Microcosmic Shorts – Call for Submissions

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Calling all Richmond, VA filmmakers! The James River Film Society will be presenting the first annual Microcosmic Shorts at the 23rd James River Film Festival this April and needs your short film submissions.
All genres are welcomed and encouraged! Experimental, documentary, animation, narrative,  any and all are welcome as long as your film is shorter than 5 minutes.
Submissions can be sent via vimeo link (and password, if necessary) or .MP4 to laura@jamesriverfilm.org with the subject “Microcosmic Shorts” no later than March 5th. Please include your full name, address, and the title of your film in your email. You will be notified if your film is selected by mid-March. If your film is selected, you will be responsible for submitting a full quality digital copy by March 19th.  There is no fee for submissions. Selected films will be screened at the James River Film Festival in early April.  This screening is open to filmmakers living in or from the Richmond, Virginia area by submitting work to be presented at Microcosmic Shorts, you agree to allow the James River Film Festival to show your work to the public on the day of the event with no compensation. You also agree to have your name included in publicity for the event.
– DEADLINE for submissions is March 5th
– Submissions must be less than 5 minutes running time
– Open to filmmakers living in or from the Richmond, VA area

The 2016 season of programming !

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Happy New Year! We here at the James River Film Society are hard at work planning new programming for you. First of all, Saturday, April 2nd, will bring us the 7th anniversary of the James River Filmmakers Forum. We are closing out the line up and and we hope to add a musical guest. The following week is the 23rd annual James River Film Festival, April 7th – 10th. So stay tuned as we will post all updates right here on this page.  Plus … if you haven’t liked us on Facebook you can do so here.

Marc Ribot : Solo Improv Set + Improv Workshop

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Black Iris wksp b&w

Black Iris Gallery, Sunday December 13th, 12PM

Marc will perform a short solo set followed by an Improv Workshop open to all instrumentalists of music university or professional level.

Limit 25 participants.  Non-participant audience welcome.

$35 Participants / $25 Non-participant audience

Workshop includes the screening of Chaplin’s The Kid with Marc Ribot later that afternoon at 4:30PM at The Byrd Theatre.


Marc Ribot Performs to Chaplin’s The Kid

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• Sunday, December 13th, 2015, 4:30PM
• The Byrd Theatre
• 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia
• Admission: $15 (adult); $10 (children under 12 years old) (NOTE: Those paying by credit/debit card also pay nominal PayPal service charge of $0.76 and $0.61, respectively.)

Ribot Poster Chaplin

This show features a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, The Kid (1921), with a live score provided by Marc Ribot.

Marc Ribot is an American guitarist and composer. His work has touched on many styles, including no wave, free jazz, rock and Cuban music. He has performed and recorded with Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, The Lounge Lizards, Arto Lindsay, T-Bone Burnett, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Cibo Matto, Elysian Fields, Sam Phillips, Elvis Costello, Tift Merritt, David Poe, Allen Ginsberg, Foetus, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Susana Baca, The Black Keys, Stan Ridgway, Vinicio Capossela, Alain Bashung, Lyenn, Hector Zazou, McCoy Tyner, Elton John, Madeleine Peyroux, Marianne Faithfull, Leonid Fedorov, Tonio K, Andres Calamaro, Anarchist Republic of Bzzz, Diana Krall, Mike Patton and others.

Buy tickets here: Adults; Children under 12

2015 James River Short Films Finalists

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$8 admission ($5 for VMFA and JRFS members).

Tickets available at VMFA website or night of event.

In order of screening, Friday, November 20th, 6:30PM

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Leslie Cheek Theatre

Things You Didn’t Know About Tiny Tim, Tamara Federici, 7:38 mins., 2015, CA

O Pastor Animarum, H. Paul Moon, 4:30 mins., 2015, VA

Black Eyes, Rick Spears, 11 mins., 2015, VA

Hill of the Hapersnoks, Rinny Wilson, 11:26 mins., 2014, VA

Playback, Robert Hudson, 16:40 mins., 2015, VA

(Un)Sexy, Paige Snider, 4:31 mins., 2014, VA

I Am the Mountain, You Are the Water’s Edge, Travis Waugh, 10:15 mins., 2010, VA

The Columbarium, Tyler Trumbo, 4 mins., 2014, VA

Kuwabara, Kuwabara, Elizabeth Williams, 11:18 mins., 2015, VA

Awards judge: Christopher Holmes, filmmaker, educator (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and past-juried competition winner. His films include Fence Dogs, Sapsucker, and the recent feature, Lost Colony.

