RiverRun 2021 by the numbers

Published 10:21 pm Sunday, May 23, 2021

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WINSTON-SALEM — The 23rd annual RiverRun International Film Festival was held May 6-16 and was a hybrid festival of virtual screenings and safe, outdoor and drive-in screenings. The festival this year presented 134 films representing 24 countries.

Given the nature of the 2021 festival, attendance numbers cannot be calculated exactly due particularly to virtual screenings, but some statistics from ticket sales were measurable:

  • 3,488 film tickets were sold. This number includes one ticket for each car at a drive-in screening and one ticket for each virtual screening.
  • For drive-in screenings, 655 additional people were counted besides the one car counted in the ticket number, as individuals were counted as each car entered the venue.
  • How many people were present in each virtual audience is unknown, as a virtual ticket purchase could have been a single purchaser, a purchaser plus spouse/family/friends etc.

Virtual ticket sales took place in:

  • 33 states (including North Carolina)
  • Hawaii was farthest state with a virtual ticket purchase
  • British Columbia and Ontario, Canada
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Israel
  • United Kingdom

“This year was obviously a different landscape for RiverRun, but we are thrilled with how things went throughout Winston-Salem and in Greensboro for our drive-in and outdoor screenings.  It has been a treat for us to see that RiverRun had such a far reach this year — across the country and beyond,” said Rob Davis, executive director of RiverRun.  “As always, we are grateful to everyone who makes this festival happen, and to all of those who support our mission.

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, Parkway Lincoln, Wake Forest University

Marquee Sponsors – Forsyth County, Kilpatrick Townsend Attorneys at Law, Nelson Mullins, North Carolina Arts Council. PNC, Reynolds American, Inc., Salem Smiles Orthodontics, Visit Winston-Salem

The 24th RiverRun International Film Festival will take place April 21–April 30, 2022.

The RiverRun International Film Festival is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the role of cinema as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Founded in 1998, RiverRun is a competitive event that annually showcases new films from both established and emerging filmmakers around the world. Each spring, RiverRun screens new narrative, documentary, short, student and animated films, offering both audience and jury prizes in competition categories.