37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL | October 30-November 3

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL | October 30-November 3

News & Press

VAFF Continues Virtual Series with ‘A Secret Love’

by JennyM on June 2, 2020

Virginia Film Festival Continues Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation Series with Acclaimed Netflix Documentary A Secret Love

Discussion on Wednesday, June 17 to Feature Director Chris Bolan, Producer Alexa L. Fogel, and Producer and Co-Writer Brendan Mason, Moderated by Bonnie Hagerman of UVA

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – June 1, 2020 – The Virginia Film Festival will continue Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation Series with a discussion around the highly-acclaimed Netflix documentary A Secret Love. The livestreamed conversation will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:00 PM EST and will feature the film’s director Chris Bolan, producer Alexa L. Fogel, and producer and co-writer Brendan Mason. The discussion will be moderated by Bonnie Hagerman, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality at UVA.

The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

This conversation, like all the conversations in the VAFF’s Beyond the Screen series, will offer audiences the chance to enjoy the kinds of vibrant and wide-ranging conversations that have become a hallmark of the VAFF, according to Festival officials. Beyond the Screen conversations are free, open to the public, livestreamed on Zoom, and archived on the VAFF’s YouTube channel. Pre-registration is required to attend live, and related films are available to rent or purchase through various streaming platforms prior to the scheduled discussion.

Pre-registration for Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation on A Secret Love is available at virginiafilmfestival.org/year_round/secret-love-discussion.

A Secret Love, produced by Ryan Murphy Productions, NowThis and Beech Hill Films, tells an incredible love story between Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, whose relationship spans nearly seven decades. Terry played in the women’s professional baseball league, inspiring the hit movie A League of Their Own. But the film did not tell the real-life story of the women who remained closeted for most of their lives. This documentary follows Terry and Pat back to when they met for the first time, through their professional lives in Chicago, coming out to their conservative families, and grappling with whether or not to get married. Facing the hardships of aging and illness, their love proves resilient as they enter the home stretch of their lives. A Secret Love is available to stream on Netflix.

Chris Bolan has had a career both on and off-Broadway as an actor with many top regional theater companies in both the United States and Canada while also working in film and television. In 2016 Bolan was Artistic Director for the critically acclaimed European Premiere production of Oh Hell No! at the Alfo Puccini Theater in Milan, Italy and has directed legendary LGBTQ and Civil Rights Activist, David Mixner, in three World Premiere productions at the Florence Gould Theater in NYC. Chris is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Award for directing and is also a Founding Partner of Sweet T Productions with recent projects including the Broadway production of The Sound Inside starring Mary-Louise Parker, directed by David Cromer, as well as the Broadway National Touring Production of Jitney, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Bolan is a company member of the award-winning New York based Wheelhouse Theater Company and is a member of the Board of Directors for LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts. Bolan holds his MFA in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is part of the adjunct faculty in the theater department at Western Connecticut State University.

Alexa L. Fogel captured three Emmy awards for her work as the casting director on True Detective and NYPD Blue and has earned five additional nominations. Some of her numerous casting credits include The Plot Against America, The Outsider, The Politician, Pose, The Deuce, Ozark, Atlanta, Chambers, Warrior, Quarry, Banshee, Treme, Ripper Street, The Wire, Generation Kill, Show Me a Hero, Oz, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Too Big to Fail, Our Brand is Crisis, The Sitter, and Red Tails. Upcoming projects include Netflix’s The Prom and films The Unt. Fred Hampton Project directed by Shaka King, and Rob Peace directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Through her Beech Hill Films banner, Fogel and producing partner Brendan Mason have produced the recently released feature film One Last Thing, starring Wendell Pierce, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Joanne Froggatt. Other recent projects include This is Where We Live, Helena From the Wedding, Run, Fat Boy, Run, directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, A Hole in One, starring Michelle Williams, Face, and Our Song.

Bonnie Hagerman graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1991. After teaching high school history and social studies for five years, she pursued graduate studies at Ohio University, where she earned her Ph.D. in History with a concentration on American social history. She has taught at the University of Virginia since 2008 and is an Assistant Professor, General Faculty, in the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality, where she also serves as Director of Undergraduate Programs. Hagerman has taught a variety of courses for the department including A History of Gender & Sexuality, 1865 to the Present, A History of Feminism in America, and courses that explore women, gender and sport.

The 33rd annual Virginia Film Festival is scheduled to be held on October 21-25, 2020 in Charlottesville. For more information, visit virginiafilmfestival.org.