April 6, 2006 — Let there be …projector light. Following its record-breaking 2005 program on the theme of “In/Justice,” the Virginia Film Festival has chosen another illuminating theme for its nineteenth annual event: “Revelations: Finding God at the Movies.”
Hosted by the University of Virginia, the Virginia FilmFestival will take place Oct. 26-29, at venuest hroughout Charlottesville. Designed as a four-day courseon a cultural theme in which the public is invited to enroll,the Festival brings major talents to Charlottesville eachyear (such as recent featured guests Vanessa Redgrave,Sandra Bullock, and Paul Schrader). Over 70 films willbe screened and more than 80 guest artists and speakersare expected to participate.
For the first time, Festival director Richard Herskowitzwill open the process of festival programming to the publicthrough a new onlineblog called “Revelations of a Programmer.”He is solicitingrecommendationsfor film titles and guest artists and speakers, and willrespond to suggestions and share behind-the-scenes storiesas the program comes together.
“Revelations: Finding God at the Movies” will explore thegrowing role of religion in the public sphere. Herskowitzpredicts, “The films we present will be reverentand irreverent. We intend to feature works by filmmakerswho are addressing the growing tension between secularand religious cultures worldwide. Discussions will explorethe growing popularity of religious themes in popular culture,following the success of Passion of the Christ and TheChronicles of Narnia. Finally, we plan to give specialattention to the rich tradition of spiritual cinema—filmsby Scorsese, Tarkovsky, Bresson and others that do notnecessarily address religion, but aim to provoke a spiritualexperience in the viewer.”
The Festival will bring back, for the third year, the highlysuccessful “Adrenaline Film Project.” Thirty student and community filmmakers will be launchedon athree-dayfilmmakingblitz, culminating in a public screening at the Festival.The Festival will also feature over a dozen new featurefilm premiere selections screeningin advance of their national release. And, as always, filmgoerscanexpectan extensive catalog of art exhibits, musical performances,and gala parties related to the Festival theme.
Early confirmations include two new documentary premieresby accomplished Charlottesville filmmakers. Paul Wagner’sThe God of a Second Chance explores the role of faith inthe lives of people confronting problems of poverty inthe inner city, and Kent and Brad Williamson’s TheRebellion of Thought examines the role of the church ina post-modern world.
For more information and for year-round announcements aboutthe Virginia Film Festival and Virginia Film Society, visitthe Web site.