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Special Thanks to…

The James River Film Society would like to thank the following people for their time and contributions to the 23rd Annual James River Film Festival.


The Official Poster for the 2016 James River Film Festival

Programming starts April 1st and 2nd, then continues April 7th – 10th.  Scroll down through this website for details on programming and links for advance tickets to select programs. 

JRFF FINAL poster 2016


James River Film Festival presents Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay with short documentaries by DJ Mont Sherar

• Sunday, April 10th, 2016, 9PM
• The Visual Arts Center Dominion Room
1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00 / Cash Bar



(dir: Amelie Revelac, Travis Collins, 73 min., 2015)

The first documentary to spotlight the hardcore industrial noise bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s—Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, D.A.F..—and their collaborations with European filmmakers of the era like Derek Jarman, Peter Carre and Eckhart Schmidt.

Industrial music of that time was avant-garde, abrasive and featured a pulsating percussion, rejecting the romantic angst of punk for a grimness of seeming monotony.

The filmmakers prod/shot/edit/distributed the film on their own, and it has a punchlist of impressive interviews and rare performances.


PLUS!   Sex WAX n Rock n Roll (Shorts by DJ Mont Sherar, TRT 55 mins, c. 1980s-90s)

Legendary DJ Mont Sherar was a prime shaker of post-punk dancefloor vinyl at some iconic clubs during the entire decade of the ‘80s, including Miami’s Kitchen Club. The two shorts feature drummer Big Paul Ferguson of Killing Joke, and a Skinny Puppy/ Killing Joke event at Kitchen Club in 1989 . He now resides in Denmark , runs Montster Film Werks and writes books.

Advance tickets available HERE.

The James River Film Festival presents a DOUBLE FEATURE “Film” w/ Buster Keaton and Steven Wright’s “One Soldier”

• Sunday, April 10th, 2016, 7:30PM
• The Visual Arts Center Dominion Room
1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $5.00 / Cash Bar



FILM (dir: Alan Schneider, scr: Samuel Beckett, w/Buster Keaton, 22 min., 1964)

A cinematic curio that united author/playwright Samuel Beckett (Endgame, Waiting for Godot) with aging silent comedy star Buster Keaton, a nameless protagonist who spends his time ambling about NY in a reflexive exercise on “seeing and being seen”. The result was mixed, according to director and writer, yet was one of Keaton’s last films, and the reason for Beckett’s sole trip to the U.S.


ONE SOLDIER (dir/scr: Steven Wright, 28 min., 1999)

Comedian Steven Wright has won an Oscar and an Emmy, and his wry humor and dead- pan reflections on life and death follow a soldier (played by Wright) returning North from the Civil War. Beautifully photographed, it’s Wright’s comedy with a touch of Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, and Fellini. D.P. Mark Wuerthner is an ex-VCU student.

The James River Film Festival with Movie Club/ Video Fan present The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie

• Sunday, April 10th, 2016, 4:30PM
• The Byrd Theatre
2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00



(dir: Nicholas Roeg, 138 min., 1976) on 35 mm film!

One of Bowie’s first acting forays was a kind of Ziggy Stardust role in this moody sci-fi/ psychological parable by director Roeg (Performance, Walkabout). When Bowie’s alien innocent crashes in the desert, he becomes embroiled in the dark machinations of human experience—greed, vice and love. An instant midnight cult favorite on its release, with Rip Torn and Candy Clark. Screened in its original format—widescreen 35 mm!

Advance tickets available HERE !

The James River Film Festival and Movie Club / Video Fan present Heavy Metal Parking Lot

• Sunday, April 10th, 2016, 3PM
• The Byrd Theatre
2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00



(dir: John Heyn, Jeff Krulik, 17 mins., 1986) 30th Anniversary!!!

w/guest director John Heyn & HMPL subject/author Jalyn Graham Owens

“Basically its rock & roll 101”–Dave Grohl

Who knew a film about a bunch of metal fans waiting for a Judas Priest concert in 1986 at Landover, Maryland’s Cap Center would become a cult phenomenon? HMPL is the genuine article, an American original, a verite time-capsule of the ‘80s, and presented here with Heavy Metal Alumni and other outakes from the Krulik-Heyn archive, inc-luding a preview of the upcoming Led Zeppelin Played Here. Also, guest and HMPL subject, Jalyn Graham Owens (he’s “Gram” in the movie), has a new book, Graham: The First 20, documenting, and coming to grips with, his turbulent first twenty years, and will do a signing in the Byrd lobby. TRT: 70 min.

Advance tickets available HERE !

The James River Film Festival presents Destination Planet Negro w/ director / writer Kevin Willmott

• Sunday, April 10th, 2016, 1PM
• The Byrd Theatre
2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00


Director Willmott scripted Spike Lee’s latest, Chi-Raq, and delivers here with a smart satire that sports a wicked sense of humor! Done in the spirit of a 1950’s low budget sci-fi, Destination Planet Negro invokes African-American icons W.E.B. DuBois and George Washington Carver, who, in an attempt to “solve the Negro problem” take a rocket ship to Mars, but because of a time-warp land in a present-day Midwest metropolis. With Kevin Willmott, Daniele Cooper, Tosin Morohunfola. “A truly charming film that makes some real and honest observations about the attitudes of Black Americans today” Indiewire. Q & A with guest director Kevin Willmott after the show.

Advance ticket available HERE !

