The James River Film Festival programming is always diverse and exciting. Here a few to keep in mind, April 7-10. jamesriverfilm.org.
“Southeast 67”: Documentary tells the story of 1990s Anacostia high-school students, selected for the I Have a Dream program for at-risk youth, through the lens of three participants, interspersing decades-old archival footage with contemporary interviews. Director Betsy Cox, who will be present for questions, says she hopes the documentary achieves what is so often lacking in educational reform, a long and broad view that delves beyond classroom experience into the day-to-day life challenges kids also face.
“Heavy Metal Parking Lot”: The infamous 1986 documentary about heavy-metal fans at a Judas Priest concert parking lot turns 30 this year, a milestone the festival celebrates with a screening and appearance by John Heyn, who made the unique film and many subsequent “parking lot” follow-ups with Jeff Krulik.
“Destination: Planet Negro!”: Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” co-screenwriter, Kevin Willmott, wrote and directed this tongue-in-cheek historical fantasy about a group of black leaders who devise an unusual escape plan from “the man.” Willmott will be on hand for a question session after the screening.
“The Man Who Fell to Earth”: David Bowie as a stranded alien, directed by “Walkabout’s” Nicolas Roeg. In killer 35 mm. Really all you need to know.