Spike Lee and William H. Macy are confirmed to be in attendance at the Virginia Film Festival. The weekend-long festival will feature more than 150 films.The 30th installment of the largest film festival in the state, the Virginia Film Festival, is one that film buffs will not want to miss. This year, festival organizers have managed to put together a very impressive celebrity guest lineup which includes filmmaker Spike Lee, actor and director William H. Macy, PBS broadcaster Jim Lehrer, writer Margot Lee Shatterly, host of Turner Classic Movies and critic Ben Mankiewicz, filmmaker and author Dan Mirvish and screenwriter Mike Rich. WHEN: Nov. 9–12 WHERE: Multiple venues in Charlottesville, Virginia (click here for a full list) In addition to the special celebrity guests, the Virginia Film Festival will also host numerous panels and discussions while the 150-plus film screenings will be a mix of new, recent, and classic movies and documentaries. The three-day festival takes place in Charlottesville and is put on jointly by the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost for the Arts. [gallery ids="3356,3357,3358,3360,3362,3363"]
A unique aspect to the Virginia Film Festival is that the special guests will be presenting their work and taking part in discussions, rather than merely sitting at an autograph booths. Spike Lee will present his documentary “4 Little Girls,” as well as a short video titled “I Can’t Breathe.” William H. Macy is slated to present his latest film “Krystal,” which tells the story of a man who doesn’t drink but enters an AA program in an effort to become close with a woman struggling with drug addiction. [caption id="attachment_3364" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo Courtesy of the University of Virginia[/caption] The festival’s film schedule is also very impressive, with old favorites and classics such as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone “and “The Graduate,” in addition to the newer films being screened, like “Downsizing” (directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matt Damon) and centerpiece film "Hostiles" (directed by Scott Cooper and starring Christian Bale). Other noteworthy films include the five-part documentary “O.J. Made in America” (followed by a moderated discussion with the documentary’s director Ezra Edelman), foreign film “Tom of Finland” (the story of a World War II officer who returns to Finland after the war to find that peacetime has been marred by the oppression of homosexuals in Helsinki), and the "Race in America" series. Check out the Film Guide for a full listing of the films being screened.
Tickets to the film screenings are moderately priced, with matinees before 5 p.m. costing $10, evening screenings costing $13, and premier screenings costing $15 and up. Discounted senior and group tickets are available, and tickets are free for University of Virginia students if reserved prior to the day of the show and presented with proper I.D. For more info, schedules, and directions, visit the Virginia Film Festival website.