The Richmond International Film Festival Announces the 2017 Official Selection Event Schedule for Film & Music
More than 150 films from over 35 countries to be screened over seven days plus 50 Local, National and International Music Showcases to Perform
The Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF), expands this year to bring a seven-day cavalcade of more than 150 cutting edge award-winning films from six continents – from France to Brazil, Australia to Cuba – plus over 50 bands, panels, and daily events. The festival kicks off Monday, February 27th and concludes Sunday, March 5th.
Opening the festival on Monday at the Sound of Music are special guest music artists, Wytold, an internationally acclaimed electric celloist and critically acclaimed, 25 member Brooklyn group, the Trap Music Orchestra. Nightly showcases take place for the remainder of the week at multiple venues across Richmond including the Broadberry, the Camel, the Hofheimer Building, Strange Matter, and the Sound of Music.
Additional music performances include Japanese sensation, Sparky; Italian folk artist, Damien McFly; Cameroon artist, Naomi Achu; The Voice finalist and Richmond native, Skinny-e; hip hop artists Chance Fischer, Black Liquid, Smooth Da Hustler & Trigger the Gambler; Indie Rock band, TOMBOi; the blues group, Bette Stuy & The Brooklynites; alternative rock band, Vajra, and local favorite, Susan Greenbaum, only to name a few.
A Few Film Highlights
Opening the film section this year on Tuesday, February 28th at 7:00pm is the narrative feature, THE LAST PUNCH, based on the true story of Muhammad Ali’s last fight and directed by 28 time Emmy Award Winning Director, Jesse Vaughan. The film will be followed by a selection of award winning avant garde shorts and the narrative thriller, ARE WE NOT CATS, an internationally acclaimed gem on the festival circuit directed by Xander Robin. Features and shorts of all genres will continue screening daily through March 5th at Bow Tie’s Movieland and Criterion theatres and the historic Byrd Theatre.
Another festival headliner is THE TALES OF MEXICO, a narrative feature starring French actress and jazz musician, Irene Jacob (ETERNITY; THE SECRET GARDEN; US MARSHALS; THE AFFAIR; THE COLLECTION; LA DOUBLE VIE DE VERONIQUE). The film delivers eight distinctive stories, all taking place in the same single room, spanning the last century of Mexico as the space witnesses the dreams, desires, disappointments and destinies of its residents, revealing an intimate human history of Mexico through the decades.
Irene Jacob will present the film Thursday, March 7th at 6:15pm at the Byrd Theatres. Following the film, Jacob will do a special music performance with Francis Jacob at the Holfheimer Building at 8:30pm.
Also in the lineup is the award winning short, LIKE A BUTTERFLY, starring television and film legend, Ed Asner. Will Rothhar also stars in the film. Rothhar starred in KILLING KENNEDY, a film that was previously shot in Virginia. Asner and Rothhar will possibly attend. And VICIOUS directed by Richmond native, Andrew Jeric and award-winning industry professionals such as producer Maritte Go (Sleight, Loveland), cinematographer Matthew Edwards (The Labyrinth), composer Michael Kramer (Lego Ninjago), and sound designer Sung Rok Choi (Snowpiercer). VICIOUS has been honored with an ASC Heritage Award, Nomination for Best Short Film at Camerimage, a Lerner Endowment Fund Award, the Panavision Future Filmmaker Award, and the Skywalker Sound Grant.
The annual University Spotlight takes place on Thursday February 28 at 12:45pm featuring a block of films by emerging local and national university filmmakers.
Other spotlights in 2017 include the Poetry & Film Spotlight featuring the documentary, Flowers and Roots: James Ragan, An Ambassador of the Arts and A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, an American Poet produced by Richmond based filmmaker, Michele Poulos.
Additional Festival Honors
In 2017 RIFF celebrates the theme, “The Year of the Woman’s Influence.” In conjunction with the theme, the festival honors some of the industry’s brightest female talent, national and international, through special tributes and the Female Director Spotlight, which takes place on Saturday afternoon, March 4 featuring ROCKET directed by Sarah Hulsman (US); LIMBO directed by Konstantina Kotzamani (Greece); NKOSI COIFFURE directed by Jules Debrock (Belgium); CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN directed by Priscilla Anany (Ghana), and more.
In the Scandinavian Spotlight this year, co-sponsored by Swedish Match, the festival premieres the Swedish documentary feature, THE TAXI CLUB and a Finnish narrative feature, GUILT. Swedish Match is a Sweden-based tobacco company with U.S. headquarters in Richmond. Festival week will include events to bring patrons a taste of Swedish lifestyle, arts and culture.
Capping off the festival on Sunday, March 5 will be the annual Red Carpet Awards where prizes selected by the Grand Jury and audience will be awarded in various categories for both film and music. Held at the Byrd Theatre, the red carpet opens at 6:00 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 7:00 p.m. This event, along with all film screenings and community events, are open to the public. Dress for the red carpets is upscale casual to black tie.
Other events during festival week include the RIFF Music Panel Series, which takes place daily at the Sound of Music, plus Q&As with visiting filmmakers, the annual Gala held at the Hofheimer Building Friday evening March 3rd, the annual Youth Outreach Day, mixers, the FLOW Collective, a one-day creative conference that includes engaging presentations from prominent artists, individuals, and heads of industry, along with breakout sessions incorporating the concept of creative flow in film, music, and writing; a variety of mixers, and the annual Red Carpet Awards.
The Richmond International Film and Music Fest is a competitive and spirited festival designed to entertain patrons as we honor emerging, cutting edge artists, and help cultivate Richmond as a main go to arts hub in the mid-Atlantic. Through its film productions and outreach efforts each year, the festival provides a collaborative platform between its patrons and creatives from around the world.
The 2017 festival is sponsored by the Virginia Film Office, Swedish Match, PBS/WCVE, Sound of Music, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Broadberry, Bowtie Cinemas, Red Bull, CBS6, and others.
Advance tickets go on sale through the RIFF website beginning January 28th. At that time, a full schedule of this year’s films and events can be viewed by visiting www.rvafilmfestival.com
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