******* WINNERS **************

Winners of  James River Short Films 2015:
1st prize and Stephens Virginia Filmmaker Award
Travis Waugh – I Am the Mountain , You Are the Water’s Edge ($600)
2nd Prize
Tyler Trumbo – The Columbarium ($500)
3rd Prize
Robert Hudson – Playback ($400) (Audience Choice Award)
Honorable Mentions:
Tamara Federici – Things You Didn’t Know About Tiny Tim ($250)
Elizabeth Williams – Kuwabara , Kuwabara ($250)

James River Filmmakers Forum Autumn 2015 Edition

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• Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 8 pm
• The Visual Arts Center
• 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA, 23220
• Admission: $5

Master Brush COLOR

The James River Film Society welcomes independent film enthusiasts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SPECIAL YEAR END EDITION! Join us as we screen the work of local and visiting filmmakers.                                                                                                                                                                           Each featured panelist will screen their work and take questions from the audience.
Featuring the work of:
Jim Stramel
Carlton Kotalo / Noah Scalin
Michael C. Jones
Jason Cortez
Fabian Rush
Laura McCann
$5 admission, Cash bar, Free popcorn.
** MUSIC GUEST – League of Space Pirates !!! **


Located upstairs in the Dominion Room at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.
Hosted and curated by Jeff Roll

Silent Films and Live Music Outdoors, Under the Night Sky!

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Oct 2015 Silent Movie Poster

• Saturday, October 10, 2015, 8 pm
• The Visual Arts Center
• 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA, 23220
• Admission: $10

Silent Films and Live Music Outdoors, Under the Night Sky!

Join the James River Film Society for a rare outdoor film projection/live music experience on Saturday, October 10, 2015, 8 pm, in the courtyard of the Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA. Luis Bunuel’s/Salvador Dali’s silent surrealist classic, L’Age d’Or, accompanied by Jonathan Goldie (Spanish guitar instrumentalist), will screen first. This film was so controversial it caused riots when screened in Paris in 1930. Following L’Age d’Or, the German Expressionist/horror prototype, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, will screen to the ambient electronic sounds of local Richmond artists Predation (featuring Lee Acosta-Lewis, member of Hard Stripes).

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Admission is $10 at the door. Credit/debit cards are also accepted (with a nominal surcharge). Proceeds go to support the local performers and the James River Film Society, providing Richmond with the annual James River Film Festival, the James River Shorts, the James River Filmmakers Forum, and many other events supporting local filmmakers and film lovers in the area. A cash bar will also be available for beer and wine on premises.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
A landmark of cinematic artistry, this classic silent horror film has vivid expressionistic imagery which brilliantly reflects the nightmarish emotional states of the characters. Francis’ investigation of his friend’s murder leads him to suspect that the killer was a zombie-like sleepwalker under the hypnotic control of the diabolical Dr. Caligari. A live soundtrack will be provided by local Richmond artist Predation.

L’Age d’Or (1930)
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society. live soundtrack will be provided by Spanish guitar instrumentalist, Jonathan Goldie.

Link to full-sized event poster (PDF)

Link to Facebook event page

Link to ticket sales

James River Filmmakers’ Forum

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• Saturday, September 19, 8 – 10 pm
• Visual Arts Center of Richmond
• 1812 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
• Admission: $4, Cash Bar, Free Popcorn
Master Brush COLOR

The James River Film Society welcomes independent film enthusiasts.

Join us as we screen the work of local and visiting filmmakers.

Featured panelists will screen their works and take questions from the audience.

Featured works:
Laura Ruschak – Lyra
Torian Ugworji – Aches (My Darling Fury) and Colors of Paranoia
Jessica Royce – Sweet Tooth
Devyn Young – Void
Alvalia Pemberton – … Still
Rick Spears – Black Eyes

Hosted and curated by Jeff Roll

2015 James River Short Films—Call For Entries!

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JRFS Short Film Poster

James River Short Films

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, – November 20th, 2015, 6:30 pm

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Film Office

Deadline: extended until October 2nd, 2015! (postmarked)

$2,000 in Prizes!


