4 DAYS. MORE THAN 53 CUTTING EDGE FILMS:  Please join us in Richmond for four days of Official Selection film screenings & special events.  This year's Official Selection filmmakers will be in town for the Richmond premiere of their film & competing for top honors.



(Doors open 30 minutes prior)


SCREENINGS @ Byrd Theater, 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA, 23221



11:00am (Youth & Outreach) *While the following screenings are appropriate for all ages, the 11:00am time slot specifically focuses on films for youth

FOSSIL TEARS (11 min, Japan) In a mossy planet, beings found a shining blue fossil which was formed out of someone's tears many eras ago.


THE YOUTH ROUNDTABLE PROJECT (53 min, USA) – The festival’s in-house ‘think tank’ documentary featuring youth in Richmond, VA from Saint Benedict’s Catholic School and the VCU ASPiRE program.


JUNGLE FISH (30 min, Guyana) –  Guyana, one of the least explored rain forests on the planet, is said to hold one of the greatest density of biodiversity per square kilometer found anywhere on the planet. With few options for locals to improve their dismal economic situation, do they exploit the natural resources for unsustainable, short-term gain, or do they take stewardship of one of our planet’s last pristine rain forests that have sustained them for generations?  Hope might be prowling in Guyana's rivers.


*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 



1:00pm (Emerging Artists)


KASEY’S GRACE (9 min, USA, UCLA) – An overly-imaginative artist paints a thin line between admiration and obsession upon discovering a singer-songwriter's music video online.


A BROKEN TEAR (9 min, Lebanon) - The story of a love lost for inexplicable reasons and the tragedy of life in waiting for a broken tear to heal. Based on a true story where love is lost in
a cold world.

BAMA & FRED (16 min, USA, Regent) – An elderly widow wrestles with the pain of her past. Love is her only way out.


POLLICINO (8 min, Italy) – For a person with Alzheimer disease, finding the way back home can become a real Odyssey.


CAIN (15 min, USA) – An adaptation of one of the Bible's more morally ambiguous fables that explores religious morality, idealism, and doubt; from a respectfully Atheistic perspective.


ZIPPER HEADS (11 min, USA, Regent) – Searching for hope in a life where your own body is your prison.


GOLDEN ACRES (15 min, USA, VCU) – When his son deserts him on their plans for a Birthday steak dinner Paul Hudson, a young spirited and independent old man, decides to take matters into his own hands. Sick of being forgotten and treated like a decrepit old man, he and his dementia stricken companion, Chefsy bust out of their retirement home for a night on the town.


RETROCOGNITION (18 min, USA) - A dystopian sitcom reanimated from the narrative residue of Golden Age radio dramas.


THE HIPSTER PARADOX (13 min, USA) - A satire of the phony nature of the hipster culture, exposing the absurdness of the culture by juxtaposing the facade and the humanity behind it.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 



3:45pm (Universal Spotlight)

PAPA (23 min, USA) - A young immigrant assimilating to life in America lives in a home dominated by a stoic and unwavering African father.

BETWEEN SILENCE & THE SEA (5 min, USA) – A lyrical meditation about memory, experience and inspiration.

A PREDATOR’S RETURN (14 min, USA) - Abe, a former concentration camp survivor, is a resident of a nursing home. The newest resident of the facility is the same Nazi officer that murdered his entire family 60 years earlier. A nightmare confrontation is about to take place, starring Christopher Bradley.

DEDELER EN IYISINI BILIR   (20 min, Turkey) - When Ali's father hires a new secretary, she awakens desires in Ali that the shy 22 year old never knew he had. But working for his father, his mother reminding him he's the right age to marry, and trying to be a good Muslim complicates things. Now he must choose between family duty and true love. Can you really make yourself and your family happy at the same time?

DOUBLE OR NOTHING (10 min, USA) - Clark and Becca leave a bar after a night out with friends. When a homeless man approaches them on the street, Clark gets an idea.  Adam Brody, Louisa Krause and Keith David star in this dark comedy by master playwright Neil LaBute.

MILO (9 min, Italy) - Milo is a seven year old kid who hates noise. He decides to record a storm of silence, a common weather phenomenon in this futuristic fantasy world, to solve his problem.

INTO DEEPEST SPACE: THE BIRTH OF THE ALMA OBSERVATORY (52 min, USA) - The story of the design and construction of the world's largest, highest altitude, and most complex ground-based astronomical observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 


6:30pm (International & U.S. Spotlight)  

PORQUE HAY COSAS QUE NUNCA SE OLVIDAN (13 min, Spain) - Naples (Italy), 1950. Four friends are playing soccer out on the street when their ball is accidentally kicked into the evil old lady's yard. They'll never play with their ball again, and for that the revenge will be deadly.

TIME 2 SPLIT (5 min, France) - A couple, a young child. Life is such that sometimes it is time to separate and live his life.

