RiverRun International Film Festival returns this month with indoor, in-person screenings for the first time in three years. The festival is offering films both virtually and in traditional theaters — that's a change from last year, where the in-person viewings were held in outdoor settings because of the pandemic.

Rob Davis is the festival's executive director. He says getting back into theaters will allow audiences to share the experiences and emotions of the films together. But there's another reason movie lovers enjoy coming out.

“What we've found so popular with audiences at RiverRun is the filmmaker Q&As and the dialogue with filmmakers following the screenings,” he says. “And we have several filmmakers coming into town this year so the audience members will be allowed to ask them questions and talk with them.”

Davis says about two-thirds of the films will also be available to watch virtually. He says that's turned out to be a way to expand the festival's reach. Last year's films were viewed by ticket buyers in 33 states and even internationally. 

More than 170 films from 33 countries will be shown this year. They were culled from almost 1,700 submissions.

The festival runs April 21-30.

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