Virginia Film Festival At-A-Glance

Virginia Film Festival At-A-Glance

Festival At-A-Glance sponsored by Wells Fargo

Tickets At-A-Glance

Where Can I Get Tickets During the Four Days of the Festival?

UVA Arts Box Office at 109 Culbreth Road

Nov 9: Noon–5:00 PM, 5:30–6:30 PM, 8:00–9:00 PM
Nov 10: Noon–6:00 PM, 7:30–8:30 PM
Nov 11: Noon–5:00 PM, 5:30–6:30 PM, 8:30–9:30 PM
Nov 12: 10:45 AM–6:00 PM, 7:30–8:30 PM


Festival Headquarters in Violet Crown on the Downtown Mall

Nov 9-12: 10:00 AM until the start of the final screening or event each day


Screening and Event Venues

Remote box offices at The Jefferson Theater, Newcomb Hall Theater, The Paramount Theater, PVCC Dickinson Center, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, and Vinegar Hill Theatre will only be open during the Festival, one hour before each screening. Please note that remote venues can only accept cash or check payments.


What if Advance Tickets are Sold Out?

You are in luck! Unclaimed tickets may become available at the door. Here are details:
  • Ten minutes before a film begins, we will sell unclaimed tickets to patrons waiting in a standby line.
  • We do not have control over when standby lines will begin to form, and therefore we cannot advise patrons on an arrival time to join or form a line.Patrons in line may
  • purchase up to four unclaimed tickets; we do not permit patrons to save places in standby lines. While there is no guarantee that we will have unclaimed tickets at the door, we typically do have a small number to release to a standby line.


Anything Else I Need to Know?

  • Seating for each screening will begin approximately 30 minutes before the stated screening time.
  • Arrive on time! Admission to theaters may be restricted after the film has begun.
  • Be conscious of venue locations! Venues are located all around town, so plan your film schedule accordingly.
  • Please do not forget … will-call tickets are not available for pickup at screening venues. You must pick them up in advance from one of the two in-person box office locations.


Special Assistance

The Virginia Film Festival and the University of Virginia are committed to equal opportunity for persons with disabilities and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All screening and event venues are accessible via ramp or elevators, offer wheelchair areas for viewing performances, and have accessible restrooms. For additional information, visit

Spotlight Screenings

A snapshot of what is in store Nov 9-12. To view all 150+ films and events, visit

Bonnie and Clyde

Thursday, 3:00 PM, The Paramount Theater

The infamous depression-era true crime romance between Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow begins when Clyde attempts to steal Bonnie’s mother’s car, and Bonnie’s intrigue builds into infatuation. The young couple in love embarks on a crime spree throughout the country, robbing banks and stealing cars with the Barrow gang until their antics escalate into fierce violence. Strongly influenced by the taboo-breaking French New Wave film movement, Bonnie and Clyde was widely adored by young audiences of the New Hollywood era. It was one of the first one hundred films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The screening will feature a pristine new 4K restoration.

The Lears

Thursday, 9:15 PM, Newcomb Hall Theater

World-renowned architect Davenport Lear (Bruce Dern) summons his dysfunctional children to a weekend family retreat to test their love. Set in of one of Davenport’s signature architectural masterpieces, a quirky black comedy emerges in this modern-day reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic King Lear. Davenport announces he is to marry his younger personal assistant, setting off an explosive round of humorously devious behavior. Each of his children vies for his favor, consumed by self-interest, greed, and jealousy. The Lears raises fundamental questions about the nature of love, sexuality, family relationships, and honesty. Discussion with writer-director Carl Bessai, producer Irwin Olian, and actors Anthony Michael Hall and James Hoare, moderated by Mark Edmundson (UVA)


Friday, 3:00 PM, The Paramount Theater

Based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, this 1979 science fiction film from Andrei Tarkovsky (Ivan’s Childhood, Solaris, Mirror) is an artistic and psychological exploration of a man known as the “Stalker” who is on a scientific discovery mission. He takes his clients to a restricted site called the “Zone” that leads to a dangerous and unnerving adventure into their personal desires. This 2K digital restoration of the film was released earlier this year.

