VA Governor McAuliffe Announces Opening Night Film: Loving

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Announces that 2016 Virginia Film Festival
will Open with Highly Acclaimed Focus Features Film Loving

 Thursday, November 3 in Charlottesville

Powerful and Inspiring Story of Virginia Couple Who Forged Landmark Supreme Court Case on Marriage Equality will be Followed by Discussion with Writer/Director Jeff Nichols

RICHMOND, VA – September 29, 2016 – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced tonight that the 2016 Virginia Film Festival will open with a screening of the highly acclaimed Focus Features film Loving. The screening will be held on Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 PM at The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.

The Virginia Film Festival, coming up from November 3-6 in Charlottesville, is presented by The University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

A sensation on the festival circuit this year, Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. The movie, written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud), was filmed in several localities across Central Virginia. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Nichols.

“We could not be more proud to share this extraordinary film with the Virginia Film Festival audience,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Loving captures an important moment in the history of the Commonwealth and tells a story that speaks to the triumph of love over division – a story that resonates in our world today. The film also shines a deserved spotlight on Virginia’s thriving film industry, which continues to be an important driver in our work to build a new Virginia economy.”

“In Virginia, we think of film production as content manufacturing; an important contributor to the new Virginia economy,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore.  “Loving not only provided Virginians with high-wage jobs on a top-tier film, but the invaluable opportunity to be part of the retelling of one of the most significant events in the Commonwealth’s past.  We are looking forward to the festival and celebrating this tremendous film and everyone who helped make it possible.”

“Once again, our long-standing partnership with the Virginia Film Festival brings the filmmaking process full circle here in the Commonwealth,” stated Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds.  “To have hosted the production of Loving was a major win for our local industry, and a testament to the support we receive from our partners in government and the local communities. We are excited, but not surprised by the global critical acclaim for the film, and look forward to welcoming the talented production team and cast back to Virginia for this special evening. We are so thankful to the Festival and UVA for the unique, memorable experience that is always treasured by our clients.”

“We are thrilled to present this important and remarkable film as our opening night screening,” said Jody Kielbasa, director of the Virginia Film Festival and vice provost for the arts at the University of Virginia. “The film serves as a testament to the vibrancy and importance of the Virginia film scene while its story speaks to the mission of our festival in every possible way. We look forward to an extraordinary evening at The Paramount Theater.”

The 2016 Virginia Film Festival will feature more than 120 films ranging from highly-anticipated features to fascinating documentaries, award-winning international films, and some of the most exciting new voices on the filmmaking scene.  Joining Nichols on the VFF guest list this year will be a trio of film legends: Virginia native Shirley MacLaine, Liv Ullmann, and Werner Herzog; noted actor, writer, director, and comedian Danny McBride; Disney legends Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle in the Academy Award-nominated Beauty and the Beast) and producer Don Hahn; documentarians Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker; and more than 150 filmmakers representing every corner of the industry.

For more information on The Virginia Film Festival visit www.virginiafilmfestival.org.

For more information on the Virginia Film Office visit www.filmvirginia.org.

For more information on the film, which opens in select cities on Friday, November 4, and expands across the country later in November, visit http://www.focusfeatures.com/loving.