What is James River Short Films?

James River Short Films is a mini-festival devoted to the short. The centerpiece is a juried competition for short films (20 minutes or less) from around the globe that best embody what the James River Film Society and James River Film Festival are all about – the art of film and film as art.

It’s also the James River Film Festival’s little sibling. Even a snapshot of the guests from the past 20 years of the JRFF –Michael Almereyda, Caroline Martel, Tom Davenport, David Gatten, Ross McElwee, Jodie Mack, Peggy Ahwesh, Jem Cohen, Bruce Bickford, Richard Kelly, Chuck Statler, Karen Aqua, Joanna Priestley, Richard Myers, Pere Ubu, Martha Colburn, Mel Stuart, The Brothers Quay, Jonas Mekas, Les Blank, Ray Harryhausen, Tom Verlaine, Charles Burnett, Albert Maysles, John Columbus, Stan Brakhage, Scott MacDonald, and William Wegman – shows that we have a broad concept of the art of film and film as art. Therefore, we encourage all types of short films – fiction, nonfiction, animation, experimental and more. We define short, you define art.

Entry Criteria/Categories

James River Short Films is designed to celebrate the art of film regardless of category or genre, yet films made for educational or industrial purposes are not relevant to our mission. Maximum running time is 20 min.

Screening Formats

For pre-screening purposes, send DVDs or URLs for online content. Please do not send film prints for pre-screening. During the festival works can be screened on Quicktime, Blu-ray or standard DVD.

Promotional Materials

Please do not send promotional materials (posters, stills, postcards, etc.) at this time.

Entry Fee

Virginia Residents: $15, Non-Virginia Residents: $25

Checks or money orders made payable to James River Film Society should be mailed to James River Film Society, P.O. Box 7469, Richmond, VA 23221.

To pay with credit card, click on Network for Good located under Give Now on all JRFS pages. Please type “James River Shorts” as the “gift” Designation.


Please do not use fiber-filled envelopes. International entries must be marked “For Cultural Purposes Only — No Commercial Value.” The festival will not pay for import duty or taxes. All entries should be sent to James River Shorts, P.O. Box 7469, Richmond, VA 23221. If shipping with courier services that will not deliver to post office boxes, send to James River Film Society @ Visual Arts Center, 1812 W. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23220. Each entry must be accompanied by check or electronic payment ($25 out-of-state; $15 VA residents) payable to: James River Film Society


Our festival is designed to have no regard for traditional categories like fiction, nonfiction, animation or experimental. For the festival we will select the films that we feel best represent the art of film and film as art, regardless of type or category.

Selection and Screening

Those entrants who become finalists will be notified by October 30th. A jury of area filmmakers and film educators will pre-screen and select the finalists, whose work will be featured in the James River Short Films Awards Screening on Friday, November 20th, 2015, 6:30 pm at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Leslie Cheek Theatre. A special guest filmmaker/film curator (TBA) will make final all designations of cash awards.


Cash awards totaling $2,000 will be given for first, second, third places, and the Kathryn Stephens Virginia Filmmaker Award will be presented to best film by a Virginia filmmaker. The audience will also vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Return of Preview and Promotional Materials

DVD screeners will not be returned.


Film Title
Country of Origin
Running Time
Date Completed
Production Format
Pre-Screening Format
Web Entry URL
Web Entry Access Info
Screening Format
Full Address
Entry Fee
Please write a short blurb, to include film title, a brief synopsis, filmmaker’s biography and a screening history of the work. Stills and promotional materials may be requested after programming decisions are made.
Acceptance of Regulations
I hereby certify that I am the rightful owner of the work described below, and own all rights and releases necessary for public screening. By submitting this entry, I agree that James River Shorts Festival may publicly screen my work as well as use stills and descriptive material in the official program and any other publicity efforts. James River Shorts is not responsible for any costs or expenses arising out of any such use by the festival, nor is James River Shorts responsible for loss or damage to entry or screening materials in transit. I agree to provide a finished copy in the format indicated above no later than two weeks prior to the festival.

