June 23, 2024

The Sundance Film Festival and the South by South West need to watch their backs because the Riverside International Film Festival is back and better than ever.

The ninth annual Riverside International Film Festival will be held at the Culver Center of the Arts in Downtown Riverside April 8 to 17. Tickets are $50 each and are available online or the evening of the Opening Night Gala Reception at the door.

The Opening Night Gala Reception is on April 8, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. That night attendees will have an opportunity to mingle with directors, producers and film stars. Entertainment will be provided by the Norco Choir. The special movie screening of the evening will take place at the UltraStar Cinema at University Village.

RIFF is also planning to have a special suprise guest commence the Opening Night Gala Reception.

In addition to the Riverside International Film Festival films that will be screened at the UltraStar Cinema, the Culver Center of the Arts will screen RIFF films on Saturday April 9, Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16.

Although the lineup for each night has not been designated, announcements and press releases will be made as the event approaches.

The Riverside International Film Festival will be showing international and independent features, documentaries and shorts. The festival will be features films from Afghanistan, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Israel, Korea, Nepal, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

There is no need to drive out to Los Angeles or Palm Springs to see great international or independent films when the Riverside International Film Festival has such an impressive lineup. The world is truly being brought to your own backyard through the festival.

In an effort to engage the college community, RIFF has agreed to have a day dedicated to the University of California, Riverside. On this day, UCR will be able to choose what movies will be screened and will take part in the planning of the events. It is an opportunity for the students to get involved and show Riverside what talented young students they are.

Cameron Malchow, junior at California Baptist University, is one of five CBU student interns for the festival.

“The internship has been a unique experience. We are the first interns they have ever had and we have had free reign to do whatever we would like. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Thankfully, it has been more of a good thing for most of us and I personally have learned to be ambitious and find things to do instead of wait for someone to tell me what to do,” Malchow said. “My goal has been to help the festival improve and grow and hopefully future CBU interns will do the same.”

RIFF is also making monumental strides in engaging community involvement with the festival. Many local businesses have agreed to sponsor the festival in some way. Some businesses are making donations for the goodie bags that will be given out during the Opening Night Gala Reception, others have offered food and services and most have agreed to advertise the festival in their businesses.

Dr. Harki Dhillon is the director of the Riverside International Film Festival.

“The Riverside International Film Festival has a focus on showing Independent films- features, documentaries and shorts from around the world. These are made by young and extremely talented producers, directors and screen writers bringing contemporary thought to the big screen,” Dhillon said. “The festival provides a wonderful opportunity to take an emotional, turbulent, scenic, dramatic journey with the filmmakers and many will be present at the screenings, so come and be part of this great experience.”

As the interest in the festival grows the Riverside International Film Festival plans on playing a large role in helping to put the renaissance city of Riverside on the map.