A program of

The Program: October 22 to 27

The Festival Scholars Program offers a 6-day immersive, educational, and networking experience to UVA students around the themes of filmmaking, film industry, and film criticism.  The Program consists of:

  • A mentored and guided program of studies, discussions, and overall experience led by a Lead Film Scholar
  • Attending 8-10 film screenings during the 2019 Virginia Film Festival, curated by the Lead Film Scholar and VAFF Programmer
  • Participating in 8-10 intimate group discussions and Q&A sessions with visiting guest artists and VAFF Advisory Board Members
  • 2-3 short readings
  • A post-program reflection survey

Apply to be a Festival Scholar

All UVA undergraduate and graduate, part-time and full-time students of any year are welcome to apply. After a competitive application process, 10-12 Student Scholars will be selected to enroll. Past VAFF Scholar participants are not eligible to apply. There is no fee to submit an application, and there is no cost to enroll if accepted.

Festival Scholars will receive:

  • Complimentary admission into all film screenings chosen as part of the Scholars’ course of study
  • Full credentials to the 2019 Virginia Film Festival, gaining them access to the Filmmakers & Sponsors Lounge
  • Complimentary group dinner on Tuesday, October 22 to kick-off the Scholars Program
  • Complimentary group dinner on Sunday, October 27 to wrap-up the Scholars Program


Questions? Contact Scholars@virginiafilmfestival.org.


2019 Lead Film Scholar

Harry Chotiner, professor of film at New York University will serve as the Lead Film Scholar and Mentor of the 2019 Festival Scholars Program.

Born and raised in Los Angeles to an upper-middle class Jewish family, Harry grew up with all sorts of explicit and inchoate connections to Hollywood and thus has always been connected the world of film. After college, he went to Rabbinical school for one year before dropping out to get a PhD in History. Harry went on to be the Editor of Socialist Review Magazine, Reader for Francis Coppola at Zoetrope Studios, Head of Story Department at CBS Theatrical Films, Vice President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox, Executive Vice President in film division at Interscope before leaving the movie business to teach History in high school and adult education film classes at New York University. Most importantly, he is married to a wonderful human rights lawyer and is the father of three adorable kids and three delicious grandkids.

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