The festival, a program of the University and its offices of the provost and vice provost for the arts, presented more than 100 films in locations on Grounds and around downtown Charlottesville.
This year’s guests presenting films featured fresh faces and some that were undoubtedly familiar from many years of significant roles. Dozens of up-and-coming contemporary actors, directors and producers, along with seasoned veterans, screened their films and afterward talked about their roles before the audiences. Panel discussions also included UVA scholars and other experts, critics and participants.
When UVA President Jim Ryan officially opened the festival Wednesday night, he told about the first time he encountered the festival. As a UVA law student in the early 1990s, he “stumbled” into a film festival event, he recalled. The movie being shown was “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the well-known 1962 film about a Southern attorney who defended a Black man wrongly accused of sexual assault. Added to Ryan’s surprise, the much older actors Gregory Peck, who starred as attorney Atticus Finch, and Mary Badham, who played his daughter Scout, appeared to talk about the film afterward. The festival became one of Ryan’s favorite annual events.
Here’s a selection of scenes from the festival.