The Virginia Film Festival is a four-day celebration of the magic of the movies featuring first-run features and timeless classics, high-profile industry insiders and up-and-coming stars, and filmmakers from throughout Virginia and beyond. Taking place every autumn at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Virginia Film Festival has brought the best in contemporary and classic cinema to its audiences for nearly twenty-five years. An array of leading cultural experts lead fascinating lectures and discussions, providing unique insight into not only the world of film, but the world in which we live. A collection of special events throughout the weekend invites the entire community to dive into the art of film in exciting new ways.
The Stars Come to Charlottesville
Festival selections range from Hollywood premiers to classic, documentary, and experimental video. Panels and discussions illuminating a variety of facets of the films, from behind-the-scenes secrets of production to explorations of cultural relevance, complement the screenings. The festival taps into the local intellectual resources of professors, experts, and creative types, as well as bringing in actors, directors, and producers from Hollywood and New York, to create these memorable events.
Previous landmark screenings have included a 25th Anniversary tribute to In the Heat of the Night and Sidney Poitier; Distinguished Filmmaker presentations to Robert Altman, John Sayles, Emile de Antonio, and Arthur Penn; and Roger Ebert’s “shot by shot” workshops on classics such as Vertigo, Sunset Boulevard, and The Third Man. Memorable premiere events have included an advance screening of Mother & Child with actress Cherry Jones and director Rodrigo Garcia; and a live producer’s commentary of the show True Blood featuring its creator Alan Ball. Other guests have included Jimmy Stewart, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Gena Rowlands, Sigourney Weaver, William Styron, Ross McElwee, Matthew Broderick, and Cherry Jones.
A Focus on Community
Through programs ranging from Family Day to High School Film Screenings to partnerships with local schools and nonprofits, the Virginia Film Festival aims to reach every segment of the community in a positive way. The festival offers many longer-term outreach programs such as the Young Filmmakers Academy, and centers the children- and teen-centric activities to Friday and Saturday of each festival weekend to make them more accessible. Affordable and free screenings of family-friendly films makes the Virginia Film Festival a must for any parent planning family events. Educational and enriching activities such as a green-screen booth teach children to love learning and value the arts. The Virginia Film Festival aims create life-long film lovers while simultaneously fulfilling the needs of area families.
Bringing Filmmakers and Tourists to Virginia
Working closely with the Virginia Film Office, the Virginia Film Festival brings filmmakers from throughout the United States and abroad to Virginia to take advantage of its outstanding locations, communications, and talent. Filmmakers find the Virginia Film Festival a rare opportunity to screen and discuss their work with not only industry members and colleagues but also bright, appreciative audiences. The Festival also brings many visitors to Charlottesville, producing a significant impact on the local economy.