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

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

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VFF Announces New Titles, Expansion of Violet Crown Series and Special Screening of ‘The Paris Opera’

by JennyM on April 18, 2018

Virginia Film Festival and Violet Crown Charlottesville Announce New Titles and Expansion Of 2018 Year-Round Film Series

 VFF Also Announces Special Screening of Acclaimed Documentary The Paris Opera on Friday, June 1 at The Paramount Theater

Charlottesville, VA – April 18, 2018 – The Virginia Film Festival has announced the next three films in its 2018 VFF at Violet Crown film series, presented in partnership with Violet Crown Charlottesville, which has now been expanded to include screenings through the end of the year. VFF officials have also announced a special screening of the acclaimed documentary The Paris Opera on Friday, June 1 at The Paramount Theater.

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

The newly-announced titles for the VFF at Violet Crown series include Keep the Change (May 15); The Judge (June 19); and The Last Suit (July 17). The series will continue with screenings on August 21, September 18, October 16, and December 18, with titles to be announced at a later date. All screenings in the series will start at 7:30 PM, and tickets will be available one month prior to the screening date at violetcrown.com.

Director Rachel Israel’s Keep the Change is an unlikely and endearing love story about two adults with autism who meet in a support group and embark on a relationship neither could have ever predicted. When aspiring filmmaker David (Brandon Polansky) is mandated by a judge to attend a social program at the Jewish Community Center, he is assigned to visit the Brooklyn Bridge with the vivacious Sarah (Samantha Elisofon). Sparks fly and David’s convictions are tested, as the couple navigates obstacles ranging from Sarah’s romantic past to David’s judgmental mother (Jessica Walter) and their own preconceptions of what love is supposed to look like. Under the guise of an off-kilter New York romantic comedy, Keep the Change does something quite radical in casting actors with autism to play characters with autism, offering a refreshingly honest portrait of a community seldom depicted on the big screen. Though charming and quite funny, the film‘s warmth and candor brings growth and transformation to the characters.

The Judge, a documentary from filmmaker Erika Cohn, provides rare insight into Shari’a law, an often misunderstood legal framework for Muslims, told through the eyes of the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts. When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. With the help of a progressive Sheik, Kholoud became the first woman judge in the Shari’a courts. The Judge offers a unique portrait of Kholoud—her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine—custody of children, divorce, abuse—while offering an unvarnished look at life for women under Shari’a law.

The Last Suit, from writer/director Pablo Solarz, is the heartfelt and charming tale of 88-year-old Jewish tailor Abraham Bursztein, who is seeing his place in the world rapidly disappear. His kids have sold his Buenos Aires residence and set him up to move to a retirement home as they disagree on how to handle his failing health. But Abraham survived the Holocaust, made a successful life as a suit maker in a foreign land, and isn’t about to quietly fade away. Instead, he plots a secret one-way trip to Poland, where he plans to find the friend who saved him from certain death at Auschwitz. Comedic and poignant in equal measure, the film follows the sharply-dressed Abraham as he meets many interesting characters that help him along his journey, including the proprietor of a Madrid hotel (Angela Molina). With its klezmer-driven score, evocative cinematography, and quick pacing, The Last Suit approaches its weighty themes with a light touch that illuminates an otherwise serious storyline.

Presented in partnership with The Paramount Theater, The Paris Opera uncovers the passion and life behind the scenes of one of the most prestigious performing arts institutions in the world. The director of the Opera, Stéphane Lissner, must deal with the complications of a strike, the arrival of a live bull, and the overwhelming talent of the Opera’s Academy. The documentary turns tragic when terrorist attacks plunge Paris into a state of panic and mourning. Preparations for Richard Wagner’s six-hour opera Die Meistersinger must reunite the company and keep the opera house alive.

Tickets to The Paris Opera are $10.00 and available at theparamount.net. The Virginia Film Festival thanks presenting sponsor UVA Gamma Knife Center for their generous support of this screening.

The Virginia Film Festival will celebrate its 31st year from November 1-4, 2018.  For more information on the VFF, visit virginiafilmfestival.org.


John Kelly
John Kelly PR