January 3, 2012 — The Virginia Film Festival has received a $20,000 grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to help fund its education and outreach programs.
The festival is presented annually by the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences. Thanking the academy, film festival director Jody Kielbasa said, "From the first day I arrived in Charlottesville three years ago, I have made community outreach and education a major priority. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished under the direction of our community outreach and education coordinator, Jane Freeman, and look forward to continuing to expand our programs and to share the magic of film with more people than ever before."
Highlights of the festival's community and education outreach programming include:
• Middle and high school film screening
Each year the festival hosts a free screening of a socially relevant, curriculum-related film for local students and educators. In November, more than 900 students were treated to the powerful documentary, "The Loving Story," chronicling an interracial couple's fight to preserve their love in the face of Virginia's racial purity laws. Past films have also included "Freedom Riders," the tale of the brave Civil Rights activists who risked arrest and much more to expose racial inequality by riding buses through the heart of the segregated South.
• Family Day
The festival's annual Family Day event, presented on the Saturday of the festival weekend, is highlighted by a special family screening at the Paramount Theater and also includes a variety of family-friendly events.
• Social service partnerships
The festival regularly works with local organizations to use film to highlight important issues in the community. Past partners have included ARC of the Piedmont, Virginia Institute of Autism, Foothills Child Advocacy Center and others.
• Light House Studio film screenings
Each year, the festival hosts a special screening that showcases the work of the talented teenagers from this acclaimed not-for-profit, independent media education center in Charlottesville.
For information on the Virginia Film Festival and its community and education programs, visit its website.