Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz will be a guest at the upcoming 2018 Virginia Film Festival, film festival officials announced.
The festival also announced program additions, including “Moonlight” writer and director Barry Jenkins’ latest film, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate,” which stars Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh.
The festival is a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts. The 2018 festival will take place from Nov. 1 to 4 in Charlottesville, and will include more than 150 films and more than 100 industry guests from around the world.
The festival also announced the addition of the Sundance Award-winning documentary “Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.,” that charts the unlikely rise of a London Sri Lankan immigrant through the ranks of the music industry to become one of the most fascinating and controversial artists today.
“We are thrilled to announce that Christoph Waltz will be joining us for the 2018 Virginia Film Festival,” said Jody Kielbasa, director of the festival and vice provost for the arts at UVA. “Our audiences will not only have the chance to hear from someone who is clearly one of the leading actors working today, but also one who is at the very top of his game, and whose star is still on the rise. He is truly one of the most interesting and talented actors of his time, and brings a sense of originality to every role that makes it nearly impossible to imagine anyone else in it.”
Waltz will appear with Academy Award-winning producer and festival advisory board chair Mark Johnson for “A Tribute to Christoph Waltz” on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Paramount Theater. The pair worked together previously on Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” which opened last year’s Virginia Film Festival. The event will combine an onstage interview with clips of key scenes from Waltz’s career.
Tickets for the newly announced screenings and the tribute event went on sale Friday. They are available online at virginiafilmfestival.org; in person at the UVA Arts Box Office in the lobby of the UVA Drama Building, open weekdays from noon to 5 p.m.; and by phone at 434-924-3376. Beginning Oct. 24, festival tickets will also be available at the Downtown Box Office in the lobby of Violet Crown on the Downtown Mall.
Christoph Waltz is best known for his work with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. After working steadily on stage and on screen in Europe for 30 years, Waltz burst on the Hollywood scene in 2009 when he played the ruthless, brutal, but at times charming Austrian SS Col. Hans Landa in Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds.” The role earned Waltz 27 major awards, including 2009 Golden Globe and Academy Awards for best supporting actor. He won his second Golden Globe and Academy Award in 2012, again in the best supporting actor category, for his role as bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
Other acclaimed roles have included plagiarist Walter Keane in Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes”; and 007 nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in 2015’s “Spectre.” Waltz’s other starring roles have included Benjamin Chudnofsky in “Green Hornet,” the villainous Cardinal Richelieu in Paul W.S. Anderson’s remake of “The Three Musketeers,” and August in Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel “Water for Elephants.”
The newly announced films deepen the festival’s already impressive lineup.
Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” recently had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. A powerful follow-up to Jenkins’ Academy Award-winning triumph “Moonlight,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” is set in 1970s Harlem and is centered around the story of a young African-American couple, Tish and Fonny. The pair, friends since childhood, find themselves deeply in love and are eager to get married. Their love story is shattered when Fonny ends up in prison after being falsely accused of a heinous crime, and Tish finds herself in a race to prove his innocence before their child is born.
Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate” is a journey inside the world and mind of Vincent van Gogh, who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on van Gogh’s letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, and moments that were just plain invented.
“Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.” is an intimate portrait shot by Maya Arulpragasam and her friends over the last 22 years. The film captures her unlikely rise from immigrant teenager in London, to the international pop star M.I.A., who draws inspiration from her roots. M.I.A.’s mashup, cut-and-paste identity pulls from every corner of her journey, including Tamil politics, art-school punk, hip-hop beats and the voice of multicultural youth. The cameras roll through Maya’s battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame grew, and she cemented her place as one of the most provocative and divisive artists working in music today.
The 2018 Virginia Film Festival is presented by The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation (Richard M. Adler and Joseph Erdman, trustees). The 2018 Virginia Film Festival is supported by the following premiere sponsors: The AV Company, Bank of America, CFA Institute, Community Idea Stations, Harvest Moon Catering, James Madison’s Montpelier, Violet Crown Charlottesville and the Virginia Film Office.
For information, visit virginiafilmfestival.org.