RiverRun Film Festival to Screen “Soul City” Film by Wake Forest Graduates



A slice of Hollywood will descend on the Triad again this year at the RiverRun International Film Festival, March 30 – April 9, 2017, in Winston-Salem. Entering its 19th year, the Festival will celebrate filmmakers and their films by screening an impressive lineup of more than 150 films from around the world. Featuring everything from documentaries, narratives, animation, short films, and discussion panels, to outdoor screenings free to the public and more, the films at this year’s Festival will have something for everyone.

During RiverRun, more than 100 filmmakers and actors are expected to attend and participate in Q&A sessions after their film screenings so that Festival-goers can get to know not only their films, but also the filmmakers themselves.

One exciting film that will make its way “back home” to the Piedmont is the award-winning documentary short, “Soul City” from co-directors Monica Berry, SheRea DelSol, and Gini Richards. All three are 2016 graduates of Wake Forest’s MFA in documentary filmmaking, and the film was the product of their 18-month senior project.

“Soul City,” tells the story of a group of civil rights activists and city slickers who, in the 1970s, attempted to build a multiracial utopia in the heart of Klan Country, North Carolina. Their pioneering efforts to establish the black-owned, black-built town ran up against determined enemies that cultural idealists and dreamers still face today. The longstanding racism, combined with public skepticism, and the unwillingness of the government to consider alternative solutions to solve social problems, made for a hard reality for the community’s founders. The group tried to bring together unlikely allies to support black power and economic development, only to find that, in the end, they were forced to reconcile their idealism with the hostile realities of the times.

“Soul City” will be screened along with other North Carolina shorts during the Festival (date and time TBD – see riverrunfilm.com for schedule). NC Shorts screenings are sponsored by Nelson Mullins.

“As a filmmaker and storyteller, especially in today’s political climate, my main goal is to be fiercely dedicated to getting stories out there that examine overlooked parts of our history in a nuanced and honest manner,” said Monica Berra. “We need these stories more than ever.” Ms. Berra and Ms. Richards will be at the screening for the audience Q&A.

This is Berra’s second film at RiverRun, as her film “Teaching from the Floor,” co-directed with Tom Green, another WFU Documentary Film Program grad, screened at RiverRun 2015, and she returned to RiverRun to serve as a juror for films in competition in 2016.

TICKETS & INFO: Tickets go on sale March 3, 2017, at the Stevens Center Box Office, via riverrunfilm.com or over the phone at (336) 721-1945.

RiverRun International Film Festival is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the role of cinema as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Founded in 1998, RiverRun is a competitive event that annually showcases new films from both established and emerging filmmakers around the world. Each spring, RiverRun screens new narrative, documentary, short, student and animated films, offering both audience and jury prizes in competition categories.


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