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

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

Opening Night Film


Maestro Play Button

Photograph by Jason McDonald. Courtesy of Netflix.

Written, directed, and starring Bradley Cooper, Maestro is a deep and fascinating look inside the mind and heart of Leonard Bernstein, one of America’s most legendary musical figures. Bernstein is renowned for his musical prowess and cultural impact, but lesser known is his enchanting love story with Chilean-American actress Felicia Montealegre. The film—produced by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese among others—follows Bernstein’s life and romance with Montealegre, beginning with their introduction at a party in the 1940s through two engagements, three children, and a rollercoaster of dazzling heights and discomposing lows.

Cooper, as Bernstein, joins Carey Mulligan, Maya Hawke and an outstanding cast who deliver powerful performances all-around in a story supported by the testimonies of the three Bernstein children Nina, Jamie, and Alexander. Less a biopic than a magnetic interpretation of the musical legend’s life, Maestro is sure to warm hearts, water eyes, and fill minds with thoughts of the beautiful complexities of life and love.

Introduction by James E. Ryan, President of the University of Virginia and Jody Kielbasa (VAFF).

Discussion with makeup effects artist Kazu Hiro (VAFF Craft Award). Moderated by Tyler Coates (The Hollywood Reporter).



Wednesday, October 25


7:00 PM


The Paramount Theater

Film Info

Director: Bradley Cooper

Runtime: 127 min.

Genre: Drama

Year: 2023

Country: USA

Language: English

Featuring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman

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