The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead – Encore Presentation!

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• Sunday, August 9, 2015, 8:00 pm
• Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va 23220
• Admission: $7

The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead (dir: Wes Orshoski, 2015, 110 min)

Due to overwhelming interest, we are hosting an encore presentation of The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead! As with the first screening, Punk Rock door prizes and trivia contest are included. FREE POPCORN and CASH BAR.

Tickets available at the door or the Eventbrite link below.

Eventbrite - James River Film Festival presents The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead - Encore Presentation



The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead

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• Saturday, August 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
• Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va 23220
• Admission: $7

The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead (dir: Wes Orshoski, 2015, 110 min)

From Lemmy filmmaker Wes Orshoski comes the story of the long-ignored pioneers of punk: The Damned, the first U.K. punks on wax and the first to cross the Atlantic. The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead includes appearances from Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones (The Clash), Lemmy, and members of Pink Floyd, Black Flag, Guns ‘N’ Roses, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Buzzcocks, and more. Shot around the globe over three years, the film charts the band’s complex history and infighting. It captures the band as it celebrated its 35th anniversary with a world tour and found its estranged former members striking out on their own anniversary tour, while other former members battled cancer. Screening includes Punk Rock door prizes and trivia contest. FREE POPCORN and CASH BAR.

Tickets available at the door or the Eventbrite link below.

Eventbrite - James River Film Festival presents The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead



T-Shirts For 2015 James River Film Festival Now Available!

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The James River Film Society Concession Stand, our new e-commerce site, is now live! Head on over to http://shop.jamesriverfilm.org to check it out.

We have T-shirts from this year’s festival in five sizes (Adult XL/Lg/Med/Sm and Child Lg). This year’s festival was one of the most successful ever with Ralph Bakshi as the highlighted director, and T-shirts to commemorate the event will be highly sought after in years to come! So grab yours!

If you have any questions about the e-commerce site’s operation or about your order, please email shop@jamesriverfilm.org.

Joy Division Celebration/Ian Curtis Birthday

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• Saturday, July 18, 2015, 7:30 pm
• Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va 23220
• Admission: $7; $0.20 surcharge for credit/debit cards

JOY DIVISION (dir: Grant Gee, 2008, 93 min)

A screening of the 2008 documentary film JOY DIVISION from director Grant Gee. Additionally, we will be showing two short films by Michael Jones, A Dead Love (1985, 16mm) and Dead Friends: When Blue Turns Red (1983, 16mm). Plus giveaways, FREE POPCORN, cash bar and more! $7.00 admission.

Benefit for the James River Film Society.



22nd James River Film Festival: Program Guide

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NOTE: Each event has its own individual blog post, in reverse chronological order.

Click the link below for a PDF of the Program Guide:

22nd Annual James River Film Festival Program Guide

22nd James River Film Festival: The Last Limousine

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• Sunday, April 12, 2015, 8:00 pm
• Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Va 23220, 804-353-0094
• Admission: $7 / JRFS Members $5

The Last Limousine (dir: Daria Khlestina, 2014, 75 min, Russian with English subtitles) with VGIK puppet animations from Moscow!

“Imagine an episode of The Office set in a Russian car factory, and you’re close to the ambience of The Last Limousine!”
            —Hollywood Reporter

The late director Daria Khlestina was editing this film in Amsterdam as she received cancer treatments; later she scrapped the initial edit and started over despite her condition. Khlestina gently and probingly toys with the Soviet ideal of the proletariat, and seems to find in her film the answer she hoped for. Faced with the demise of the car factory where they work, six employees—engineers, bosses and laborers—cling to professional pride and delusions as their world seemingly crumbles around them. Then, miraculously, an order comes in for three of the company’s deluxe hand-built limousines, the same limos that once squired Party dignitaries through parades in Red Square. They throw themselves tirelessly into fulfilling the order on time, but will it save the factory? Also, three animated puppet shorts from the VGIK, the Moscow Film School. (Total running time 105 min approx.)

Special thanks to Kevin McNeer, our James River Film Festival correspondent in Moscow!

Tickets available at the door or the Eventbrite link below.

Eventbrite - James River Film Festival presents The Last Limousine