RiverRun International Film Festival

The RiverRun International Film Festival is an annual Oscar-qualifying film festival held each spring in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States. The festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and presents a variety of feature-length and short films from all genres, and also presents special events, regional premieres of significant films, celebrity tributes, family events and classic retrospectives as well as panel discussions and parties.

RiverRun official logo

Jury Awards winners


Best Narrative Feature

Year Film Country Director
2024 Banel & Adama Senegal Ramata-Toulaye Sy
2023 Trapped Balloon Japan Hiroyuki Miyagawa
2022 You Resemble Me France / Egypt Dina Amer
2021 Fires in the Dark France / Belgium Dominique Lienhard
2020[1] De Lo Mio United States Diana Peralta
2019[2] Alice Australia/France Josephine Mackerras
2018 Angels Wear White China Vivian Qu
2017 After Love[3] France / Belgium Joachim Lafosse
2016 The Fits[3] United States Anna Rose Holmer
2015 Memories on Stone[3] Iraq / Germany Shawkat Amin Korki
2014 Ida[3] Poland Paweł Pawlikowski
2013 In the House[3] France François Ozon
2012 Found Memories[4] Argentina / Brazil Júlia Murat
2011 Bal (Honey) Turkey / Germany Semih Kaplanoglu
2010 Katalin Varga Romania / United Kingdom Peter Strickland
2009 Three Monkeys Turkey / France / Germany Nuri Bilge Ceylan
2008 The Edge of Heaven Germany / Turkey Fatih Akin
2007 For the Living and the Dead Finland Kari Paljakka
2006 A Wonderful Night in Split Croatia Arsen Anton Ostojić
2005 Innocent Voices Mexico Luis Mandoki
2004 Dandelion United States Mark Milgard
2003 The Truth... Yathharth India Rajesh Sheth
2001 Morning ( >$500k budget ) United States Ami Canaan Mann
2001 Dischord ( <$500k budget ) United States Mark Wilkinson
2000 The Magic of Marciano ( >$500k budget ) United States Tony Barbieri
2000 Jacks or Better ( <$500k budget ) United States Robert Sidney Mellette
1999 Crashing Eden United States Dean Alioto
1998 The Legend of Cryin' Ryan United States Deanna Shapiro & Julie Smith (St.Claire)

Best Documentary Feature

Year Film Country Director
2024 Name Me Lawand UK Edward Lovelace
2023 Bad Press USA Rebecca Landsberry-Baker & Joe Peeler
2022 Art & Krimes by Krimes USA Alysa Nahmias
2021[5] Sapelo Switzerland Nick Brandestini
2020[6] I Am Not Alone Armenia / United States Garin Hovannisian
2019 American Factory United States Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
2018 Minding the Gap United States Bing Liu
2017 Quest[3] United States Jonathan Olshefski
2016 Salero[3] Bolivia / United States Mike Plunkett
2015 The Chinese Mayor[3] China Hao Zhou
2014 The Case Against 8[3] United States Ben Cotner & Ryan White
2013 I Am Breathing[3] Denmark / United Kingdom[7] Emma Davie & Morgan McKinnon
2012 The Boy Who Was a King Bulgaria/Germany Andrey Paounov
2011 Armadillo Denmark Janus Metz
2010 Last Train Home Canada / China / UK Lixin Fan
2009 Unmistaken Child Israel Nati Baratz
2008 Up the Yangtze Canada Yung Chang
2007 The Rape of Europa USA Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, and Nicole Newnham
2006 Taimagura Grandma Japan Yohihiko Sumikawa
2005 Parallel Lines United States Nina Davenport
2004 Long Gone United States Jack Cahill & David Eberhardt
2003 The Boys of Second Street Park United States Ron Berger & Dan Klores
2001 Company Jasmine Israel Yael Katzir & Dan Katzir

