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T-Shirts For 2015 James River Film Festival Now Available!



The James River Film Society Concession Stand, our new e-commerce site, is now live! Head on over to to check it out.

We have T-shirts from this year’s festival in five sizes (Adult XL/Lg/Med/Sm and Child Lg). This year’s festival was one of the most successful ever with Ralph Bakshi as the highlighted director, and T-shirts to commemorate the event will be highly sought after in years to come! So grab yours!

If you have any questions about the e-commerce site’s operation or about your order, please email

22nd James River Film Festival: Program Guide




NOTE: Each event has its own individual blog post, in reverse chronological order.

Click the link below for a PDF of the Program Guide:

22nd Annual James River Film Festival Program Guide

2014 James River Short Film Award Winners

First place $750:  Optimist, Pessimist, Solisist Will Bryan (VA)
Second place $500:  What Heavenly Body? John Hager (VA)
Third place $350:  The Rubric Timestamped  Luke Szabados (OH)
Honorable mention $200:  In the Dark  Michael Buchbauer (CA)
Honorable mention $200:  Dangerous Christina O’Connell (VA)
Kathryn Stephens VA Filmmaker Award:  Eyes/ Desires Joshua Thorud (VA)
Peoples’ Choice Award (by ballot):  Dangerous Christina O’Connell

Modern Dance Meets Experimental Film at the Next James River Filmmaker’s Forum!

• Saturday, November 8, 2014, 8 pm
• Visual Arts Center of Richmond
• 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
• Admission: $4.00


At the next James River Filmmakers Forum, Atlanta based Dancer/choreographer Jennifer Tarazzi-Scully will be debuting her Dance film Wallpapers.  Its a collaboration with forum host and James River Film Society VP Jeff Roll.  Tarazzi-Scully and Roll met while attending the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in 1994.  She went on to perform and teach all across the country and starred in Michael Pope’s post apocalyptic experimental feature film Neovoxer. 


Neovoxer (1999) Jennifer Tarazzi-Scully on the far left.

Jeff was speaking to friends about making a modern dance related experimental film.  He had talked to several dancers around the Richmond area but nothing really panned out.  In the back of his head he knew there was only one person he wanted to collaborate with on this project and that was Tarazzi-Scully.  Then two years ago his wishes were answered when the long lost college friend messaged him on Linked In.  She was open for the opportunity.  Plans were set.

Tarrazi-Scully had a few things to comment about about her work with Roll on Wallpapers.

“I have to say that I owe him a mountain of gratitude and can blame him for my most recent renaissance of work and creativity. My background is in dance, choreography and live performance with a bit of experience on the big screen.  Years after we first met we found each other again on FaceBook during a time where I was struggling with a lot of big life stuff.  He single handedly pulled me out of a hole by sending me really thought provoking and beautiful dance films at which point we decided to work together again.  For us, all it took was finding a date to connect and shoot and he was able to give me the freedom to do my part and figure out the logistics of putting dancers and some choreography together.  The project just unfolded from there.”

In addition she said:

“It has been truly refreshing to work with someone where there is a mutual respect for the others medium.  I believe with this collaboration, “Wallpapers” we both end up with a piece of art neither one of us could have fully envisioned at the beginning of the process.”


Dee Dee Chmielewski performing in Wallpapers 

Also screening at the James River Filmmaker’s Forum are Lauren Cronan, Marta Finkelstein, Nils Westergard and the debut of the long awaited documentary Richmond’s Dead and Buried by Christine Stoddard.  Stoddard will also be promoting the book that accompanies the documentary.  Special Musical Guest Nerve Leak (featuring members of Floodwall). $4.00 admission.

The James River Filmmaker’s Forum starts at 8PM, Saturday, November 8th at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond at 1812 West Main Street, Richmond, VA.




By Leonard Hesson, James River Film Society.

2014 James River Short Films Poster

Click on the image for an enlarged version.


2014 James River Short Films—Call For Entries!




Co-sponsored by the VIRGINIA FILM OFFICE

DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 (postmarked)

$2,000 IN PRIZES!



