August 16, 2010 — Legendary film artist Peter Bogdanovich has accepted an invitation to be the 2010 Virginia Film Festival Fellow. In this role, the director, writer, actor, producer, film historian and critic will lead special film lectures for students at the University of Virginia, in addition to participating in a screening event.
Film festival director Jody Kielbasa made the announcement Monday and unveiled the event's new logo during a special event at the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville. The festival will be held Nov. 4-7 at locations throughout the city.
The announcement of Bogdanovich as the festival's third Virginia Film Festival Fellow, Kielbasa said, signals a new direction for the position and an exciting opportunity for U.Va. students and festival fans alike.
"This is the third year for the Festival Fellow position," he said. "Up until now, we've been fortunate to have two true academic heavyweights in professors Hamid Naficy and Maria DiBattista, whose reputations and accomplishments in the study of film are unparalleled.
"This year, in Peter Boganovich, we are bringing someone who has made notable and even historic contributions to the film and entertainment industries through more than five decades of extraordinary work. He has an amazing amount to offer and share with students and with the community, and we are delighted to have him."
Bogdanovich began his entertainment career as a teen, studying with Stella Adler and working in theater and live television. He began his movie career as an intern for Roger Corman, who financed his first film, "Target," a cult classic he wrote, directed and acted in.
He first won mass critical and public acclaim in 1971 when his movie, "The Last Picture Show," garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including statues for Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson. "What's Up Doc" (1972) was a huge success, reviving and honoring the '30s screwball comedy classic with stars Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand. "Paper Moon" (1974) earned four Academy Award nominations and a supporting actress award for 9-year-old Tatum O'Neal. Another highlight in his filmography is "Mask" (1985), which won an Academy Award for Cher.
Bogdanovich has published 12 books on film and filmmaking. His bestselling "Who the Devil Made it: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors" features interviews with 16 directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, George Cukor and Howard Hawks. His extensive acting credits include playing Dr. Melfi's (Lorraine Bracco's) shrink on "The Sopranos," for which he also directed several episodes.
The Virginia Film Festival, presented by U.Va.'s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, is a four-day celebration of cinema's unique power to inspire, enlighten and entertain. It's a chance to see first-run features and revisit timeless classics; to discover new films and filmmakers; and to hear cultural experts discuss films and themes.
Premier sponsors for the 2010 Virginia Film Festival include The AV Company, Acura, Virginia Film Office, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Regal Entertainment Group.
The Virginia Film Festival logo, created by Virginia-based Design Army, features an outline of the commonwealth complemented by a color scheme, from top to bottom, of lighter to darker shades of blue and interspersed with three filmstrips stretching across the image at slightly different angles.
"While we are fortunate to attract special guests from throughout the industry and the world, our identity is uniquely tied to our community, to our state and to our region," Kielbasa said. "Our location, and our affiliation with the University of Virginia, is in so many ways what sets us apart, and what makes us appealing to film lovers everywhere.
"We wanted to make sure to capture that visually, not only with the shape of the image but also with the filmstrips, which are an homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and speak to our being a destination festival as well."
The festival will announce its 2010 program in early October. For information, visit the newly re-launched website www.virginiafilmfestival.org or download the new iPhone app.