School Screenings

Every year the VFF hosts free screenings of a socially relevant film for students and their teachers. Experts on film, ethics, and other disciplines speak to the subjects of the film after the screening, providing a fascinating and accessible out of the classroom lesson.

Upcoming School Screening

Check back for details about our next School Screening.

For Educators

The School Screening is free and open to private, public, and homeschooling middle and high school students throughout the Commonwealth. Advance registration is required and seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Past School Screenings

In April 2017, the VFF partnered with Youth Leadership Initiative to present the Emmy award-winning documentary Out of Order: Civility in Politics. Out of Order explores what many perceive to be a kind of broken politics in America and examines the decline in civil discourse, partisan gridlock, vanishing commitment to reasonable compromise, declining civic engagement, and factors such as gerrymandering, filibustering, increased showboating, money, and the role of business, scandal, and cynicism. Following the screening, students participated in a civil discussion workshop.

In 2016, the VFF collaborated with Human/Ties and the UVA Center for Politics Youth Leadership Initiative to screen Freedom Riders, a documentary about the hundreds of civil activists who used nonviolence to challenge racial segregation in the American South. To further engage students, a post-screening discussion and Q&A featured director Stanley Nelson and the 1961 Freedom Riders, Rev. Reginald Green, Dion Diamond, and Joan Browning. Freedom Riders Teachers Guide

In 2015, the VFF screened Most Likely To Succeed, a documentary that examines both the history and future of education in the United States. The documentary follows the success of one charter school in San Diego, used as the subject for commentary on the current state of the educational system. Most Likely To Succeed Discussion Guide

In 2014, the VFF presented Freedom Summer, the story of a group of more than 700 students of all races who fought for the rights of African-Americans to vote in Mississippi in the summer of 1964. After the screening, Julian Bond, civil rights leader, history professor and former national NAACP chairman, and Deborah McDowell, Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at U.Va. discussed the film with the students. Freedom Summer Teaching Guide

In 2013, the VFF presented William and the Windmill, the story of a fourteen-year-old Malawian boy who built an electricity-generating windmill from rough plans in a library book in order to save his family’s farm. A discussion with Ben Nabors, the director of William and the Windmill, Remy Pangle from the Virginia Center for Wind, and Joanna Williams from U.Va.’s Curry School of Education followed the screening. William and the Windmill Study Guide

In January 2012, the Virginia Film Festival partnered with the U.Va. Office of Diversity and Equity and the Center for Politics to present the HBO Documentary Sing Your Song. Larry Sabato and activist Harry Belafonte participated in a post-screening discussion.

Also in 2012, the Festival presented Chasing Ice, a documentary about National Geographic photographer James Balog’s quest to document the disappearance of glacier landscapes using time-lapse photography. Chasing Ice Study Guide

The 2011 screening was The Loving Story, a documentary that chronicles the tale of Richard and Mildred Loving, the Virginia interracial couple who, in the 1960’s, took their battle for acceptance all the way to the Supreme Court, and changed history in the process. A panel discussion organized by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities followed the film. The Loving Story Study Guide

In 2010, director Stanley Nelson and three of the original Freedom Riders participated in a discussion following Freedom Riders, a compelling documentary about non-violent civil rights activists willing to risk their lives for a cause. Freedom Riders Study Guide