Richmond International Film Festival announces 2017 lineup

Posted by: Amy – Feb 13, 2017


The Richmond International Film Festival returns Feb. 27 to showcase over 150 films from more than 35 countries during its week-long festivities.

Now entering its sixth year, and one of the largest competitive film festivals in the mid-Atlantic region, RIFF will kick of its celebration with the music of the Trap Music Orchestra and Wytold, before getting into the swing of things featuring documentary, short, experimental, animated, and feature films, plus over 50 bands, panels, and daily events.

Films will screen daily through March 5th at Movieland’s Bowtie and Criterion theatres as well as the Byrd. Nightly showcases will occur in multiple venues across Richmond, including the Camel, the Broadberry, Strange Matter, and the Sound of Music.

Check out some of the films from the festival's lineup below:

"Are We Not Cats"

Directed and written by Xander Robin. Starring Michael Patrick Nicholson, Chelsea Lopez, and Michael Godere. Disturbing, intimate, and strange, this film is dubbed romantic horror and is not for the faint of heart. Or the weak of stomach. After losing his job, his girlfriend, and his apartment in a single day, a young man attempts to restart his life, but is diverted when he meets a woman who shares his strangest habit; an inclination for eating hair


A short film written and directed by Mav Black. Starring David Riley, Alexandra Gellner, and Max Woertendyck. Chronicling the day of three inmates in a psychiatric ward, the film tackles the subject matter by dissecting it open, leaving a landscape that is bleak and smelling of antiseptic.

"ChildreN of the MountaiN"

Directed and written by Priscilla Anany. Starring Rukiyat Masud, Adjetey Anang, and Bex. Beautiful, compelling, and heart-wrenching, the film depicts a mother’s love for her child even as the child is cast out by father and family.

"Girl in the Chair"

Short film written and directed by M. Louise Gordon. Starring Adam August, Matthew Bretschneider, and Arielle Caiazzo. A story regarding the kidnapping and abuse of a child and her escape, the gruesome nature of the crime balanced by the surreal and fantastical imagination of a girl meeting the world for the first time since her captivity.


A documentary directed and produced by Hilary Linder. A conversation needed in our current political climate, the documentary follows three young adults, all undocumented, as they travel to reunite with their families who risked everything to bring them to America in the first place.

"My Life I Don’t Want"

An animated short written, animated, and directed by Nyan Kyal Say details the real life stories of girls in Myanmar and the struggles they face.


Java Trailer from g6pictures on Vimeo.

A short film by Giovanna Chesler. Starring Drae Campbell and Rebecca Wahls. A handsome artist realizes the consequences of her daily obsession.


[solitary] official trailer from derek j pastuszek on Vimeo.

A short film directed by Derek J. Pastuszek. Starring Kofi Bamfo, Joanna Atkinson, and Moe Bardi. On the heels of Ava Duverney’s The 13th, this short examines a young man kept in solitary confinement, his slow maddening descent viewed underneath a microscope.

"Women of Maidan"

A documentary written and directed by Olha Onyshko. In a time of protests and growing fear, this documentary reminds us of the women of Ukraine who stood toe-to-toe against the government, in a revolution that was not so long ago.

"War Torn"

A short film written and directed by F. Carl Hansen. Starring Jen Eldridge, Gabriel Sean Elias, and Leann Lei. An examination not just of war, but of the military itself as an institution, and how the families of soldiers reconcile their lives without the ones they love.

Words by Ren Martinez