James River Film Festival this week at VMFA

JRFF poster_2011

It started 18 years ago as the brainchild of Mike Jones, VCU film teacher and former owner of the legendary Biograph Theater here in Richmond. It was conceived as a non-profit showcase for very significant film-related events drawn primarily from the world of independent and avant garde cinema, and has certainly lived up to the promise. Through the years, guests at this “Little Film Festival That Could” have included William Wegman, Stan Brakhage, The Quay Brothers, Charles Burnett, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, and Albert Maysles.

To this day, not one staff member gets paid a salary including Jones and James Parrish who signed on a few years back to work as co-directors. It is an all-volunteer project made of dedicated cinephiles. Consistently, it has given Richmond and region a treasure trove of fine, prestigious film offerings for free or very reasonable prices.

Go to: http://www.vmfa.museum/Films/ to see the events proudly being held at VMFA this coming Friday and Saturday. And for events during the entire festival around Richmond, go to

-H. Hobart Cornell, critic-at-large