37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

Gala Screening

American Fiction


Photograph by Claire Folger. Courtesy of Orion Pictures.

People’s Choice Award Winner, Toronto International Film Festival

Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) is a down on his luck author and English professor. Clashing with students over cultural sensitivities has endangered his academic tenure, and his latest novel is being passed over by publishers for not being “Black enough.” When his family endures a series of tragedies, and medical bills start to pile up, Monk channels his frustrations into a slap-dash writing exercise, meant as a naked gesture of disgust and admonishment to the literary world. Pulling an all-nighter fueled by alcohol and rage, he crams every ugly and pandering stereotype about Black culture imaginable into a manuscript, and triumphantly instructs his agent to sent it onto the agencies…that’ll show them!

He’s not prepared for his act of protest garnering an offer for a multi-million dollar advance, a film adaptation deal, and most cuttingly, the respect of a literary establishment that he’d long craved.

In his directorial debut, Emmy Award-winning writer Cord Jefferson (Succession, Master of None) delivers a wildly entertaining, hilarious, challenging film, and perhaps the most biting satire of the year, in this brilliant adaptation of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure. Jeffery Wright turns in a tour-de-force performance, leading a stellar casts that includes Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Sterling K. Brown.

Discussion with writer and director Cord Jefferson (VAFF Breakthrough Director Award). Moderated by Bilal Qureshi (NPR).


Thursday, October 26


8:00 PM


The Paramount Theater

Film Info

Director: Cord Jefferson

Runtime: 117 min.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Year: 2023

Country: USA

Language: English

Featuring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander

Presented by

The Paramount

Presented by

envision + UW(white)[2]