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The Screening with No Name


Mike Jones and James Parrish have decided that something may be lost in the translation. After almost nine years at the head of the Richmond Moving Image Co-Op, the pair is thinking about a new name -- or names, actually, given that their organization has always been two-headed.

Jones, along with Trent Nicholas and Ashley Kistler, founded the James River Film Festival in 1993 for film lovers with a less-than-mainstream stripe (the first guest in '94 was William Wegman, the Weimaraner guy).

Parrish, a few years later, organized Flicker, a monthly get-together for filmmakers to show their work and celebrate the Super 8mm film. Eventually the two came together for the benefit of people behind the camera and in the audience, and in 2008, after 15 years of the film festival and 10 years of Flicker, the duo is thinking of the big rename:

How's the Richmond Film Society? Or Richmond Filmmakers? Or both? They're still working on it.

They want to set up a model like the Austin Film Society, where they can host regular screenings, seminars and film clinics. "The purpose being building a community of makers," Parrish says.

"Our limitation is that we don't have a space we can control," he says. And that's the big problem for the two right now. Unless someone wants to finance a million-dollar purchase and refurbishment of one of the great old movie houses around Richmond, they have to bounce from Plant Zero to the Canal Club to the Firehouse Theatre.

But they manage a myriad of projects such as the Italian Film and Food Festival in January, the James River Film Festival in April (this year they're looking to get Austinite Richard Linklater to attend), along with Flicker.

In November they're bringing notorious animator and nice guy Bill Plympton to town. He's done some wild and sexy stuff with a pencil and is the kind of person that appeals strongly to both audiences and filmmakers.

"The thing is, he still maintains his own integrity," Jones says. "And of course, that's what our festival is all about."

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