Founded in 1998 by Vincent and Gennaro D'Onofrio, the RiverRun IFF, a mere teenager in years, is one of the premiere film festivals on the East Coast. Located in downtown Winston-Salem, the festival was inspired by the French Broad River near Brevard, North Carolina, where it was originally held. Bright, crisp photos and videos of water (what I would believe to be the French Broad River), are set as beautiful background images on the festival's website, emitting a sense of naturalness and intimacy.
The RiverRun IFF places heavy emphasis on diversity as well as community as it pertains to film, their mission statement, "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." - I think the people behind this festival know what they're doing. And some of these very important people include Chair Tonya Deem, Vice Chair David Park, Secretary Barry Maine, and Treasurer Matthew Dyson, among many others, as well as a creative advisory board made up of dozens of talented individuals including huge names Bill Pullman and Paul Schneider.
RiverRun has consistently received critical acclaim for its fine work in film promotion of both independent and blockbuster films. Some of its recent successes include Mud, Win Win, Wuthering Heights, 500 Days of Summer, The Notebook, and documentaries, Chasing Ice, 20 Feet From Stardom, and Food Inc., and the list goes on. Showcasing 150+ films annually, and involving activities such as celebrity tributes, family programs, panel discussions, and numerous parties, RiverRun IFF has been sharing a truly unique film experience with the U.S. for the past seventeen years, with an obvious many more to come.