1. Interviewee, time and schedule: Andrew Rogers, still awaiting a response. Made the classic mistake of emailing Andrew@riverfunfilm.com instead of Andrew@riverrunfilm.com. No answer of the phone over the Labor Day weekend.
2. Who started and runs the festival?
Vincent and Gennaro D’Onofrio founded the festival in 1998. Mary Dossinger is the program manager, Christopher Holmes is the program coordinator, and Andrew Rogers is executive director. However, the festival operates under a number of board members, Chair Tonya Deem, and Vice Chair David Park, etc. And there is also quite a large creative advisory board that includes big names such as Bill Pullman and Paul Schneider.
"To foster a greater appreciation of cinema and a deeper understanding of the many people, cultures, and perspectives of our world through regular interaction with great films and filmmakers."
4. Recent programming choices over the past two years:
Could not find different creative choices over the past few years; the archives tab did not seem to pull up the previous festivals. It seems as though the festival tends maintain a pretty consistent theme of nature (its visuals and inspiration for the festival), as well as community. Tends to promote environmentally friendly behaviors, as well as other social movements – this seen more through the actual films shown, such as women’s rights and race.
The Event is held in downtown Winston-Salem
The Event is held annually in the Spring, this coming festival on April 7-17, 2016
7. How to submit?
Online submissions via FilmFreeway.com and Withoutabox.com, or also through RiverRun’s own application form on their site
8. Deadlines: (Postmarked by)
Early: August 15, 2015; Regular: October 1, 2015; Late: November 16, 2015; Extended late: December 15, 2015
9. Costs to enter:
Could not find the actual entry fee, however there is no submission fee for NC students that provide a valid form of ID
10. Who is eligible? Guidelines?
Anyone is eligible who fully completes the film entry forms, including the fee. Guidelines include: films must be in English or with English subtitles, submitted via DVD with label indicating title and running time, list of materials used to send in films (attempt to be eco-friendly)
11. Student Category? → Yes
12. Formats for jurying: → DVD
13. Formats for exhibition and screening:
(35mm, BetaSP, DigiBeta, DVCam, Mini DV, HDCam, DCP or File (MP4 or MOV (H.264))
14. How many films screened at last year’s festival?
It seems as if the site does not like to directly reveal past festivals’ film lineups (despite having an archive tab – clicking this takes you to the site’s news section). The site does say that the festival showcases 150+ films each year
15. Length of typical shorts block or paper presentation: → unknown
16. How many films/papers do they program per block? → unknown
17. How to register to attend? A cost? → Just buy tickets in advance, online or at several venues located in Winston-Salem; $12 adults, $10 students
18. Business sponsors, grants, private sponsors: → Title sponsors include Reynolds American, UNCSA, Arts Council (Winston-Salem, Forsyth County)
19. Sponsorship levels and incentives for each level:
There are ten different levels of sponsorship, to make life easier they are broken down into two categories:
→ Basic Membership Benefits: donate between $55-$550, incentives include buying tickets before they go on sale, discount on merchandise, and recognition in RRIFF Film Guide
→ Patron Circle Benefits: donate between $1000 and $10,000, incentives: basic membership benefits plus parking, concierge service, invitation for 2 to festival preview reception, night VIP party, and Spark Awards Party, gift bag, tax deductible donations, donating $1500+ a star in your name on RiverRun walk of fame
20. Kickstarter or indiegogo? Incentives? → unknown
21. Any non-tradtional film/video events?
→ Cineclub is a film screening that showcases films that missed out in April, held every second Monday of the month
22. How have they branched out over the years/ expanded their typical film screening event?
They’ve incorporated more activities, family oriented; more opportunities to engage with the actors/directors/producers; as well as more social events
23. Difficult to navigate, why?
24. → The site is actually slightly complex; much of the information I was in search of was pretty far removed from the homepage. There is a tab for ‘News’ at the top of the site, and this page actually happens to be the one that pops up for several tabs on the site…which is kind of confusing.
25. Aesthetically pleasing, why?
→ The site is beautiful. Bright, clean photos and videos of water (most likely the French Broad River located near Brevard, NC where the festival was originally held). The ever-changing close ups are translucent with colors of pink and orange fading in and out over the images. Other than the visuals the design is positive simplistic style, black font on white background – a modern and clean look.
26. What looks bad? → Nothing really looks bad
27. Should there be more info? → No, there is really plenty of info
28. What would you do differently in designing the website?
The only thing I’d do differently is organize the information in a slightly easier to navigate manner; I would have actual lists and images of the past lineups to view and compare the current festival to.
29. What would you keep the same in redesigning the website?
I would keep all the visuals the same, they are extremely pleasing to the eye.