The Long Road Home

Friday, 5:30 PM, Culbreth Theatre

From Academy Award-nominated executive producer Mike Medavoy and based on The New York Times best-selling book by Martha Raddatz, National Geographic’s The Long Road Home relives a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War when the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known as “Black Sunday.” The series cuts between the action on the ground in Iraq and that of the homefront back in Texas, where families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. Episode six, “A City Called Heaven,” highlights Pfc. Tomas Young (Noel Fisher) as he learns about the realities of war, beginning a lifelong struggle through which he will touch countless lives. Discussion with actor Noel Fisher, moderated by John Kelly (UVA)

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Friday, 6:30 PM, Newcomb Hall Theater

Co-directors Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams capture an essential chapter of the American narrative in their documentary on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that form the core of the African American community. Educating and cultivating leaders in every field, HBCUs were instrumental to the formation of protest movements across the United States. Highlighting personal accounts alongside archival footage, the film celebrates the legacy of HBCU’s nurturing of African American voices and advancing justice in America. Discussion with co-director Marco Williams and Beverly Adams (UVA), moderated by Michael Mason (UVA)

Presented by James Madison’s Montpelier

Supported by the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights and the Office for Diversity and Equity

In Syria

Friday, 9:00 PM, St. Anne’s-Belfield School

The reality of life as a civilian in modern-day Damascus is explored in gripping and visceral detail. Trapped inside her own home as the city around her is reduced to rubble, mother of three Oum Yazan takes comfort in the familiarity of household routines. The streets below are a war zone, with a barricaded doorway providing the only protection from the threat of deadly bombs and sniper fire. One day, an ominous knock on the door signals that their time in hiding is almost up. When she can no longer impede the violence from entering the home, Oum Yazan is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to protect those she loves.

The Lodger

Friday, 10:00 PM, The Paramount Theater

Directed by “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock, this silent film follows a London serial killer, known as “The Avenger,” who murders blonde women on Tuesday evenings. When a handsome young man who looks strikingly similar to the murderer asks about a local room for rent, the landlady’s suspicions begin to rise. A detective becomes jealous as the landlady’s daughter, a young blonde woman, grows closer with the new lodger. The detective’s jealousy leads him to investigate the mysterious man and simultaneously try to catch the killer before more innocent people are found dead. Introduction by Ben Mankiewicz, with live musical accompaniment by Matthew Marshall and the Reel Music Trio

The Last Stop

Saturday, 11:00 AM, St. Anne’s-Belfield School

The Élan School was a for-profit, residential behavior modification program and therapeutic boarding school located deep within the woods of Maine. Delinquent teenagers who failed to comply with other treatment programs were referred to the school as a last resort. Treatment entailed harsh discipline, surveillance, degradation, and downright abuse. Infractions of the rules result in humiliation. Attack therapy is conducted to break patients so they may be rebuilt. Years later, the patients who were institutionalized in this facility still carry the trauma they endured, with mixed opinions on the impact of their experience. The documentary serves as an expose on the troubled teen reform industry. Discussion with director Todd Nilssen and researcher Matt Hoffman, moderated by Randy Stith (Virginia Tech)

Composer Symposium

Saturday, 12:15 PM, Violet Crown C

This panel discussion will focus on the art of composing music for film, featuring composers Charlie Barnett and Matthew Marshall. Charlie Barnett’s scores have appeared in more than 900 television and theatrical films. His work in documentary film has won awards including the Cine Golden Eagle for his work on National Geographic’s Tibet’s Hidden Kingdom, a Peer Award for The Discovery Channel’s Raising the Mammoth and Emmy nominations for Holocaust: the Untold Story and Cosmic Journey for A&E. Matthew Marshall is a screenwriter, film lecturer and composer. He teaches courses on film criticism and history at the University of Virginia and Hollins University. Marshall has been composing and performing live music accompaniment to classic silent films for over 15 years. Discussion with Charlie Barnett and Matthew Marshall (UVA)

This is a FREE and unticketed event

Freak Show

Saturday, 12:30 PM, Newcomb Hall Theater

Billy Bloom is a gay and eccentric teenage boy whose self-expression knows no bounds when it comes to fashion and elaborate homages. When his mother checks into rehab, he relocates to an elegant boarding school in the deep south of Florida for his final year of high school. Billy’s flamboyant ways draw resistance from students and the ultra-conservative faculty, only encouraging him to increase the outrageousness of his outfits. After an incident of insidious bullying, Billy makes the decision to run for homecoming queen. The campaign draws wide attention to Billy’s advocacy for all teenagers letting their freak flag fly. Discussion with director Trudie Styler and producer Celine Rattray, moderated by Mitch Levine

Supported by Cville Pride

American Veteran

Saturday, 7:00 PM, PVCC Dickinson Center

At 21 years old, Army Sergeant Nick Mendes was paralyzed from the neck down after getting caught in the detonation of a massive improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011. After the accident, Nick must learn how to do everything again, from simply breathing on his own and eating food, to posting on social media and casting a fishing reel with his mouth. As Nick recovers, he studies for a real estate license and begins to learn how to move back into society. At the same time, he meets Wendy, a medical caregiver at the hospital where Nick was treated, and they form a deep and emotional connection neither expected to happen. Discussion with writer-director Julie Cohen, moderated by VFF advisory board member Diane Naughton

