Film Society


RiverArts Launches Film Society

RiverArts has launched a new program that focuses on film as a visual art form and forum for social commentary.  Filmmaking is a complex and powerful art form in our world.  Every artist is trying to tell a story, and through their stories, filmmakers help us understand our lives and the lives of others as well as the many cultures of our world.  Films engage and develop an emotional response and may challenge our understanding and perspectives.

The RiverArts Film Society mission is to provide transformative cinematic experiences by screening films with diverse perspectives followed by thought provoking discussions.  RiverArts will partner with Sumner Hall and the Mainstay to show monthly films with talkbacks at their venues which offer new projection systems and an intimate, coffee-house ambiance.

The RiverArts Film Society is a membership organization with an annual fee of $30 for one person or $50 for two. Membership includes free admission to up to ten films per year that include talkbacks and Q&A by engaging, knowledgeable presenters.

Join the 2018 Film Society:  FILM SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP

Louise Miller and Lani Seikaly chair the RiverArts Film Advisory Board and welcome any ideas you have for future film screenings, classes or workshops.

The 2018 screenings are curated by Robert Earl Price and Pam Whyte.

They have chosen three films in each of four themes.  Screening dates will be posted as soon as confirmed. Films will be held once a month, at either Sumner Hall or The Mainstay. As seating is limited, particularly at Sumner Hall, priority will be given to Film Society members.

Films about African Americans

  • Nothing But a Man (4pm Sunday, March 25, Sumner Hall)
  • Uptight (4pm Sunday, April 15, Sumner Hall)
  • Do the Right Thing (4pm Sunday, May 6, Sumner Hall)

1960’s Cultural Phenoms 

  • The Graduate (7pm, Friday June 15, The Mainstay)
  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (7pm, Thursday, July 19, The Mainstay)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (7pm, August 24, Sumner Hall)

Coen Bros Series

  • The Man Who Wasn’t There (4:30, Sunday, August 12, Sumner Hall)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (7 pm, Thursday, October 18, Sumner Hall)
  • A Serious Man – TBD


  • Anne Frank’s Holocaust (7pm, Friday, September 28, The Mainstay)
  • JFK:  The Lost Bullet
  • 9/11:  Stories in Fragments

Register for upcoming Film Society events here:  FILM SOCIETY EVENT REGISTRATION

In addition to the film screenings, RiverArts sponsors filmmaking and video marketing classes, which can be seen here.

Learn More About the 2018 Film Schedule

To Kill A Mockingbird

Film and talkback: Friday, August 24
7:00 pm
Sumner Hall, Chestertown

RiverArts has launched a Film Society and is partnering with the Mainstay and Sumner Hall to show monthly films with talkbacks.  

This critically acclaimed, classic trial film burst onto the scene in 1962, revealing ugly truths at a time when Civil Rights activists and students were challenging segregation in the South. The story takes place in 1930s Alabama as Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer (Gregory Peck) defends a black man falsely accused of raping an impoverished white woman. The innocence of Finch’s young children — daughter, Scout, and son, Jem — gives way to understanding crucial lessons about prejudice and the fears that motivate it. Justifiably, critics underscore that the film goes easy on the racial realities of small-town Alabama in the 30s, but the criticism doesn’t negate the tour-de-force of acting, writing, and production value.

The film won three Academy Awards and eight nominations, and it was the second feature Robert Mulligan would direct alongside longtime collaborator Alan Pakula, then a big-time Hollywood producer. Peck won Best Actor and Horton Foote won Best Adapted Screenplay (from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name). It also won for best Art Direction and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Music Score.

In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. To Kill a Mockingbird stands as American Film Institute’s number one choice for best courtroom drama of all time, and it named Atticus Finch as the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.

Talkback facilitator: Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver

Event seating is limited. Pre-registration is required for everyone. Priority seating is given to Film Society Members.

Non Film Society Members will be asked to give a $10 donation, which may be paid for here, in the gallery, or by phone (410-778-6300).

REGISTER FOR To Kill A Mockingbird