WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The RiverRun International Film Festival kicked off Friday. The 15th annual festival will include 143 films from 35 countries.
The festival, which runs through April 21, is expected to bring in more than 16,000 visitors and pump around $2 million in to the local economy.
"It brings a lot of exposure to the Winston-Salem area," said Nick Shea with Jeffrey Adams Restaurant on 4th Street.
The restaurant and many other downtown businesses have been preparing for the festival crowds.
"People from out-of-town and from around the country. More people to come dine with us and other Winston-Salem restaurants," Adams said.
Many of the films have local ties including Susie’s Hope, a movie about Susie the dog who was badly abused is set to premiere during the festival.
Her story prompted new animal cruelty legislation in North Carolina, known as "Susie’s Law." The film was filmed entirely in the Piedmont-Triad.
For more information on the films visit www.riverrunfilm.com