Cast your eyes on the 2020 Virginia Film Festival

The Virginia Film Festival features a drive-in screening of the vegan-friendly documentary Gunda, an American-Norwegian documentary film that follows the daily life of a pig, two cows, and a one-legged chicken,  and reveals these animals to be capable of emotion, consciousness, and even free will. Image courtesy of VAFF. The Virginia Film Festival features a drive-in screening of the vegan-friendly documentary Gunda, an American-Norwegian documentary film that follows the daily life of a pig, two cows, and a one-legged chicken,  and reveals these animals to be capable of emotion, consciousness, and even free will. Image courtesy of VAFF.

Unprecedented, unexpected, insane…we could go on, but after months of living in a world with coronavirus, a presidential campaign, and a series of transformative social justice movements, well, you get the idea.

To combat it all, we’ve been baking, we’ve been Zooming, we’ve been sitting six feet apart at social gatherings.  We’re ordering takeout, enjoying a cocktail (or five!), and streaming entertainment—a lot. During this strangest of autumns, movies have provided distraction, affirmation, education, and so much more.

Despite having to rethink audience participation, the Virginia Film Festival is a beacon of normalcy at a time when nothing feels normal. Gone are the tightly packed movie houses of previous years, but the quality programming and insightful guests remain the same. The pivot to virtual screenings gives everyone a front-row seat, and a return to drive-in movies offers a nostalgic connection to a bygone era.

We will miss the smell of popcorn, the collective laughter and tears, crawling over legs to the middle seat, and even that guy at the Q&A session who just won’t quit. But the time is still right for the 33rd annual Virginia Film Festival. Stay safe, promote peace. And I hope to see you sitting next to me next year.

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