The Virginia Film Festival’s 2013 Community Outreach and Education Program is generously supported by the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF).

Our Community Outreach and Education Program partners with community groups, public and private schools, and arts agencies to engage youth, students, community members, and underrepresented populations in film. To learn more, please watch our new O&E promotional video.

Family Day: Age-appropriate feature films, live performances, green screen technology, interactive film activities, Hollywood red carpet walk, premiers of youth films, and healthy food samplings are part of this exciting theater and street fair event on Saturday of the Festival weekend. All films and activities are free to our attendees!

Young Filmmaker’s Academy (YFA): Designed to engage youth in authentic film production, YFA introduces students to the challenge of filmmaking.  Students work in teams to write, produce, and edit brief films around a common structure. On Family Day, VFF honors the Young Filmmakers with a red carpet experience and a screening of their films.

Middle and High School Film Screening: Every year the Festival hosts a free screening of a socially relevant film for students and their teachers.  Experts on film, ethics, and other disciplines speak to the subjects of the film after the screening, providing a fascinating and accessible out of the classroom lesson. In 2010, director Stanley Nelson and three of the original Freedom Riders participated in a discussion following the documentary Freedom Riders. The 2011 screening was the documentary The Loving Story.  In January 2012, the Virginia Film Festival partnered with the U.Va. Office of Diversity and Equity and the Center for Politics to present the HBO Documentary Sing Your Song followed by a post-screening discussion legendary singer, actor, and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte and Larry Sabato. In November 2012, the Festival screened Chasing Ice, an award winning documentary about climate change and global warming. Our school screening for 2014 is on Friday, November 7th. We will announce the selection in late August. Contact Jane Freeman at 434-823-4221 or to receive information and/or attend.

ACTION! The VFF’s High School Director Competition: In its second year, this competition is open to rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students who are current residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Three (3) prizes will be awarded to three best director or directing teams to support the winning student(s)’s continued film and filmmaker education.  The ACTION! Grand Prize will be a check for $1,000, and two (2) ACTION! Runner-Up Prizes will be checks of $500 each. The 2014 ACTION! Competition is supported by the Virginia Film Office.

Mentor Agencies: VFF invites local mentoring groups to enjoy Family Day with their mentees.  Representative mentoring groups in past years include Madison House, Young Women’s Leadership Program, and 100 Black Men of America.  Mentor groups select the specific VFF films and activities most suited to the age and gender of their mentees.

Adrenaline Film Project: AFP is a 72-hour guerrilla filmmaking competition.  Ten to twelve teams receive coaching by high profile filmmakers as they write, shoot, edit and present their own short film over the course of festival weekend.  The films are screened and judged in an event that is an annual highlight of the festival.  Teams consist of community filmmakers, U.Va. students, and local high school students.  VFF annually supports two teams of young filmmakers from acclaimed Light House Studio.  Contact Light House for enrollment info.

Light House Studio Screening: Light House Studio, a community agency dedicated to supporting middle and high school students interested in filmmaking, hosts screenings of new student works on Family Day.  See the best of the best!

Digital Media Gallery: For four years running, the VFF has supported a free and open-to-the-public gallery space for video artist on the Downtown Mall. At the DMG, you can experience student and community-made video projection art and contemporary film. The gallery space showcases creative work from local community artists as well as Kevin Everson’s U.Va. intermediate and advanced cinematography classes. Audiences can explore and celebrate the boundless talent and creativity of these artists and filmmakers. The 2013 Digital Media Gallery is supported by the U.Va. Arts Council. The Festival will announce plans for 2013 in June.

Film Experts in the Schools: Guest speakers, scholars, professionals and performers share their expertise with local schools and present before and during the Festival as available.

High School Internships: VFF welcomes interested high school students as interns.  Interns fill a variety of roles – everything from organizational leadership to office support to event support!  Scheduling is flexible.  Students  fulfilling requirements outlined by the school may earn course credit. Applicants should contact Jane Freeman and provide a teacher or employer reference.

Film Festival at the Fox Den: Annually VFF develops an interactive film experience for the children’s tent at the Fox Field Races.  This year’s experience – Sunday, September 29th from 10 – 3 – features 3-D technology, photo opportunities, and more!

The Virginia Film Festival is presented by the University of Virginia.

To learn more about these programs or to get involved, contact our Outreach and Education Coordinator, Jane Freeman at

2013 Virginia Film Festival

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