HONOR FLIGHT (83 min, USA) - A documentary that chronicles a community coming together to honor living World War II veterans. The film follows a devoted team of Midwest volunteers as they race against the clock to send every local WWII veterans to see the Washington, DC memorials built in their honor.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 



8:55pm (Local & Inspirational Film)

SPEAK NOW (23 min, USA) – After an extended stay in Europe, Tabitha returns home with her new boyfriend to attend her sister’s wedding with a plan to get her divorced parents back together. During the rehearsal dinner, Tabitha’s attempts to get her parents to talk are constantly interrupted by unexpected party guests.  This short features an ensemble cast from Richmond, VA. 

NOT TODAY (102 min, India, USA) – The story of one man's journey to redemption set against the back drop of human slavery in India, with Cody Longo,  Walid Amini, John Schneider, and Persis Karen.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 




11:45am (Art, Coming of Age)

SHUFFLE (17 min, USA) - A killer with a change of heart must play one last hand of poker with the mob boss that raised him within a criminal house of cards. Acclaimed actor Denis Arndt (BASIC INSTINCT), Aron Michael Thompson and Brent David Fraser (WILD AT HEART) star in this powerful and thrilling drama.

FORT APACHE (15 min, USA) - In 1940s America, a precocious young boy struggles to escape small town life. On the eve of his eleventh birthday he must choose between leaving home or following his brother down a path of violence and destruction in this coming of age story.

ROOM TO BREATHE (75 min, USA) – The surprising story of transformation as troubled kids in a San Francisco public middle school are introduced to the practice of mindfulness meditation.


*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 


2pm (Family & Social Issues)

THE VISIT (22 min) - When a tragic event turns Diana's life upside down, she receives a visit from the last person from whom she wants help, starring Sharon Lawrence and Odessa Rae.

A SISTER’S CALL (77 min, USA) - Call and Rebecca Richmond were born into Atlanta's high society. To their neighbors, they we're the perfect family yet nothing was further from the truth. A Sister's Call chronicles Rebecca's mission to bring her brother back from the depths of homelessness and schizophrenia all while seeking a way to heal herself from the past.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 


4:00pm (Fantasy & Family)

FORTUITY MIST (4 min, USA) - Late one night on a dimly lit empty city sidewalk a lonely man and woman passing each other experience a sense of connection yet both lack the courage to take the risk of initiating conversation. While continuing down the sidewalk the man consoles himself by imagining the circumstances of what might have happened if he had stopped.

THE FELLOWS HIP: RISE OF THE GAMERS (98 min, USA) - The Fellows Hip is a buddy-comedy written in honor of online gamers and The Lord of the Rings.11 Full of Tolkien-references and good-hearted parody, The Fellows Hip will appeal to Tolkien-fans and gamers alike, as well as anyone who's never been part of the in-crowd.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 



11:45am (Environmental, Arts & Civic Action, 9/11)

GIRL RISING (Trailer, 2 min, USA) - Girl Rising is a feature-length film at the center of 10x10's global action campaign for girls' education. The film tells the stories of girls across the developing world, selected in consultation with acclaimed women writers and working closely with non-profit partners.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, with voiceover talent of acclaimed actors such as Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez, and Kerry Washington.

RIGHT THERE (16 min, USA) – Shot on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at PS 234, a public elementary school 3 blocks north of the World Trade Center. Some of the little kids who were there in 2001 came back to their south-facing classroom. This is their film.

YOUTH ROUNDTABLE PROJECT (Teaser, 5 min, USA) - The festival’s in-house ‘think tank’ documentary featuring youth in Richmond, VA from Saint Benedict’s Catholic School and the VCU ASPiRE program.


AMAZON GOLD (53 min, USA) - Narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, Amazon Gold is the disturbing account of a clandestine journey bearing witness to the apocalyptic destruction of the rainforest in the pursuit of illegally mined gold. Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster, two war journalists who normally cover war and human rights issues travel along Peru’s Madre de Dios River to reveal the savage unraveling of pristine rainforest.


*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 


1:30pm (Experimental & Feature Spotlight)

THE MARKER (6min, USA) - When a young woman discovers a marker that changes reality, the unexpected occurs

JOHNNY (9 min, USA) - Johnny's a musician whose internal struggle to kill his audience forces him to have a hallucinogenic breakdown on stage.

5 HOUR FRIENDS (97 min, USA) - A life-long womanizer gets a taste of his own medicine. Timothy Bonner, played by Tom Sizemore is devoted primarily to golf, secondarily to sex and finally to drinking. In the end, he discovers cheating hurts and finds what he really wants - love.

*The above screenings will follow with a short Q&A with filmmakers. 


3:50pm (Action, Backwoods Comedy Headliner)

BADASS BROCK (15 min, USA) - Paralyzed from an explosion and fired from the agency, both inconveniences to kicking ass for Badass Brock, the best damn agent there is. Starring Don Frye, “The Predator,” one of MMA’s early stars and most recognized fighters.

