A program of

Series & Sidebars

American Perspectives Series

“During these incredibly divided times,” said Virginia Film Festival Program Manager Chandler Ferrebee, “there is much debate over what makes someone an American. I feel like the core of that answer lies in a resiliency of spirit, an optimism for a better life, and an empathy for your fellow man. We have created the American Perspectives series to showcase the complicated and diverse stories that make up America today.”

Films include:

Film still: Zola

Women in Film

“As we went through the process of building this program,” Chandler Ferrebee, VAFF Program Manager said, “I was incredibly impressed with and thrilled by the sheer volume of extraordinary work being released this year by women filmmakers. I am really proud to present this series, which I think offers a fascinating and diverse cross-section of what is truly an embarrassment of riches.”

Films include:

Film still: Julia

Indigenous Americans in Film

The VAFF is proud to present its inaugural Indigenous Americans in Film series, showcasing the work of Indigenous American filmmakers and providing a platform for discussion around the complex issues facing this population today.

Curated by Guest Programmer Adriana Greci Green

Adriana Greci Green is the curator of Indigenous Arts of the Americas at The Fralin Museum of Art.

Films include:

The Indigenous Americans in Film series is presented by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and supported by UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds

Film still: Beans

Spotlight on Virginia Filmmaking

The Festival will shine a spotlight on an impressive collection of films that were made in Virginia or have roots in the Commonwealth.

Films include:

This film series is presented by the Virginia Film Office.

Film still: How the Monuments Came Down

Jewish & Israeli Film Series

Curated by Guest Programmer Ilya Tovbis

Ilya Tovbis is the Artistic and Managing Director of JxJ—the newly combined Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals. He has extensive programming experience in both the Jewish and broader film worlds, having previously worked with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, The Picture House, The JCC of NY’s Israel Film Center and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Films include:

This film series is supported by UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds

Film still: Neighbours

LGBTQIA+ Focus

Films include:

Film still: Jump, Darling

Black Excellence

We are thrilled to spotlight the Black stories and talent that move, entertain, and challenge us in this year’s program. Examining the multi-faceted Black experience, celebrating the lives of trailblazing Black artists and activists, unearthing complex history, and more, this selection offers stories by creators and artists who are transforming the film industry and making their voices heard.

Films include:

Film still: The Harder They Fall

Shorts Programs

Curated by Guest Programmer Joe Fab. 

Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Fab returns with the VAFF Shorts Program, an annual Festival favorite. Joe is an accomplished producer, writer and director whose work includes When My Time Comes, a documentary about the right-to-die movement featuring famed NPR host Diane Rehm, part of last year’s VAFF program, and the highly-acclaimed 2004 release Paper Clips, which he co-directed.

Joe’s Curated Shorts Packages include:

Short films include:

Film still: Feeling Through

Indigeneity In Mexico

Curated by Guest Programmer Federico Cuatlacuatl. 

Born in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, Federico Cuatlacuatl, is an Cholula, Puebla, Mexico-born indigenous artist and Assistant Professor of Studio Art at the University of Virginia whose work focuses heavily on disseminating topics of Latinx immigration, social art practice, and cultural sustainability.

Films and discussion includes:

This film series is supported by UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds

Film still: Nudo Mixteco

Middle Eastern & South Asian Film Sidebar

Curated by Guest Programmer Samhita Sunya

Samhita Sunya is an Assistant Professor of Cinema in the University of Virginia’s Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Language and Cultures. Her interests span world film history, South and West Asian cinemas, intersections of audio-visual media and literature, and sound studies. She also has a curatorial background in the collaborative administration of film series and festivals.

Films include:

The Middle Eastern & South Asian Film Sidebar is supported by the UVA Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, the UVA Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures, and UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds.

Film still: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Korean Film Series

Curated by Guest Programmer Hyeyon Moon

Hyeyon Moon is currently teaching film courses at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia. She is an independent filmmaker.Her narrative films and documentary videos were screened at numerous film festivals and galleries including Mill Valley International Film Festival, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, Ohio Independent Film Festival, and Cincinnati Art Museum. Prior to her study, she worked as the first assistant director and art director for several feature films in South Korea.

Films include:

The Korean Film Series is supported by the Korea Cultural Center, Washington, D.C., UVA Korea Society, an UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds

Film still: Aloners