James River Shorts is a mini-festival devoted to the short. The centerpiece is a juried competition for short films (30 minutes or less) from around the globe that best embody what the James River Film Society and James River Film Festival are all about – the art of film and film as art. It’s also the James River Film Festival’s little sibling. Even a snapshot of the guests from the past 20 years of the JRFF –Michael Almereyda, Caroline Martel, Tom Davenport, David Gatten, Ross McElwee, Jodie Mack, Peggy Ahwesh, Jem Cohen, Bruce Bickford, Richard Kelly, Chuck Statler, Karen Aqua, Joanna Priestley, Richard Myers, Pere Ubu, Martha Colburn, Mel Stuart, The Brothers Quay, Jonas Mekas, Les Blank, Ray Harryhausen, Tom Verlaine, Charles Burnett, Albert Maysles, John Columbus, Stan Brakhage, Scott MacDonald, and William Wegman – shows that we have a broad concept of the art of film and film as art. Therefore, we encourage all types of short films – fiction, nonfiction, animation, experimental and more. We define short, you define art.


James River Shorts is designed to celebrate the art of film regardless of category or genre, yet films made for educational or industrial purposes are not relevant to our mission. Maximum running time is 30 min.


For pre-screening purposes, send DVDs or URLs for online content. Please do not send film prints for pre-screening. During the festival works can be screened on Quicktime, Blu-ray or standard DVD.


Please do not send promotional materials (posters, stills, postcards, etc.) at this time.


Virginia Residents: $15, Non-Virginia Residents: $25

Checks or money orders made payable to James River Film Society should be mailed to James River Film Society, P.O. Box 7469, Richmond, VA 23221.

To pay with credit card, click on Network for Good located under Give Now on all JRFS pages. Please type “James River Shorts” as the “gift” Designation.


Please do not use fiber-filled envelopes. International entries must be marked “For Cultural Purposes Only — No Commercial Value.” The festival will not pay for import duty or taxes. All entries should be sent to James River Shorts, P.O. Box 7469, Richmond, VA 23221. If shipping with courier services that will not deliver to post office boxes, send to James River Film Society @ Visual Arts Center, 1812 W. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23220. Each entry must be accompanied by check or electronic payment ($25 out-of-state; $15 VA residents) payable to: James River Film Society


Our festival is designed to have no regard for traditional categories like fiction, nonfiction, animation or experimental. For the festival we will select the films that we feel best represent the art of film and film as art, regardless of type or category.


Those entrants who become finalists for the Awards screening November 7th will be notified by October 20, 2014. A jury of area filmmakers and film educators will pre-screen and select the finalists, whose work will be featured in the Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:30 pm James River Shorts Awards Screening at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Leslie Cheek Theatre. A special guest filmmaker/film curator (TBA) will make final all designations of cash awards.


Cash awards totaling $2,000 will be given for first, second, third places, and the Kathryn Stephens Virginia Filmmaker Award will be presented to best film by a Virginia filmmaker. The audience will also vote for the People’s Choice Award.


DVD screeners will not be returned.


Film Title
Country of Origin
Running Time
Date Completed
Production Format
Pre-Screening Format
Web Entry URL
Web Entry Access Info
Screening Format
Full Address
Entry Fee
Please write a short blurb, to include film title, a brief synopsis, filmmaker’s biography and a screening history of the work. Stills and promotional materials may be requested after programming decisions are made.
Acceptance of Regulations
I hereby certify that I am the rightful owner of the work described below, and own all rights and releases necessary for public screening. By submitting this entry, I agree that James River Shorts Festival may publicly screen my work as well as use stills and descriptive material in the official program and any other publicity efforts. James River Shorts is not responsible for any costs or expenses arising out of any such use by the festival, nor is James River Shorts responsible for loss or damage to entry or screening materials in transit. I agree to provide a finished copy in the format indicated above no later than two weeks prior to the festival.

21st James River Film Festival: Program Guide


Clink link below for PDF of Program Guide


The Filmmaker’s Presence Extends into the Viewing Experience

Here is a blog by filmmaker Michael Maglaras who will present the Virginia premiere of The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show for JRFF at VMFA Friday evening, April 11, 2014, 6:30 pm.  JRFS endorses the reflectivity Mr. Maglaras has on the whole experience of cinema.  Not just the object itself is important to him but the presentation is something he is most sensitive to.

21st James River Film Festival Schedule, April 10-13, 2014


Studio 23 Film Series and James River Film Society present a Pre-festival screening! Surrealistic Silent Shorts

• 1906-23, 105 mins.

• Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7:30 pm, Studio 23, 1617 W Main St, Venue change: Black Iris Gallery, 321 W Broad St Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-620-7321

• Admission FREE

A selection of silent comic shorts 1906-1923.  Kinetic, chaotic, primitive, physical—America’s gift to comedy and the kind of stuff the Surrealists loved!  On 16mm with the sound of humming projectors.


Studio 23 Film Series and James River Film Society present a Pre-festival screening! Orpheus

• Cocteau, ’50, 94 mins., French w/ subtitles

• Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 7:30 pm, Studio 23, 1617 W Main St, Venue change: Black Iris Gallery, 321 W Broad St Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-620-7321

• Admission FREE

Perhaps playwright/filmmaker Jean Cocteau’s finest film achievement, an updated version of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth set in post-WWII Paris.  When popular poet Orpheus (Jean Marais) suffers writer’s block, he falls under the spell of mysterious radio messages and a seductive agent  from the underworld, and then must enter the Zone to retrieve his beloved Eurydice. The Surrealists cited their debt to Cocteau, and he was further revered by many for his lovely version of Beauty and the Beast (’46). On 16 mm projected film—old school!



• Thursday, April 10, 2014, 5:30 pm-7 pm,  Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-353-0094

• Admission FREE

Film is a social experience too!  Meet other independent-minded film lovers, volunteers, and guests.  Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with two free screenings…

Screening: Looking for the Lost Skyscraper (Jones, Jordan, 1999, 27 mins.) 6:00 pm

Middle Neck VA folk artist/collector/dealer “Ringo” Tate built a 60 ft. tower of what his neighbors referred to as “junk”. The tower’s design had evolved from a “conflict of ideas” according to Tate, and its base housed the Tate Art Gallery, where he sold his art and collectibles.  A film by Ken Jordan and Michael Jones.

Screening:  Song of the Cicadas (Robinson, 2013, 24 mins.) 7:00 pm

Filmmaker/photographer Richard Knox Robinson (The Beekeepers, Rothstein’s First Assignment) screens his latest, based on David Rothenberg’s Bug Music (St. Martin’s Press 2013). Song of the Cicadas explores the metaphors evoked by the underground cycle of the Magicicada and the incarceration of American political prisoner Timothy Blunk, a life also hidden from our view.  Using chance, silence, politics and the cicada’s song, Robinson reveals that part of the essential nature of documentary is surveillance.

Tribute to Les Blank: The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins

• ’69, 28 mins.

Burden of Dreams 

• ’82, 95 mins.

• Thursday, April 10, 2014, 8 pm,  Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-353-0094

• Admission $5

Two films by the late great American documentarian Les Blank—a James River FilmFestival guest in 2001.Each offers us a glimpse into the lives of two subjects living their art—blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins, and German New Cinema director Werner Herzog.  Blank was one of the great ‘60s documentarians who freed the rhetorical form and he made a practice of filming obscure pockets of culture—garlic, chili and gumbo lovers, polka, jazz and Appalachian fiddle music.  His compassionate camera for all things human will be hard to replace.  Blank’s Bluescaptures guitarist Hopkins with friends in his Texas hometown,  Burdenfinds Herzog in a Peruvian jungle, facing endless problems filming Fitzcarraldo (’83). The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’Hopkins  has been chosen by the Library of Congress as an essential piece of America’s film legacy.  SF Chronicle: Burden of Dreams is an extraordinary portrait of a filmmaker in the grips of an artistic passion that knows no bounds.”


 INDEPENDENT CLASSIC: Salt of the Earth 

• dir: Biberman, ’54, 85 mins.

• Friday, April 11, Noon, Richmond Public Library, Main Branch, 101 E Franklin St, Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-646-4256

• Admission FREE

An independent classic made by blacklisted Hollywooders at the height of the Red scare—once banned,  but now assessed as ahead of its time for its portrayal of labor, racial and women’s issues.  Based on a strike at a zinc mine in New Mexico, the production hired the real-life miners as actors and told their story with a realism Hollywood couldn’t duplicate.  Designated by the Library of Congress as one of America’s great film achievements.

The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show 

• dir: Maglaras, 2013, 90 mins.

