly with RiverRun, but also enjoys keeping up to date with the movies with her family as and with students at Reynolds.

“I love the film festival!” Morris said. “I have worked as a volunteer, attended screenings with students, and attended on my own. There are parties, chances to learn from filmmakers and subjects of films and  opportunities to see wonderful films from around the world!”

Volunteers in our community also appreciate all that RiverRun has to offer.

“I started volunteering and attending when my son was in seventh grade and was interested in film. We worked together, had shifts working the gift shop, as ticket takers, and as parking helpers,” Morris said, “The last few years, though, I attended and did not volunteer. The great thing about volunteering is that you get a pass to see a film and have a chance to interact with people from all over the world. I miss it!”

Morris also enjoys taking students to see the films, as they organize talk backs after the screenings and hold classes based around what they had seen.

RiverRun screens over 150 feature-length and short films from all genres. They also present special events like high-profile regional premieres, celebrity tributes, family matinees, classic retrospectives, and a mixture of of panel discussions and parties and they showcase a selection of narrative, documentary, student, animated, and short films.

The 11-day festival will be held from April 4 to 14 this year with $12 tickets, and is likely to continue to draw in many from North Carolina and beyond, showing  films ranging from short student films produced locally, to world renowned international cinematography.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons