The 15th Annual Virginia Student Film Festival Will be Held April 9-10 at U.Va.

April 07, 2010

April 5, 2010 — The 15th annual Virginia Student Film Festival, presented by the Filmmakers Society at the University of Virginia, will be held April 9-10 in Newcomb Theater. Tickets will be available online through the Arts Box Office and at the door. 

This year, planners introduced a festival theme, "Film on a Shoestring," to challenge student filmmakers to produce a film on a limited budget.

"VASFilm is bringing focus to one of the core aspects of student filmmaking: efficiency," festival coordinator Zac Fabian said. "Everyone can appreciate that money is hard to come by these days, but imagine the task of the student filmmaker: organizing (and feeding!) crew and talent, securing locations, funding transportation and equipment ... It all adds up." 

A festival pass will be $10 ($5 for students with ID). "The Parking Lot Movie" will have a separate $10 charge for general admission (students $5).

All guests receive a $15 discount on Red Giant Software products.

Visit the festival Web site for details, or contact Alexa  Miller at 973-224-2802 or

Sponsors include University Programs Council, U.Va. Parents Committee, Arts & Sciences Council, Student Council, The Virginia Film Society, Charlottesville Virginia Production Alliance, Virginia Film Office, Red Giant Software Company, Law & Mediation Center, A Counseling Place and Le Merde.

The festival's schedule of events (all held at Newcomb Theater):

April 9

• 3 p.m.: Filmmaker and author Dan Mirvish will speak about his creation of the faux pundit "Martin Eisenstadt," who rose to fame as the self-proclaimed source of the rumor that Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent. His book, "I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man's (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans" has received rave reviews and is currently being developed into a TV series through Ashton Kutcher's company, Katalyst Media.

• 5 p.m.: Opening reception with festival guests.

• 7-9:30 p.m.: Competitive Shorts Program
The screening includes 17 short films directed by undergraduate students from U.Va. and around the country. The films are in four categories: experimental, narrative, documentary and music video. The audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite. The Competitive Shorts Program will also feature live music by Ocean Man.

April 10

• 4 p.m. "The Parking Lot Movie"
Directed by local filmmaker and U.Va. alumna Meghan Eckman, the film is a documentary about the Corner Parking Lot and the surprising individuals who work there. It premiered this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and had a sold-out Charlottesville opening at the Paramount on March 24.

Also, this session will feature a selection of short films and animations produced by local high school students through Lighthouse Studios.

• 6:15 - 7:15 p.m.: "Hustle Your Way to Hollywood"
This panel discussion will present different perspectives about how to make it or break it in the film industry. Panelists are: Dan Mirvish, co-founder of Slamdance Film Festival; Justin Bell, director of development & production for Academy Award-winning producer Edward Saxon; and Matt Arden, two-time National Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and director and senior producer for Turner Entertainment.

• 7:30 p.m.: Awards presentation and encore screening of the winning films from the Competitive Shorts Program, featuring local improv comedy group Amuse Bouche. 

— By Jane Ford