Feb 26, 2019
Virginia Film Festival

Opening Night Film And Gala To Move To Wednesday Evening &  Festival Officials Announce Launch of 2019 Call for Entries

Charlottesville, VA – February 25, 2019 – The Virginia Film Festival announced today that the 2019 VAFF will take place from October 23-27.

The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

For the first time, the Festival will kick off on Wednesday evening with its Opening Night Film at The Paramount Theater and Opening Night Gala at The Jefferson Theater. The Festival will then begin its full schedule on Thursday and run through Sunday.

“The continued growth of the Virginia Film Festival has caused us to think about ways we can offer our patrons and filmmakers alike the best possible Festival experience,” said Jody Kielbasa, director of the Virginia Film Festival and vice provost for the arts at the University of Virginia. “By moving our opening to Wednesday night, we are able to spotlight those exciting and high-profile events on their own before moving into the full schedule beginning on Thursday.”

Now in its 32nd year, the Virginia Film Festival is among the nation’s most acclaimed regional film festivals, and one of the most highly-anticipated cultural events in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The VAFF is coming off another highly-successful year, with five films from its program earning nine Academy Awards last night. They include Best Picture,  Best Original Screenplay , and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) winner Green Book; Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma; and Best Documentary Feature Free Solo. Also taking home Oscar gold were VAFF films If Beale Street Could Talk (Best Supporting Actress, Regina King) and The Favourite (Best Actress, Olivia Colman). Ten films from the VAFF program received nominations, including At Eternity’s Gate, Border, Capernaum, Never Look Away, and Shoplifters.

The Festival also welcomed a stellar roster of guests including Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz, noted director Allen Hughes, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King III, renowned film historian and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, and more than 150 filmmakers from around the world.

The VAFF Call for Entries is now open, said Programmer Wesley Harris. “Our Call for Entries is open to any filmmaker in the world — from around the globe and throughout Virginia — to submit their films to us for consideration. Here, we are able to connect with artists who have made terrifically compelling and often under-seen films. Films that we may not otherwise encounter, first-time filmmakers finding their voice and honing their craft, and deeply personal independent works that range from intimate character studies to explorations of the kinds of pervasive social issues that shape our lives.”

Accepted films will be eligible for category-specific awards, including the Programmer’s Awards, Audience Awards for which moviegoers vote via ballots, and Commonwealth Awards for Best Virginia Feature Film and Best Virginia Short Film.

Once again this year, Virginia residents and students at Virginia schools are eligible to have their entry fees waived. The fees for non-Virginia filmmakers submitting by the regular deadline of Monday, June 10 will be $35 for features and $15 for shorts and virtual reality submissions. Those submitting by the extended deadline of Monday, July 15 may do so for $50 for features and $25 for shorts and virtual reality. The fee for students outside of Virginia to submit a film is $10. Filmmakers will be notified regarding their entry status by September 23.

For complete submission guidelines and waiver codes, visit virginiafilmfestival.org/submit-a-film/. All questions should be submitted to vaffsubmissions@virginia.edu.

For more information on the Virginia Film Festival, visit www.virginiafilmfestival.org

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John Kelly
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