Hoo are you referring to?

Dear Ace: I saw that a company called Cavalier Films produced a new movie that’s premiering at the Regal theater Downtown. Are they affiliated with UVA?—Phil M. Buff
Phil: It’s easy, in this town, to think that anything with even the slightest hint of orange (and/or blue) is something UVA has its hooks in. Why, your sharpshooting reporter can’t even wear a navy blue cravat down West Main Street without some sort of ballyhoo from passers-by. And don’t even get him started on the time a few co-ed hoodlums vandalized the Acemobile—let’s just say it would behoove him to use the garage.

This explains why you may have thought that, in all likelihood, Cavalier Films was associated with the University. But Ace is here to unhood that mystery. He spoke to Barry Sisson, president of Cavalier Films, who told Ace that the only connection Cavalier has with UVA is that Marc Lieberman, a co-producer for Cavalier in cahoots with Barry, is an alumnus of its Commerce School.

But, Ace hooted, doesn’t that sort of falsehood get confusing? “There has never been any confusion on the point,” Barry said. “The name was picked [because] we wanted something with a local connotation.” The company is rooted in Virginia, and, Barry says, “Cavalier” was a clear choice because it “had a lot going for it, including the logo” (which is, natch, a cavalier on a horse). “[Marc] liked it especially as the Cavalier was the mascot of both his high school [W.T. Woodson in Northern Virginia] and college,” Barry added.

The production company launched just two years after Barry’s success with The Station Agent in 2003, and focuses mainly on the independent film industry. Its first production, Familiar Strangers, which finished shooting in 2006 and is, as you noted, premiering at Regal Downtown Mall 6 (on Friday, November 14, to be exact), is already enjoying considerable hoorahs from critics—it hooked an award for Best Ensemble Cast at the 2008 independent film festival, Method Fest.

Though, all hoopla aside, Ace thinks it wise that you contacted him about this. After all, if anyone takes the “hoo” out of “hoodwinked,” it’s Ace Atkins.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 19 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to ace@c-ville.com.

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