Invariably, one of the most popular events at the RiverRun International Film Festival is the “Saturday Morning Cartoons” program, which is exactly what it sounds like and has proven a big draw for young and old alike.

Despite the cancellation of this year’s festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will nevertheless present “Saturday Morning Cartoons” – free of charge and available through June 14. Even better, you can watch them any day of the week, not just Saturday. 

The 10 shorts selected are Con Amore, The Credits Movie, Dragon Recipes, Folding Fur, Function, Lulu DotAway, Misguided, The Most Magnificent Thing, Runaway Radish, and Wander. (You can find the synopsis for each online.) This program is sponsored by Salem Smiles Orthodontics.

“The Saturday Morning Cartoons are always a favorite at the festival and we are glad to be able to finally share them with our RiverRun audiences,” said Rob Davis, RiverRun executive director. “This year, we have 10 sweet shorts from as far away as Cyprus and even one from right here at UNCSA. Just a reminder: We list our Saturday Morning Cartoons for ages 8 and up, but for the benefit of them being online is that parents can check them out first. I think they might like them just as much as their kids!”

In addition, the 2020 RiverRun International Film Festival has announced the winner of its Jury Award winners.

According to RiverRun program manager Mary Dossinger, “one of the first things we decided after we wrapped our heads around not having a festival this year was that we should reach out to our jury members and see if they would still be able to take part virtually, given the situation everyone was facing.

“We had incredible jurors from all areas of the film community set to come to Winston-Salem and we very much wanted to still highlight the incredible work of our filmmakers in some way,” she said. “Almost all of the jurors responded with a resounding ‘Yes’ and we got to work sending them the films and introducing them to one another. We are so thankful to them for being a part of RiverRun 2020 and hope to still get them all to our festival in the future.”

In the Vision Independent Feature Competition, De Lo Mio, directed by Diana Peralta, won Best Film. The Peter Brunette Award for Best Director went to Masa Neskovic for Asymmetry, for which Djordje Arambasic also won Best Cinematography. Mcabe Gregg won Best Actor for Teenage Badass, while Krisha Fairchild won Best Actress for Freeland. Best Screenplay went to Sasha Collington for Love Type D, and Best Editing went to Christopher Donlon and Sara Newens for Freeland.

I Am Not Alone, directed by Garin Hovannisian, took top honors as Best Documentary, with Anbessa, directed by Mo Scarpelli, receiving an honorable mention. Sam Ellison won Best Director for Cheche Lavi.

Tattoo, directed by Farhad Delaram, won Best Narrative Short; Wonder, directed by Javier Molina, won the Special Jury Award; Terminal, directed by Kim Allamand, won Best Student Narrative Short; and director Matt Porter’s Nighty Night won Special Jury Mention. Exit 12, directed by Mohammad Gorjestani, and Ashes to Ashes, co-directed by Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk, tied for Best Documentary Short.

Petty Thing, directed by Li Zexi, won Best Animated Short, while Sous la Glace (directed by Milan BAULARD, Ismaïl BERRAHMA, Flore DUPONT, Laurie ESTAMPES, Quentin NORY and Hugo POTIN) received the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Film. Medium Rare, directed by Luca Cioci, won the Special Jury Award for Experimental Film; The Kite, directed by Martin Smatana, won the Special Jury Award for Design Integration; Blieschow, directed by Christoph Sarow, won the Special Jury Award for Best Student Film; and Fata Morgana, co-directed by Daniella Bokor and Leanna Berkovitch, won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Craft.

The 23rd annual RiverRun International Festival is currently scheduled for April 8-18, 2021.

For more information about the festival, visit the official website.

See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2020, Mark Burger.

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