Now playing in RiverRun’s Virtual Theater: Black History Month shorts and Coup 53

Published 11:12 am Thursday, February 18, 2021

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WINSTON-SALEM — Through the end of February, RiverRun International Film Festival is presenting two features through its online Virtual Theater platform at

In celebration of Black History Month and in keeping with its continued commitment to showcasing thought-provoking new cinematic work from Black creators and collaborators, RiverRun is proud to present this free block of short films originally selected to screen during the 2020 Festival. This special programming is being sponsored by Mike D’s BBQ and is available free of charge to viewers. The films in this block, which encompasses two short documentaries and two short narrative works, include:

  • “Sound & Sole,” directed by Cara Hagan. Arthur Grimes was born and raised in the Appalachians and is the only professionally working, African-American buck dancer in Boone. Grimes recounts his journey from eager youth to professional master, gives a glimpse into his performance experience, and demonstrates his deep love for Appalachian music, dance and history.
  • “Shoegazer,” directed by Isa Benn. Sydney, 26, musters up the courage to ask her ex-boyfriend what went wrong, and the answer isn’t one she was quite prepared for.
  • “Frederick Douglass Boulevard aka Food & Drink Boulevard aka F.D.B.,” directed by Washington Kirk. Armed with little more than white Americans’ conditioned fear of Black violence, Malcolm concocts a ludicrous scheme to de-gentrify Harlem.
  • “Blue & Gold Marching Machine,” directed by Alyson Vermillion, Nathan Burton, and Jenifer Hughey. Follow along as 200 musicians and dancers celebrate the 100th year of the North Carolina A&T marching band, from band camp to the “Greatest Homecoming on Earth.”

Also showing in the Virtual Theater is “Coup 53”, the story of the 1953 coup in Iran, in which director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch uncovered archival material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but it also leads to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. Coup 53 is being sponsored by Jane and Tom McKim. Tickets are $12 and are available for purchase at

“We are, as always, so glad that we are able to continue offering programming through our Virtual Theater,” said Rob Davis, RiverRun’s executive director. “Our Black History Month selections as well as Coup 53 are both wonderful options, and we are thankful for our sponsors that have made them possible. We are busy getting ready for our 2021 Festival, which will take place in a variety of ways from May 6-16.”


The sponsors of the 2021 RiverRun International Film Festival help sustain the organization’s mission to foster a greater appreciation of cinema and a deeper understanding of the many people, cultures, and perspectives of our world through regular interaction with great films and filmmakers. Festival sponsors include:

Title sponsors — National Endowment for the Arts, UNCSA; Presenting sponsors — Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, City of Winston-Salem, Millennium Fund, MullenLowe Mediahub, Shift Creative, Wake Forest University

Marquee sponsors — Forsyth County, Nelson Mullins, North Carolina Arts Council, PNC, Reynolds America, Inc., Salem Smiles Orthodontics