January 11, 2010 — The Virginia Film Festival is joining forces with the Paramount Theater to host a series of films throughout the year under the banner of the Virginia Film Society, the yearlong extension of the four-day annual festival presented by the University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Starting this month, the society will offer movies with different themes each month on the largest screen in Central Virginia.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Paramount Theater for this exciting series of films," said Jody Kielbasa, director of the Virginia Film Festival. "Both of our organizations are totally committed to bringing the arts to our entire community, and this series is a great way to do that. After all, how often do you get a chance to see these classic and favorite films in a setting that captures what the magic of the movies is all about? We look forward to the launch of what we hope becomes a great tradition for movie lovers from throughout our area."
Mary Beth Aungier, the general manager of the Paramount, said: "We are thrilled to partner with the Virginia Film Society to bring film back to the Paramount Theater. The Paramount opened 78 years ago this past November with a film, and to partner with Jody and the entire staff of the VFS is exciting. Mr. Kielbasa and the staff bring with them a knowledge base that will benefit our entire community."
January is "blockbuster" movie month (all movies will be at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted):
• Jan. 18: "Gandhi" (1982)
Lord Attenborough's magisterial study of Mahatma Gandhi's life with a towering central performance by Ben Kingsley.
• Jan. 25: "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
No introduction is needed for one of cinema's true classics. Breathtakingly imaginative, and effortlessly iconic even after 70 years.
February is Black History movie month:
• Feb. 1: "Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance" (2009). Admission is free.
Co-produced by WHTJ-TV and the U.Va. Center for Politics, this powerful documentary comes to the Paramount fresh off its world premiere at the 2009 Virginia Film Festival.
• Feb. 8: "Akeelah and the Bee" (2006)
A life-affirming tale of a young girl from South Los Angeles trying to make it to the National Spelling Bee.
• Feb. 15: "Lilies of the Field" (1963)
Sidney Poitier in Oscar-winning form as an unemployed laborer whose life is transformed by an unlikely meeting with a group of nuns.
• Feb. 22: "The Wiz" (1978)
An all-star cast including Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne and the late Michael Jackson in Sydney Lumet's retelling of the "Wizard of Oz."
The schedule for March and beyond will be announced in February.
For information about society membership visit www.vafilm.com.