• Friday, April 11, 2014, 6:30 pm, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Leslie Cheek Theatre, 200 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220, 804-340-1405 

• Admission $8/ VMFA,  JRFS members $5 or

With guest director  Michael Maglaras and guest producer Terri Templeton.  In 1913 thousands of Americans poured through the doors of the unassuming 69th Regiment Armory in search of all the hubbub.  Few realized they’d entered the Modern Era of art.  Exposure to works by Europeans Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh and Duchamp (who’d submitted his “Nude Descending a Staircase”) and Americans Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Charles Sheeler would illuminate and baffle, changing the way they saw the world, and how they perceived themselves in it..  A behind-the-scenes look at how this seminal show came about and the footprint it left;  with over 60 artworks. A Virginia premiere!

Midnight Frights presents The Undertaker and His Pals 

• dir: Swicegood, 1966, 75 mins.

• Friday, April 11, 2014, Midnight, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5

Eric Miller and Will Towles, those ghastly producers from WCVE-TV, screen another campy monster movie! This time it’s in Richmond’s only documented haunted movie theatre…our beloved Byrd. Filmed in blood-curdling color, The Undertaker… is a British-take on Sweeney Todd and stars Ray Dannis and the great Marty Friedman. Production of the public-TV Ch. 23 series dates to 2012, and has employed the local talents of Joey Tran, Shawn Hambright, Dan Nelson and Armistead Spotswood, with shooting at the Byrd and Poe Museum. Special guests TBA!



• dir: Gibrall, 2013, 76 mins.

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:30 am, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5

With guest director Michael Gibrall and members of the cast.

Richmonder and Emmy-award winning producer Michael Gibrall screens his new feature—a charming and sometimes goofy romantic comedy which succeeds by virtue of its classic screwy plot premise, some surprising acting in the lead roles, and its story-book ending.  As in all good screwballs, audience expectations are inverted, but love triumphs (or takes its chances!) anyway. Available has been screened at numerous U.S. festivals, garnered awards for best romantic feature and screenplay and stars Alexa Yeames and Gordon Palagi in the lead roles of Anka and Ralph—creating believable on-screen chemistry in this wry little fable.

William Eggleston in the Real World 

• dir: Almereyda, 2005, 84 mins.

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:30 am, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Leslie Cheek Theatre, 200 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220, 804-340-1405 

• Admission $8/ VMFA, JRFS members $5 

With guest director Michael Almereyda  (co-sponsored by Department of Photography and Film, VCU)

Festival guest Michael Almereyda screens a strikingly intimate and engaging portrait of American photographer William Eggleston.  Considered one of the most important color photographers, the Memphis-based Eggleston tends to capture the mundane and the non-photogenic—garage interiors, suburban inhabitants, empty landscapes—in his on-going “war with the obvious”.  His 1976 show at MOMA was championed by curator John Szarkowski, but encountered the wrath of photographer icon Ansel Adams. One vengeful critic called it “the most hated show of the year.”  Yet Eggleston not only persevered but has been astoundingly productive—“taking one picture of one picture” at a time.  The NY Times  called the film:  “Fascinating…speaks for itself in roughly the same mysterious way an Eggleston photograph does.”

2 x Davenport: Ashpet & Where Do They All Go? 

• 1990/ 2013, approx. 45 mins. each

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 12:30 pm, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5 

With guest filmmaker Tom Davenport

Virginia filmmaker and festival guest Tom Davenport has been making fiction and nonfiction since the ‘70s, and will screen a title of each from his extensive filmography.  First, his award-winning Ashpet, which reposits Cinderella, the world’s most popular folk-tale, in Tennessee during WWII.

Although Ashpet is a servant, she’s beautiful, resourceful and deserving of happiness—which she finds at the local Victory Dance.  Followed by the recent Where Do They All Go? which chronicles the life and work of Upperville, VA native Jerry Payne, who as a teenager asked, “Animals die all the time. Where do they all go?” A high school classmate of the filmmaker,  Payne would later become a world famous entomologist and forensic science pioneer.


• dir: Almereyda, 2000, 107 mins.

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 3 pm, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5

With director Michael Almereyda (co-sponsored by Department of Photography and Film, VCU)

Festival guest Michael Almereyda  screens his adaptation of  Hamlet— contemporarily set and scored, structurally abridged to fit the post-modern expectation—starring Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Liev Schrieber, Julia Stiles, Sam Shepard.  The director brings an experimental touch to Shakespeare’s tale of madness, mayhem and revenge by transposing Denmark’s spiritual wasteland to the sleek dens of corporate elitism. The cool-toned cinematography is remarkable as are the performances of Stiles, Schrieber and Hawkes.  Especially memorable is Hamlet’s everyman soliloquy delivered as he peruses the shelves of a video store—putting us in the aisles, if not the shoes, of familiarity.  An art-house favorite released by indie studio Miramax;   Rollingstone called it, “A knockout!  You will be dazzled!”

SATURDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE! w/ guests Caroline Martel and Michael Almereyda

Phantom of the Operator  

• 2004, 66 mins.

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 7:30 pm, VCU Grace St Theatre, 934 W Grace St, Richmond, Va 23220, 804-828-2020

• Admission  $5

Festival guest & VCU Department of Photography & Film artist-in-residence Caroline Martel screens her social history of the telephone operator—those anonymous voices behind the rise of the telecommunications industry.  Finding no “verite” footage of the era, she re-constructs their story via montage—using industrial, training and promotional clips from a time when Ma Bell worried if there were enough girls out there to (wo)man their switchboards as they expanded operations.

Short Works by Michael Almereyda 

• approx. 90 mins.

• Saturday, April 12, 2014, 9 pm, VCU Grace St Theatre, 934 W Grace St, Richmond, Va 23220, 804-828-2020

• Admission $5

Short, experimental works by guest filmmaker Michael Almereyda including Skinningrove, The Man Who Came Out Only at Night and Another Girl, Another Planet.

Co-sponsored by Department of Photography and Film and Department of Art History,VCU


Wavemakers (following the Legacy of the Ondes Martenot) 

• dir: Martel, 2012, 96 mins.

• Sunday, April 13, 2014, 1:30 pm, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5

w/ filmmaker Caroline Martel

Want to know the Kevin Bacon connection fromEdith Piaf to Radiohead?  Two words: the Ondes Martenot. Never heard of it?  If  you’ve seen Lawrence of Arabia you heard it in the musical score.  Guest Caroline Martel screens her documentary on the history of this relatively unkown but incredibly influential electronic musical instrument of the 1920s and beyond.  Travelling between the Old and New Worlds, Martel interviews and investigates martenot connoiseurs—musicians, composers, instrument makers—who are unique in their devotion and love for this sensitive, electronic “missing link” in musical instrument history.

As I Lay Dying 

• dir: Franco, 2013, 107 mins.

• Sunday, April 13, 2014, 3:30 pm, Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23221, 804-353-9911

• Admission $5

w/actor Coby Batty

Overlooked as one of the finer releases of the year, actor/director James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner employs split-screen and direct address to capture the novel’s multi-perspective,  Mississippi locations and fine acting to capture its voice.  Furious and imperfect,  As I Lay Dying exhibits some of the raw stubborness of its characters, and independent cinema in general, in its uncompromising narrative approach.  Actor Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou?) shines as the head of the Bundren clan, on a cursed odyssey to bury his wife in a family plot, but there are fine performances all around—Richmond actor/musician Coby Batty, who plays farmer Gillespie, will be present for a Q & A regarding the film’s production.  NY Times:  “Mr. Franco has accomplished something serious and worthwhile, (his film) is certainly ambitious, but it is also admirably modest.”


• dir: Rogosin, ’59, 95 mins.

• Sunday, April 13, 2014, 6 pm,  Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-353-0094

• Admission $5

(restored by Milestone Film and Video)

“A heroic film…a film of terrible beauty.”—Martin Scorsese.  One of the few films to emerge from sub-Saharan Africa at that time,  American independent director Lionel Rogosin’s (On the Bowery) docufiction is a searing look at life under apartheid. Secretly filmed in Johannesburg and Gauteng, South Africa, it follows the plight of Zachariah, a Zulu who seeks better paying work in the gold mines, but is denied because of the restrictive “pass laws”. As he and his wife sink further, we feel first their anger and finally, their hopelessness.  Jonas Mekas (JRFF guest in 2002) described Rogosin’s film as: “The sound of the beating of the consciousness of a waking Africa”.

As the Palaces Burn! 

• dir: Argott, 2014, 120 mins.

• Sunday, April 13, 2014, 8 pm,  Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va, 23220, 804-353-0094

• Admission $5

What begins as a 2012 concert tour document of RVA-based metal-men Lamb of God takes aweird turn when singer Randy Blythe is arrested for manslaughter in the Czech Republic. The charge dates from a 2010 gig when a fan fell from the stage, and the outcome of the case can determine the band’s future. Suddenly Argott’s film finds its heart and essential story-line as it follows Blythe’s subsequent legal difficulties and his courageous decision to return to Czech for trial.

