Second Place: James River Film Festival
Third Place: 48 Hour Film Project
For a few days, the French Film Festival transforms Carytown into a bustling, cosmopolitan Parisian boardwalk. Peter and Françoise Kirkpatrick's celebration of French cinema provides the equivalent of modern Hollywood titles from France, with the attendant cultural hoopla and the magnificent setting of the historic Byrd Theatre. Also winning audiences is the little festival that could: the annual James River Film Festival from the James River Film Society. It's a true film lover's fest, featuring a mixture of avant garde and experimental films, impressive guest filmmakers and such classic films as Sergio Corbucci's original "Django" spaghetti Western, shown earlier this year. Even more interactive is the 48 Hour Film Project, a national, 120-plus city tour, which stops in Richmond. It challenges local filmmakers to race around town with expensive equipment, creating short films in two days. The top 10 national winners from this summer's contest will be screened at Cannes Film Festival's short film corner in 2014.