Virginia Film Festival Celebrates 30 Years

Photo courtesy of Sarah Fisher.

This past weekend, UVa’s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences sponsored the 30th Annual Virginia Film Festival (VFF.)

The festival brings together the Charlottesville community, UVa students and faculty, as well as town visitors to enjoy different types of movies.

This four day event screened movies in different locations ranging from the Downtown Mall to UVa grounds. Thousands of people attended to watch over 150 films.

VFF welcomed various special guests including Oscar winner Spike Lee whose films confront race, class, and gender identity issues.

UVa alumna Margot Lee Shetterly was another this weekend. Shetterly is best known for being the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, which was adapted into a movie that was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Third year Sarah Fisher volunteered at the festival last year and attended the recent 30th anniversary as a film-goer.

“My favorites were Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Oh Lucy!, and Call Me By Your Name. The film festival offered a wide variety of films to choose from so there was something for everyone,” said Fisher.

Fisher mentioned that Call Me By Your Name had more student attendees present than at the other films she saw where audiences consisted of older crowds.

“I think [the mix of ages] has to do with the wide acclaim the film has already received, the LGBT representation and the popularity of Armie Hammer.”

Fisher described how she felt more of a connection to the festival when she was a volunteer since volunteers are given access to more information and events like a separate gala and an exclusive film screening.

Students were able to receive tickets for VFF screenings for free as long as they reserved them 24 hours in advance.


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