News & Press
VFF Welcomes Jason George to Advisory Board
Award-Winning Actor and UVA Alumnus Jason George Joins Virginia Film Festival Advisory Board
Longtime Grey’s Anatomy Star Known for Stellar Work on Stage and Screen as well as Extensive Philanthropic Efforts and Commitment to Mentorship
Charlottesville, VA – May 16, 2018 – The Virginia Film Festival has announced that noted actor and UVA alumnus Jason George has joined the Virginia Film Festival Advisory Board.
“I was really honored to be asked to join the Virginia Film Festival Advisory Board,” George said. “I always tell people that whatever you think college can be, that is UVA. This is a great opportunity for me to come back to Charlottesville, and to the University, to talk about my favorite subjects while being surrounded by people who speak my language and love the arts as much as I do.” George’s return into the UVA Arts orbit began through his friendship with fellow UVA grad and VFF Advisory Board member Julie Lynn, and grew as he began to work with VFF Director and UVA Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa. “There was this great synergy happening where my love of the arts and the University of Virginia’s love for the arts keep connecting in various ways that kept bringing me back into this orbit. In hindsight, I think joining this board is sort of the logical conclusion where these two paths connected.”
“We are delighted to welcome Jason to the Virginia Film Festival Advisory Board,” said University of Virginia Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa. “His work on screen and stage certainly speaks for itself, as he is in the midst of a highly respected and successful career. In addition, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jason through alumni events in Los Angeles as well as through his unforgettable performance in the Bicentennial Launch Celebration, and his deep love for UVA and for mentoring young actors and other creatives makes him a perfect addition to our board. We look forward to the chance to work with him as we continue to move the VFF forward.”
George’s first experience on stage came when a friend coaxed him to audition for a UVA Department of Drama production during his time at UVA and has since appeared in over 50 guest star and 10 series regular television roles. He is known to millions for his role as Dr. Ben Warren, the husband of Dr. Miranda Bailey, on the longtime ABC hit drama Grey’s Anatomy and the spinoff series Station 19. His first major acting role came when he beat out 14,000 hopefuls in a nationwide search that landed him on Aaron Spelling’s Sunset Beach, which earned George an Emmy nomination. He is also known for his television work on Eve and Eli Stone with Victor Garber and Jonny Lee Miller and for films including Playing the Field with Gerard Butler.
George is also a classically-trained and highly-acclaimed theatre actor who recently starred in the celebrated-but-controversial Pasadena Playhouse Theatre of California’s production of 12 Angry Men. George played “Juror #8,” a role made famous on screen by Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon in the non-traditional production, which featured a half-white, half-black cast and won the NAACP Award for Best Production. His previous theatre work includes playing the lead in U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and UVA faculty member Rita Dove’s epic drama The Darker Face of the Earth, a play which recreates Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex to the plantation south in 1820. The production won praise from The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter, among many others.
George’s passion for educating and engaging with other artists and young people has led him to giving lectures, hosting panels, and giving keynote and commencement speeches for many at-risk youth groups and universities including UVA, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Philadelphia’s Youth Study Center, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and The Paley Center for Media.
After receiving a BA from the University of Virginia, Jason went on to get his MFA in Acting from Temple University and served on the Board for Temple’s School of Communications and Theater. George has spent much of his free time in support of his fellow actors by serving as a board member of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. He is currently the chair of the national union’s Diversity Advisory committee, has been chair and co-chair of the legacy Unions’ National and Hollywood EEO Committees, and has been part of the Unions’ negotiating teams for the last several prime-time television and film contracts where he has been instrumental in helping protect performers and championing diversity. Jason is extremely pleased to put all of this experience to work in ‘Collaborations Workshop’, a weekly workspace he hosts for actors to further their craft and their career.
The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia, with support from the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.
The Virginia Film Festival will celebrate its 31st year from November 1-4, 2018. For more information on the VFF, visit www.virginiafilmfestival.org.