A socially-distanced Richmond International Film Festival begins this weekend, premiering films from narratives to documentaries, as well as music sessions and screenings on the baseball field.
The Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF) returns this weekend as a hybrid festival with both in-person and virtual events. Technically, events kicked off on Tuesday, but the big in-person events are all happening between today and Sunday, so there’s still a lot to see!
The festival was originally planned to take place in May, before the coronavirus hit Richmond and transformed the live entertainment landscape. Many other local festivals have had to switch to a virtual format, including the upcoming Richmond Folk Festival [more details on that next week; watch this space -ed].
The film festival kicked off this Tuesday with many restrictions, including mask requirements, and plenty more events are planned this weekend. Limited movie screenings will be shown at the Byrd Theatre, and other events throughout the weekend will provide attendees a film festival-style experience without breaking COVID-19 guidelines.
Here’s a preview of what’s to come:
The festival will put on a one-night film screening and live music event at The Diamond Baseball Stadium, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, on Friday, Sept 11 at 6pm. The event is called Movies, Music, and Art on the Outfield. It will feature the Virginia premiere of the film Team Marco, which follows a tech-obsessed Italian-American boy’s experience of connecting with his grandfather. Four tiers of tickets — from general admission in the stands to picnic spaces on the outfield — are being sold. The “Tier Three” ticket, which provides a 20×10 ft. area of field space, can accommodate a group of up to eight people.
The Virginia Spotlight event will be held at the Byrd Theatre on Saturday, Sept 12 at 3:30pm. It will show five features: four locally-made short films, and a suite of musical performances recorded at Brewer’s Cafe in Richmond. The musical performances, called Brewers Sessions, feature Richmond artists including local rock n’ roll band Honest Debts.
An in-person day of live music will be held in the outdoor space at Tang & Biscuit on Sept 12. A screening of music videos and web series will start at 12pm, followed by live music from 2 to 7pm. Admission is first-come first-serve, and masks are required.
The RIFF FLOW collective panels series will begin at Tilt Creative + Production on Sunday, Sept 13. The audience for this event, which will discuss how to navigate the film production and entertainment industry post-COVID with a variety of panelists, is limited to 25 people.
The documentaries Scattering CJ, Magnolia’s Hope, and Life in Synchro will be shown at the Byrd Theatre Sunday. A Shorts Block featuring short films from around the world will also be shown there at 7pm.
The festival is also holding events virtually on the Eventive Watch App. These include Q&A sessions, live music, and films. Films can be watched online or streamed on your TV through the app. RIFF’s website gives instructions on how to stream films, and viewers are instructed to make an account on the site before watching.
The festival’s 2020 virtual film lineup is listed on their website, and includes everything from narrative to documentary films, from feature-length films to shorts, and from music videos to episodic projects. See over 50 films on demand at RIFF’s Eventive page, or buy an All Film Passport to watch them all (and vote on which films should receive the festival’s awards). Surely you have enough time to watch them all this weekend. You don’t need any sleep, right?