21st JRFF Poster by Michael Clautice

21st James River Film Festival Poster

21st James River Film Festival Poster


21st James River Film Festival, Thursday, April 10th – Sunday, 13th, 2014

The 21st James River Film Festival, Virginia’s film festival for the independent-minded, will unspool April 10-13, 2014 at various Richmond locations including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Byrd Theatre, Visual Arts Center, VCU’s Grace St. Theatre, Richmond’s Main Public Library, and Studio 23, which will host two pre-festival screenings on April 8 and April 9.   Since 1994 the James River Film Festival has sponsored over 125 guest filmmakers, historians and critics, and unveiled over 400 screenings, seminars and workshops, many free to the public.   The festival is presented annually by the James River Film Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the independent moving image media in Central Virginia.  Below are several highlights from this year’s lineup–a complete 2014 schedule will be posted shortly. Thanks for your interest and continued support!

2013 James River Shorts Finalists Winners

• 1st Place:

Anna Walks In – Patrick Jenkins, $400 / Kathryn Stephens, VA Filmmaker Award

Daybreak (L’aube) – George Ungar, $400

Puppy Dreams – Alex Delyle, $400

 • 2nd Place:

Nitro – Kate Fowler, $300

 • 3rd Place:

Return to the World of Dance – Boord, Marloff, Valdovino, $300

 • Honorable Mentions:

Take Me Home – PJ Norton, $100 / People’s Choice Winner

Dwell, Dig, Shake – Connor Burke, $100

Steak – Tommy Bell, $100

 • Awards Judge:  

• Filmmaker Dave Ellsworth

 • Jurors:  

• Caryl Burtner, Jim Collier, Jere Kittle  and Ted Salins


Advance tickets for sale!

Get ’em early! Advance tickets are available for all 20th James River Film Festival events. Some are free or donation events. Advance tickets for the VMFA programs are available only through the VMFA (link provided). Visit our Tickets page for all the details.

20th JRFF poster by Michael Clautice

20th James River Film Festival announces guests!

The James River Film Society is pleased to announce the guests for the 20th James River Film Festival, April 11-17, 2013:

Author, Educator and Comics Expert Tom De Haven will present a program of Fleischer Superman cartoons.

Experimental Filmmaker and Educator David Gatten will present his Secret History of the Dividing Line, a True Account in Nine Parts (1999-present), a film cycle that takes as its main character Richmond founder William Byrd II, plus a second program of experimental shorts.

Gwar/Slave Pit Productions will present a program of Gwar videos.

Documentary Filmmaker Kevin McNeer (a past JRFF guest and native Richmonder now living in Moscow) will present his doc-in-progress on Stanislav Sokolov’s Hoffmaniada, a stop motion-animated feature film based on the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann from Russian studio Soyuzmultfilm. Concept and art design by Mikhail Shemyakin; directed by Stanislav Sokolov. The 78-minute film has been in the making since 2001; 20 minutes has been completed and will be screened along with McNeer’s doc-in-progress and a selection of Sokolov’s animated shorts.

Documentary Filmmaker, Photographer and Installation Artist Kendall Messick will present his film and book The Projectionist, which documents the life and passion project of a retired movie projectionist, Gordon Brinckle (1915 – 2007). Brinckle’s life work is the Shalamar, a grand mini-movie palace (theater) that he built in fastidious detail in the basement of his home.

Experimental Filmmaker and Emeritus Professor Richard Myers (a past JRFF guest) will present his avant-classics: 37-73, Akran and Deathstyles.

Stop-Motion Animation Director Stanislav Sokolov (from Moscow) will bring his stop-motion animated feature-in-progress Hoffmaniada, plus a selection of his animated shorts and a suitcase full of puppets! (paired with Kevin McNeer’s doc-in-progress on the making of Hoffmaniada).

Filmmaker and Educator David Williams (Richmond’s very own!) will present his Sundance winning film, Lillian (one of Roger Ebert’s favorite films).

Plus, we will round out the festival with classics, including John Huston’s FAT CITY on 35mm and restored DCP (digital cinema package) versions of Harold Lloyd’s SAFETY LAST and Stanley Kubrick’s DR. STRANGELOVE!

Coming soon: a complete program with dates, times, locations, film notes, and bios on the guests.

Stay tuned!