A program of uvalofo-vff

Special Guests

Jeremy O. Harris

A graduate of the Yale MFA Playwriting Program and currently residing in New York City, Jeremy O. Harris is an award-winning playwright and actor best known for his play Slave Play, which broke the record for the most Tony nominations for a non-musical play in 2020. He has been honored with the Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences in 2018.

In his first foray into screenwriting, Harris co-wrote A24’s 2021 film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. He has an overall deal with HBO and is a co-producer for the second season of the hit series Euphoria. He recently appeared on HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot.

Harris is the eleventh recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons.


Martha Plimpton

Award-winning actress Martha Plimpton has achieved success across stage, screen, and television. First rising to prominence for her role in Richard Donner’s The Goonies, her many film credits include the Disney sequel Frozen 2, The Mosquito Coast, Running on Empty, Parenthood, and Small Town Murder Songs. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as Virginia Chance in the FOX sitcom Raising Hope and won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her appearance on CBS’s The Good Wife. On Broadway, Plimpton has received Tony nominations for her roles in The Coast of UtopiaTop Girls, and Pal Joey. Plimpton is also the recipient of a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in The Coast of Utopia.


Bo McGuire

Bo McGuire is a writer, director, and producer. Born the queer son of a Waffle House cook and his third-shift waitress in Alabama, he was a Ryan Murphy + Half Initiative Mentee and is one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

His feature debut, Socks on Fire, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and premiered internationally in the Luminous section at the 2020 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The film was selected as part of the Cinema Eye Honors’s Stay Focused 2021 initiative and was nominated for a 2020 IDA Documentary Award for Best Writing. His original television pilot, Shitbird, was selected by Spike Lee to receive the Sandra Ifraimova Award and his feature script, Alabama Snipe Fight, appeared on NYU’s Purple List.


Danny Strong

Danny Strong is the writer and executive producer of the new Hulu limited series Dopesick. Beginning his career as an actor in numerous classic films and TV shows, Strong transitioned into screenwriting and producing, with his scripts Recount (2007) and Game Change (2008), both of which became award-winning HBO films. He is a prolific writer, director, and producer, working on films including The Butler (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part I and II (2014; 2015), and his 2017 directorial debut, Rebel in the Rye. Strong was co-creator and executive producer of the FOX drama Empire, and wrote and directed several episodes.

As an actor, he is well-known for the five seasons he played Jonathan on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the four seasons he played Doyle on Gilmore Girls, and for being on seasons 4 and 6 of Mad Men.


Yatika Fields

Yatika Starr Fields is an artist with emphasis on studio painting. He is from Tulsa Oklahoma and a member of the Osage, Cherokee and Mvskoke Nations, and he is currently living and working in Tulsa as a fellow with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. His artistic endeavors have taken him around the world, working with institutions and museums in a continuous dialogue to help broaden the views of Contemporary Native art today.

His work represents the contemporary political terrains we live in today, often layered with figurative, cultural and historical motifs. His compositions are colorful and dynamic, leaving the viewer to move their eyes and find relating elements to their own journey. From studio paintings to murals an orchestrated landscape of unbounded possibilities and solutions are revealed, giving and creating space for new narratives to take shape.


Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. Niro is a multi-media artist, involving photography, painting, beadwork, and film. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours, and received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario.  Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council. In 2017, she received the Governor General’s Award for the Arts from Canada Council, the Scotiabank Photography Award, and The Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Award. Niro received an honorary doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University and is the 2019 Laureate of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Art Photography.


Photo: © Darlene Naponse

Carlos Aguilar

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of six young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by RogerEbert.com, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, The New York Times, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla, Filmmaker Magazine, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. 


Robert Daniels

Robert Daniels is a Chicago-based film critic with freelance bylines in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on RogerEbert.com, Polygon, and The Playlist. He has written widely about Black American pop culture and issues of representation.


Roxana Hadadi

Roxana Hadadi is a film, television, and pop culture critic. She is the film editor of Pajiba.com and a regular contributor to RogerEbert.com, Crooked Marquee, The A.V. Club, Polygon, Vulture, and various other publications. She is a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and the Online Film Critics Society.


Brian Truitt

From the biggest Star Wars movie to the weirdest Oscar-bait flick, Brian will give anything a try as he brings two decades of entertainment reporting experience to covering film, TV and the occasional YA novel.


William Antholis

William J. Antholis serves as Director and CEO of the Miller Center, a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history. He has published books, articles, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade.

He served as director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, as well as deputy director of the White House climate change policy team. In 1991, Antholis co-founded the Civic Education Project, a nonprofit organization that supported western-trained social science instructors at universities in 23 Central and Eastern European countries. 

Antholis earned his PhD from Yale University in politics (1993) and his BA degree from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs (1986).