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March 26, 2009 10:50 AM
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"Summer" to Open 11th RiverRun Fest

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a scene from Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer." Image courtesy of the RiverRun International Film Festival.

Winston-Salem, NC's The RiverRun International Film Festival will screen 37 features in its 11th annual event, organizers have unveiled. This year's festival, running April 22 - 29 will also include 63 shorts. Opening the fest is Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer," described as an offbeat romantic comedy about a woman (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn't believe true love exists, the young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls for her.

Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut "The Burning Plain," starring Charlize Theron and Kim Bassinger, will screen as the Centerpiece Premiere, and the festival's closing night will feature a screening of the Harold Lloyd classic 1928 silent comedy "Speedy" accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra. RiverRun will also present its inaugural 'Emerging Master Award' to filmmaker Ramin Bahrani following a screening of his latest film "Goodbye Solo."

"Over the past few years, RiverRun has developed a loyal following and built a reputation as one of the country's most prestigious regional film festivals," commented the festivals' executive director Andrew Rodgers in a statement. "I think that's because we place such an emphasis on filmmakers and the power and urgency of new cinematic voices, such as Ramin Bahrani, the recipient of our inaugural Emerging Master Award. As far as what's different this year, we've extended the dates of the festival to accommodate an increased demand for tickets; added a new non-competition sidebar section to showcase more films by emerging talents and greatly expanded the caliber of our special presentations."

RiverRun narrative and documentary competitions

Narrative Competition:
"Heart of Fire" - Germany/Italy/Austria/France - Director: Luigi Falorni
"Il Divo" - Italy & France - Director: Paolo Sorrentino
"Mommy is at the Hairdresser's" - Canada - Director: Lea Pool
"Rumba" - France & Belgium - Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy
"Three Monkeys" - Turkey/France/Italy - Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
"Treeless Mountain" - South Korea & USA - Director: So Yong Kim
"Tulpan" - Germany/Kazakhstan/Poland/Russia/Switzerland - Director: Sergey Dvortsevoy
"A Woman in Berlin" - Germany & Poland - Director: Max Faerberboeck

The 2009 Narrative Competition jury includes Lucasfilm distribution executive Eric Besner; filmmaker Jennifer Chambers Lynch ("Boxing Helena," "Surveillance"); Salon.com film critic Andrew O'Hehir; Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival; and a film student from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2008, Fatih Akin's "The Edge of Heaven" won the Best Narrative Feature jury prize and Gareth Lewis' "The Baker" won the Narrative Audience Award.


Documentary Competition:
"Art & Copy" - USA - Director: Doug Pray
"Food Inc." - USA - Director: Robert Kenner
"Football Under Cover" - Germany - Directors: Ayat Najafi & David Assmann
"Guest of Cindy Sherman" - USA - Directors: Tom Donahue & Paul Hasegawa-Overacker
"Kalinovski Square" - Estonia - Director: Yury Khashchavatski
"Rocaterrania" - USA - Director: Brett Ingram
"Unmistaken Child" - Israel - Director: Nati Baratz
"Waveriders" – Ireland & UK – Director: Joel Conroy

[For more information including the full line up, visit the RiverRun International Film Festival's website.]

Check out indieWIRE's New Guide to Film Festivals (listings will be updated throughout the year):
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