O.J.: Made in America Part 5

Saturday, 7:00 PM, Vinegar Hill Theatre

After months of testimony, the jury for the O.J. Simpson trial returned with a verdict in only four hours. To some the “not guilty” verdict represented the power money could buy; to others, it represented justice for discrimination suffered over generations. Though Simpson was free, his life would not be the same. In the years following, he faced a civil suit from the victims’ families, and published a book containing a “hypothetical confession.” Simpson’s story continued in 2007, with an arrest for robbery in Nevada, for which he served ten years before his recent release—a bizarre end for a complicated story. Discussion with director-producer Ezra Edelman, moderated by Anna Katherine Clemmons (UVA)

O.J.: Made in America Parts 1 and 2 will play on Thursday at 4:00 PM in Violet Crown C, and O.J.: Made in America Parts 3 and 4 will play on Friday at 4:00 PM in Violet Crown C. These two screenings are free and unticketed.

Presented by James Madison’s Montpelier

Afrikana Film Festival Showcase

Saturday, 9:30 PM, PVCC Dickinson Center

The Afrikana Independent Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing the cinematic works of people of color from around the world with a special focus on the global Black narrative. Their mission is to “present high-quality, well-crafted stories that celebrate the African diaspora and encourage people to connect.” This screening will showcase some of the best work of the 2nd annual Afrikana Film Festival, which took place in September 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. Discussion with founder and creative director Enjoli Moon and featured artists

Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies

Sunday, 11:00 AM, The Paramount Theater

With 150 Academy Award nominations, Alan Ladd Jr. is one of the most successful movie moguls in history. He was the executive who greenlit Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Alien. The Kickstarter-funded documentary is crafted by the subject’s daughter and consists of Hollywood’s biggest talent testifying to Laddie’s loyalty and creative sensibilities. This is the man who decided Alien should have a female protagonist, and Richard Donner should direct The Omen. The story provides a rare and intimate look at some of the most influential films of the last fifty years and how they came to be. Introduction by VFF advisory board member Lee Caplin


Sunday, 8:30 PM, St. Anne’s-Belfield School

The McAllans and the Jackson families both face struggles as they try to build small dreams on a cotton farm in rural Mississippi. When Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson are called upon to serve in World War II, their families are upended. Ronsel returns a changed man, but finds America is still dominated by Jim Crow Laws. Rising to sergeant in an all-Black tank battalion has earned him no respect at home, and the friendship he forged with Jamie during the war is challenged. The simmering drama carefully crafts a tangled web of intimate relationships that will emotionally captivate audiences and also interrogate social hierarchies still affecting contemporary society.  


Sunday, 8:30 PM, Culbreth Theatre

Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

VFF for Families

The Rookie

Sunday, 2:30 PM, Culbreth Theatre

Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) let go of his dreams of a career in professional baseball after a shoulder injury twelve years ago. Now a high school chemistry teacher and baseball coach, he agrees to go to a professional tryout if his team wins the championship. Holding up his end of the bargain, he is nearly laughed off of the field but then surprises the scouts by throwing pitches at nearly 100 miles per hour. Jim may be able to achieve his big-league dreams after all. The heartwarming sports drama is based on a true story and celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Discussion with director John Lee Hancock and writer Mike Rich, moderated by VFF advisory board member John Harris

Family Day

Saturday, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, UVA Arts Grounds

Families and kids of all ages are invited to join in on a fun-filled day of film, arts, entertainment, and learning. Visit for a full list of our free and inspired programming!

The 2017 Family Day is presented by CFA Institute and supported by CBS19 News, the Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts, Wegmans, and Z95.1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Saturday, 1:00 PM, Culbreth Theatre

Written by children’s author J.K. Rowling, the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone celebrates its 20th anniversary of publication, launching one of the best-selling book series and film franchises in history. After 10 years of living in the cupboard under the stairs with his neglectful aunt and uncle, Harry Potter discovers he is a wizard and has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he falls into a whirlwind of wands, potions, and spells, Harry also learns of his powerful destiny and the ultimate evil he must eventually face. This first film in the Harry Potter saga introduces the fantastical creatures, magical moments, and memorable friends of the series.

This is a FREE and unticketed event as part of the VFF’s Family Day.

The Aristocats

Saturday, 10:00 AM, Culbreth Theatre

A family of aristocratic cats in Paris lives a beautifully cultured life with their owner, retired opera singer Madame Adelaide Bonfamille. That is until Edgar, the butler, overhears that the cats will inherit Madame’s fortune before it is left to him. He kidnaps Duchess and her three kittens, Belioz, Toulouse, and Marie, and abandons them in the French countryside. With the help of alley cat Thomas O’Malley, they venture back to Madame. Eva Gabor and Phil Harris lend their voices to the musical animated classic that is adored by children and adults alike.

This is a FREE and unticketed event as part of the VFF’s Family Day.

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