Best Director

Year Film Country Director
2024 The Featherweight USA Robert Kolodny
2023 Know Your Place USA Zia Mohajerjasbi
2022 The Falconer Oman Adam Sjöberg & Seanne Winslow
2021 Fires in the Dark France Dominique Lienhard
2020 Asymmetry Serbia Maša Nešković
2019 Alice Australia Josephine Mackerras
2018 Angels Wear White China Vivian Qu
2017 The Ornithologist Brazil João Pedro Rodrigues
2016 One Floor Below Romania Radu Muntean
2015 Still the Water Japan Naomi Kawase
2014 The Summer of Flying Chile Marcela Said
2013 La Sirga Colombia William Vega
2012 Found Memories Argentina Júlia Murat
2011 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Thailand Apichatpong Weerasethakul
2010 Dogtooth Greece Yorgos Lanthimos
2009 Il Divo Italy Paolo Sorrentino
2008 California Dreamin’ Romania Cristian Nemescu
2007 Son of Man South Africa Mark Dornford-May
2006 A Wonderful Night In Split Croatia Arsen Anton Ostojic
2005 Symmetry Poland Konrad Niewolski
2008 Long Gone USA Jack Cahill and David Eberhardt
2008 Manhood USA Bobby Roth


A sign about the closure and cancellation of various events

Founded in 1998 by Gennaro and Beth D'Onofrio, the RiverRun International Film Festival got its name from the French Broad River near Brevard, North Carolina, where the festival was originally held. In 2003, Dale Pollock, a former film producer and then-Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, moved RiverRun to Winston-Salem, where it resides today as an independent arts organization showing new films from independent, international and student filmmakers.[8]

Since 2014, the festival has been an Oscar-qualifying festival in the Animated short film category.[9][10][11]

Festival Dates/Locations:

Number Year Dates Location
1st 1998 Sept. 25-27 Brevard, NC
2nd 1999 Sept. Brevard, NC
3rd 2000 Sept. 1-4 Brevard, NC
4th 2001 Aug. 29 - Sept. 3 Brevard, NC
2002 skipped
5th 2003 April 24–27 Winston-Salem, NC
6th 2004 April 22–25 Winston-Salem, NC
7th 2005 April 21–24 Winston-Salem, NC
8th 2006 March 16–19 Winston-Salem, NC
9th 2007 April 18–23 Winston-Salem, NC
10th 2008 April 23–28 Winston-Salem, NC
11th 2009 April 22–29 Winston-Salem, NC
12th 2010 April 15–25 Winston-Salem, NC
13th 2011 April 8–17 Winston-Salem, NC
14th 2012 April 13–22 Winston-Salem, NC
17th 2015 April 16–26 Winston-Salem, NC[12]
20th 2018 April 19–29[13] Winston-Salem, NC
21st 2019 April 4–14[14] Winston-Salem, NC
22nd 2020 March 26-April 5[a][16] Winston-Salem, NC


  1. ^ Original dates for the festival before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]


  1. ^ "RiverRun International Film Festival - Awards". RiverRun International Film Festival. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  2. ^ "2019 film awards announced!". RiverRun International Film Festival. 2019-04-16. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Awards". RiverRun Film Festival. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  4. ^ "The Awards are in!". RiverRun Film. Archived from the original on 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  5. ^ "RiverRun International Film Festival - Awards". RiverRun International Film Festival. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  6. ^ "RiverRun International Film Festival - Awards". RiverRun International Film Festival. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  7. ^ "I Am Breathing (2013)". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  8. ^ "RiverRun International Film Festival - History". RiverRun International Film Festival. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  9. ^ "Academy Award-Qualifying Festivals". FilmFreeway. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  10. ^ "RiverRun receives another Academy Awards® distinction". RiverRun International Film Festival. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  12. ^ "Riverrun 2015 Film Announcement". ScreenAnarchy. March 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "Home". RiverRun Film Festival. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  14. ^ "Important Dates for the 2019 RiverRun International Film Festival". RiverRun International Film Festival. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  15. ^ "UPDATE: COVID-19 and RiverRun". RiverRun International Film Festival. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  16. ^ "RiverRun International Film Festival - Home". RiverRun International Film Festival. Retrieved 22 March 2020.