The James River Film Festival presents Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog

• Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 9:30PM
• The Grace Street Theatre
934 W Grace St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00


HEART OF A DOG (dir: Laurie Anderson, 75 min., 2015)

Renowned multi-media artist and performer Laurie Anderson reflects on life, love, art and her relationship with her pet terrier. She palled around with William Burroughs, had a hit record with Home of the Brave, became the darling of the avant-garde and married rocker Lou Reed. In Heart of a Dog, Anderson balances her wry observations and sometimes weighty themes with lyricism and grace. “A celebration of life, and how special it is to be part of it while we’re here.” SF Chronicle .

advance tickets available HERE !

The James River Film Festival presents More Experimental Cinema (1998-2013) w/ guest Filmmaker Jennifer Reeves

• Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 8PM
• The Grace Street Theatre
934 W Grace St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $7.00


Jennifer Reeves’ personal films exemplify that thread of cinema deemed experimental– with her direct-on-film techniques, first-person cinematography, complexity of sound and image, and optical printing. But experimental is more than technique, it has become the cinema’s true standard-bearer of film as art, beyond the reaches of commerce and narr-ative. In the spirit of Marie Menken, Maya Deren, and past guests Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, and Nathaniel Dorsky we’re proud to screen her following titles: TRT: 67 min.

Fear of Blushing (6 min., 2001, 16 mm, optical); We Are Going Home (10 min., 1998, 16mm, optical); Trains Are for Dreaming (7 min., 2009, 16mm, optical); Color Neutral (3 min., 2014, 16mm, optical)

INTERMISSION/ Q & A with guest filmmaker Jennifer Reeves

Strawberries in the Summertime (15 min., 2013, pro-res,stereo)

Light Work Mood Disorder (26 min., 2007,16 mm dual projection)

The James River Film Festival presents SOUTHEAST 67 w/ Director / Producer Betsy Cox

• Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 3:30PM
• The Grace Street Theatre
934 W Grace St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $5.00

Dreamers program circa 1991 Used with permission for documentary on the kids. These scans are solely for that purpose

SOUTHEAST 67 (prod/dir: Elizabeth Cox, 71 min., 2015)

In Washington, DC’s Anacostia neighborhood, high school graduation rates in the 1980s-1990s were pretty dismal, and its school district was arguably one of the worst in the country. But in 1994, a group of 67 seventh graders were chosen randomly by the philanthropic organization Dreamers, with the goal of forging a path to college or post-high school education. In Southeast 67, Charlottesville-based director Cox follows the narratives of some of those students twenty years later. Poignant and inspiring, Southeast 67 brings Ms. Cox back after 22 years—she screened Who’s Gonna Sing Our Song? at our first festival in 1994! Q & A with director/producer Betsy Cox after the screening.

James River Film Festival presents JJ McMoon’s RUN (World Premiere)

• Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 1:30PM
• The Grace Street Theatre
934 W Grace St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $5.00


RUN (dir: J.J. McMoon, scr: McMoon & James Draper II, 84 min., 2015) w/ director J.J. McMoon, cast and crew

A first-feature that hits the ground running, Run is chock full of RVA talent and locales!

Half-thriller spoof and half-travelogue, McMoon’s and Draper’s clever script was shot on the lean in a matter of weeks, spotlighting various Richmond neighborhoods and eateries, as well as local talents Rebecca Turner, Richard Spencer, Dale Heiskill and Jon Baamonde. Making no excuse for its satire or tongue-in-cheek effects, Run is a marathon of suspense that ends with a bang! Q & A with director and cast after the screening.

advance tickets available HERE !

James River Film Festival presents Microcosmic Shorts

• Friday, April 8th, 2016, 7PM
• The Visual Arts Center Dominion Room
1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA
• Admission: FREE


Curated by JRFS’ Laura McCann, this program features short, short works, five minutes or less, in any genre or format, by current RVA filmmakers.

James River Film Festival Reception

• Friday, April 8th, 2016, 5:30PM
• Visual Arts Center Commons
• 1812 W Main St , Richmond, VA
• Admission: FREE


Socialize with guests, volunteers, JRFS members and other festivalites, and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar!

The James River Film Festival presents The Stranger

• Friday, April 8th, 2016, 12:00PM
• Richmond Main Public Library
101 E Franklin St , Richmond, VA
• Admission: FREE



Despite what critics (and even the director) said, The Stranger is as baroque, as noirish and as Wellesian as anything in his canon. According to Welles, huge chunks of his script were cut, but what remains is a taut thriller and classic film noir. Welles, as ex-nazi Franz Kindler, is a professor at a private boys’school about to marry Senator’s daughter Loretta Young, until his past, and detective Edward G. Robinson, catches up. The final clock tower sequence is total over-the-top Welles! Intro by JRFS’ Michael Jones.

The James River Film Festival presents The Very Best of Rural Route Films 2011-2015

• Thursday, April 7th, 2016, 6:30PM
• The Virginia Museum of Fine Art , Leslie Cheek Theatre
200 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA
• Admission: $8 / JRFS members $5


Advance tickets @ or by phone

In the tradition of traveling fests like the Black Maria and Ann Arbor, we’re proud to present The Very Best of Rural Route Films—a rising international showcase that takes the road less traveled, boasting short films shot on all seven continents, in narrative, experimental and documentary forms. This best of edition includes: Marcel, King of Tervuren ( Schroeder, Belgium), We’re Leaving (Treitz, U.S.), Home Turf (Whitaker, Ireland), When Elephants Dance, the Ground Gets Beaten (van den Berg, Cambodia), The Bees (Ayoub, Lebanon), Salt (Gardner, Ethiopia), The Hunter (Walsh, Australia), Amma Mundi (Babley, U.S.), Travel Log: Antartica (Webber, Ant.), The Last Ice Merchant ( Patch, Ecuador). TRT: 100 min.