ROUTE 30, TOO! (86 min, USA) – A stand-alone backwoods comedy about a visitor from another planet that mixes it up with the locals along Route 30, in South Central Pennsylvania. Veteran Film Maker John Putch's ROUTE 30, TOO! is the 2ND installment of the Route 30 Trilogy, and stars an award winning ensemble cast including Arlington, VA’s Ray Ficca.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 



12:00pm (International All-Star)

THE BONOBO CONNECTION (31 min, USA) – Narrated by Ashley Judd. Journey into a corrupt world, full of habitat destruction, political war, civil unrest and illegal hunting and you will find one of the most peaceful beings on Earth, the bonobo, whose lives teach us about our origins. The Bonobo Connection is a documentary about one of our closest and most endangered relatives, the bonobo ape.

PLAYING THROUGH (13 min, USA) –Best friends Paulie and Harry are enjoying a leisurely round of golf on the local links when their slow pace of play frustrates the group behind them. When a ball is hit at Paulie from behind, a breach of etiquette quickly escalates into a dangerous conflict. Directed by Academy Award winning director, Paul Wagner.

TU & EU (14 min, USA) - Does love conquer all? Through one brief phone conversation, Tu & Eu follows several star-crossed lovers around the world whose differences have put their long time love affair at a critical impasse, starring Daniela Ruah (NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS) and Ato Essandoh (Garden State).


LAPSE (23 min, France) - A man is involved in an accident. When he wakes up, he's suffering memory loss, and he doesn't remember his name or occupation. The only things he remembers are a woman's face, and the certitude that a woman is in danger.

LA MIRADA PERDIDA (11 min, Argentina) - Argentina, 1976. Claudio is forced to live with his family in hiding, due to his political ideals. The house in which they live is discovered by the militars. No time to flee, Teresa tries to shelter his daughter in a fantasy world to avoid the girl witnessing the horror they are about to live.

*The above screenings will follow with Q&A with filmmakers. 


2:00pm (Psychological Thriller)

STILLWATER LAKE (7 min, USA) – The Richmond Film Festival’s in-house short film, featuring local cast and crew.

THE THREE SESSIONS (110 min, USA) - Fiction novelist Henry Goodman's wife, Aurore has just returned home after spending several months in a hospital for an unknown psychiatric condition that haunted her with nightmarish visions. After coming in contact with the mysterious Dr. Gershom, Henry and Aurore decide to have three sessions with the Doctor. As they delve in, Henry and Aurore unearth a tomb of dark underlying secrets.

*The above screenings will follow with a Q&A with filmmakers. 


4:30pm (Coming of Age, Music)

CROW FEATHERS (8 min, United Kingdom) - A boy and his mum live on an isolated farm, but one day a Crow man crashes into their world. Mask characters combine with artful animation in this experimental short narrative film.

I AM NOT A ROCK STAR (85 min, Canada) - Filmed over eight years, this documentary follows the gritty coming-of-age story of Julliard pianist, Marika Bournaki - from age 12 until age 20 - whose life has centered around becoming a world class concert pianist since age five.


SUNDAY, 6:30pm, the Byrd Theater - Red Carpet Awards Ceremony

A Live Awards Red Carpet Ceremony with Filmmakers and Writers in attendance & Live Special Guest Musical Performances.  Open to the public. (Carpet opens at 6:00pm)


SCREENINGS  & PANEL EVENT @ the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220



1:00PM (Revolutionaries)

ELEGY FOR A REVOLUTIONARY (20 min, South Africa, USA) – Two friends oppose the apartheid-era government in South Africa. Their choice to use violence tears their relationship apart.

UPRISING (85 min, Egypt) - Produced by an Academy Award-winning team including the Executive Producer of Taxi to the Dark Side and the Editor of Inside Job, UPRISING tells the inside story of the Egyptian revolution from the perspective of its principal leaders and organizers, including four Nobel Peace Prize nominees.

MR. STOKES’ MISSION (30 min, USA) - Mr. Stokes Mission is a half-hour documentary about Civil Rights activist and educator John A. Stokes. On April 23, 1951, Stokes, then president of his senior class at the Robert Russo Moton High School in Farmville Virginia, helped organize and lead a walkout by students to protest inferior conditions for his fellow African-American students. His efforts contributed to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling three years later, which banned segregation in public education.

*Panel discussion to follow with visiting filmmakers



SCREENING, PANEL EVENT & MUSIC SHOWCASE @ the Camel, 1621 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220


5:30pm (Music History Spotlight) - Doors open at 5:00pm

THE BAYOU: DC’s KILLER JOINT (88 min, USA) - Chronicles the 45-year history of a Washington, D.C., landmark and takes viewers on a journey from Dixieland to Dave Matthews, from strippers and bikers to hippies and punks. A story of the kind of neighborhood club that's vanished from the American scene, The Bayou featured jazz legends Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman and Count Basie; rock 'n roll and student riots in the '60s; the debuts of Kiss, the Runaways, Dire Straits, Foreigner and U2; and the last-ever performance of international sensation Eva Cassidy in the '90s. Told by Bayou performers, employees and patrons, this film celebrates the club's music, mischief, and enduring legacy.

*A brief panel discussion to follow and RIFF's live music showcase. 


For further info, email the festival at info@richmondfilmfestival.com