The Virginia Film Festival announced today the initial guests for its 31st annual event in Charlottesville, held from Thursday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 4.
Highlights from Virginia's largest film festival include special guests Peter Bogdanovich (director of "The Last Picture Show"), Allen Hughes (director of "Menace to Society"), Ben Mankiewicz, the host of Turner Classic Movies, and activist Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the legendary civil rights activist and leader.
The opening night film on Nov. 1 is "Green Book," a drama debut by comedy director Peter Farrelly ("There's Something About Mary"), inspired by a true friendship between a masterful black pianist and his crude white driver in the Deep South of 1962. The film stars Marhershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen as New York bouncer/driver Tony Lip.
Cinephiles will be excited to learn that the festival will also include a unique look at Orson Welles' long-awaited and recently completed film, "The Other Side of the Wind" with commentary by Bogdanovich.
“We are thrilled to announce our 2018 program,” said Jody Kielbasa, director of the Virginia Film Festival and Vice Provost for the Arts at the University of Virginia in a press release, “which is highlighted by a selection of some of the most talked-about films on the current film festival circuit, including many that have vaulted to the top of the current major award season conversations. Peter Bogdanovich returns to the Festival to offer his unique insider’s perspective on Orson Welles’ 'The Other Side of the Wind,' one of the most anticipated projects in film history. We are thrilled to welcome award-winning filmmaker Allen Hughes to discuss two of his celebrated films, and we are deeply honored to work with the UVA Center for Politics to bring in Martin Luther King III around the screening of the new documentary 'Charlottesville.'”
The full 2018 VAFF program will be posted online on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 9:00 a.m. and tickets will go on sale Monday, Oct. 8 at noon online at virginiafilmfestival.org; in-person at the UVA Arts Box Office in the lobby of the UVA Drama Building, open M-F from noon to 5:00 PM; and by phone at 434-924-3376. Beginning Oct. 24, tickets will also be available at the Festival’s Downtown Box Office in the lobby of Violet Crown on the Downtown Mall.
The festival's centerpiece film on Saturday, Nov. 3 is "Roma" which the press release describes as: "perhaps the most acclaimed and discussed film on the 2018 major film festival scene, 'Roma' is director Alfonso Cuarón’s (Gravity) most personal work to date - a loving and lovely tribute to the unsung woman who raised him and to so many domestic workers like her."