The Virginia Film Festival’s upcoming 25th anniversary year will feature the launch of an annual “Presidency in Film” series, presented in conjunction with the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.
One of the highlights of the series will be a screening of the political classic “All the President’s Men” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate. The Nov. 2 screening will feature special guest Bob Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post.
“All The President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the roles of Woodward and his colleague Carl Bernstein, recounts how a pair of young Washington Post reporters uncovered the Watergate scandal that ultimately resulted in the only resignation of a sitting United States president.
The Virginia Film Festival is presented by U.Va.’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. This year’s 25th anniversary festival will take place Nov. 1-4 at locations around Charlottesville.
“This is very exciting news for the festival,” festival director Jody Kielbasa said. “I have long had an interest in exploring the various ways the presidency is treated on film, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off this series than with this iconic film.”
The idea for this particular series, Kielbasa said, was first brought to him by former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, director and CEO of the Miller Center. “Governor Baliles expressed a strong interest in our working together, and I, of course, saw immense value in working with one of America’s most respected, nonpartisan centers for research and education on the American presidency. I eagerly look forward to working with the governor and his team on the series this year and for years to come.”
“The Miller Center is very pleased to be working with the Virginia Film Festival on this intriguing series,” Baliles said. “It represents yet another avenue through which we can reach people, and we look forward to working with the festival to examine the variety of ways in which the presidency has been viewed through the medium of film.”
The festival also announced the launch of the “25th Anniversary Challenge,” a fundraising campaign designed to increase support. Through Nov. 4, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation will match 100 percent of all gifts made by those who did not donate to the festival last year. Individuals who increase their gifts will also see those increases matched 100 percent.
“We saw this as an exciting and creative way to encourage others to support the festival during what promises to be an exciting time period leading up to this milestone anniversary,” said Joe Erdman, co-trustee of the Cornell Foundation. “While the foundation supports organizations across the arts spectrum, film has always been an integral part of our efforts. We hope that this challenge will incentivize donors at all levels to step up and play their part in supporting the extraordinary work the Virginia Film Festival is doing today and helping it enhance its already strong regional, national and international reputation in the future.”