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Richmond International Film Festival set to return in September

riff richmond international film festivalThe Richmond International Film Festival announced Monday that its 2020 festival is on for the week of Sept. 8-13.

The festival plans to screen 30-plus film titles in physical theatres, pending approval from city and health officials, and the remaining festival will include its first ever virtual screenings, panels, live streaming events, and red carpets.

RIFF postponed its original 2020 festival dates (April 23-28) amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Like many festivals throughout the country, as a result the festival redirected its efforts to explore new innovations via a virtual festival platform that allows patrons, filmmakers, musicians, and partners across the globe to experience the festival in a socially distanced setting according to safety guidelines in place.

Hybrid Festival Model:  Physical and Virtual Offerings

The 2020 festival will be hybrid model that allows for various forms of participation bringing added ways to engage and participate in this year’s festival.

Physical screenings, if clearance remains by officials and current guidelines, will take place at the historic Byrd Theatre, which has been closed since March due to the pandemic. Safety measures have been put in place at the theatre in order to host the 2020 RIFF and physical screenings will proceed as long as current guidelines remain in effect for Virginia.

Additional screenings to possibly take place at Bow Tie Cinemas (Criterion and Movieland) contingent upon Phase III guidelines. Bow Tie’s theatre doors are currently open with limited hours screening $5 classic favorites and new independent releases Friday through Sundays.

For the new virtual festival platform, RIFF will be using Eventive’s new state of the art DRM protected, VOD and live streaming platform. In addition to virtual film screenings, the festival will bring virtual panel events, Q&As, industry mixers and red carpet events along with the annual FLOW Creative Conference hosted by Tilt Creative + Production.

In the music and web series program, RIFF will be including a socially distanced physical indoor/outdoor event at this year’s festival scheduled to be hosted by Tang & Biscuit, which will include a full day of music performances, a mixer, and select film screenings.

RIFF’s two annual signature events, the opening night party and the annual wrap party, will take place in a socially distanced physical setting to be announced or become a virtual signature event for 2020.  Also in the works is the annual rooftop mixer at the Quirk Hotel with details to be announced soon.

Richmond Flying Squirrels + RIFF

New this year is a special collaboration between RIFF and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Richmond based Minor League Baseball team. In an effort to bring the community a socially distanced, outdoor fun film event that all the family can enjoy, both have teamed up to add this new signature event to the 2020 RIFF line up.

The evening will include a double feature film on Friday night during festival week, September 11th with additional special features to be announced. Patrons will need to reserve their space on the field or in the stands ahead of time in order to stay within safety protocol. Other highlight additions for this evening can be found via announcements on the festival website or the Squirrels website in the coming weeks, including pending music performances, and more.

The Richmond International Film Festival is a competitive and spirited festival that entertains visitors from around the world and honors cutting edge independent projects. RIFF brings a six-day cavalcade of more than 130 cutting edge award-winning film premiers from 35 countries – from Spain to Brazil, France, Australia to Cuba – plus over 30 bands, panels, and daily events across Richmond and virtually.

A full schedule of the 2020 line up is scheduled to release online late July.

Advance tickets go on sale through the RIFF website at that time at

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