The 2005 Virginia Film Festival From October 27 - 30
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2005 Virginia Film Festival will launch its eighteenth annual event on October 27 with the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn's The Fever. The opening night gala screening will be attended by actress Vanessa Redgrave and director Carlo Nero. Film Festival director Richard Herskowitz comments: "The Fever, about a middle- class woman whose 'illness' is her awareness of the oppression that supports her privileged lifestyle, is the perfect kickoff for our theme of IN/JUSTICE."
The Festival will close three nights later on October 30 with Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, introduced by director Dan Ireland, producer Lee Caplin and screenwriter Ruth Sacks. Caplin and Sacks both have a long history of involvement with arts and law programs at the University of Virginia, the Film Festival's host institution. In between these two U.S. premieres, the Festival will feature over 60 films and more than 100 guest artists and speakers, and a wide array of musical performances, art exhibits, and parties. The complete schedule for the 2005 Virginia Film Festival goes online and tickets go on sale on September 30 at www.vafilm.com.
Featured guests this year include author John Grisham, discussing film adaptations of his novels with Hollywood Reporter critic Duane Byrge; director Rodrigo Garcia, accompanied by actresses Sissy Spacek and Kathy Baker, presenting Locarno Golden Leopard winner Nine Lives; director Harold Ramis introducing Groundhog Day and his latest production, The Ice Harvest; and musician Jon Langford, joined by Mekons bandmate Sally Timms, presenting his multimedia performance The Executioner's Last Songs and a free outdoor concert with blues musician Corey Harris. Danish photographer Jacob Holdt, whose photographs are seen at the end of Lars Von Trier's Dogville and Manderlay, will present Manderlay and his monumental American Pictures multimedia show.
This year's Festival will bring back, for the second year, the highly successful Adrenaline Film Project, led by Jeff Wadlow and Beau Bauman, the director and producer of Cry_Wolf. The highly caffeinated three-day filmmaking blitz by 30 local filmmakers will culminate in a Sunday afternoon screening at U.Va.'s Culbreth Theatre.
THEME OF IN/JUSTICE
Hosted by the University of Virginia, the Virginia Film Festival is designed as a four-day course on a cultural theme in which over 10,000 viewers enroll. This year's theme is IN/JUSTICE, and presenters will explore how films both promote the rule of law and challenge its flawed practice. Classic selections cover the judicial landscape, from courtrooms (i.e., Inherit the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Anatomy of a Murder) to court martials (Paths of Glory), from the frontier (The Ox-Bow Incident) into the streets (Dirty Harry).
This year's festival includes an unusually large number of independent documentaries (including The Untold Story of Emmet Till, Searching for Angela Shelton, Same Sex America, Winter Soldier, and Sisters in Law), investigating social injustices that are barely addressed by the mainstream media. According to Festival director Richard Herskowitz: "Many documentary filmmakers believe they are themselves experiencing a growing injustice -- copyright clearance demands that are slowly strangling their free expression." A forum titled Fair Use and Free Speech: Who Owns Our Story? on October 29 will investigate the problem. The forum will be hosted by Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, of the Center for Social Media and the Project on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest at American University.
PREMIERE SCREENINGS AND NEW FESTIVAL AWARDS
The Festival's typically strong selection of regional premieres (including Manderlay, The Ice Harvest, Bee Season, The Matador, Green Street Hooligans, Sophie Scholl and Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic), will be supplemented this year with a brand new Virginia Film Festival Jury and Audience Award competition among six of the best undistributed films of the year.
The six contenders will be Stay Until Tomorrow (Laura Colella), Mutual Appreciation (Andrew Bujalski), The Definition of Insanity (Robert Margolis), Chain (Jem Cohen), Deepwater (David Marfield), and Swimmers (Doug Sadler). "These films have been showered with awards at film festivals over the past year, but they have felt the injustice of a very harsh marketplace," notes Herskowitz. "Our festival awards are designed to give these films additional recognition and another shot at distribution." Jury members Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Jon Douglas (Regal Entertainment), Eric D'Arbeloff (Roadside Attractions), and Paula Silver (film marketing consultant) will award a cash prize of $5,000 and a screening opportunity in New York's Regal Battery Park. They will also participate in a panel discussion with the filmmakers addressing strategies for achieving distribution.
Source: The 2005 Virginia Film Festival
Web site: http://www.vafilm.com