RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Solidarity with Paris is strong here amongst Richmonders in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks that have now claimed the lives of 132 innocent people. That especially holds true at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown, where the French flag now flies at half staff.
Theatre General Manager, Todd Schall-Vess says,”We’re a cinema palace and the heart of cinema worldwide has always beat so strongly in France, and as soon as we heard all of this, it was like, oh, I know what we need to do, we need to fly the flag.”
It’s a fitting sentiment for the place which is also home to Richmond’s annual French Film Festival. Co-founder Dr. Peter Kirkpatrick says while we here in the U.S. mourn along with our French brothers and sisters, the show of support for Paris has been overwhelming.
He says, “We’ve been very moved by all the letters of solidarity, the emails that we’ve received to the festival office.. the support of not only the friends of the festival here in Richmond, but also our network of actors and directors who come to the Byrd Theatre to present their films every year.”
Dr. Francoise Kirkpatrick is also a co-founder of the french film festival and has family back in France. Thankfully, they were not in Paris Friday, but she says after talking to them after the attacks, she’s moved by the courage and strength of her people.She says, “I was struck by the dignity and the courage and one of them said, we are in war. We are going to resist and we are going to continue to live our lives the way it should be lived.”
French President Francois Hollande has declared three days of national mourning in France.
The french film festival will be held this coming spring.