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

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

National Geographic’s Screening Of “America Inside Out With Katie Couric” In Charlottesville, VA

Year Round Events

Outside of our annual four day festival, we are dedicated to bringing you screenings and events throughout the year that entertain, enlighten, inspire, and challenge our local community. See below for upcoming and archived year-round events. And check back often for updates and new additions!

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The Public

Friday, March 22, 2019
The Paramount Theater 
7:00 PM

Discussion with writer, producer, director, and star Emilio Estevez, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library director David Plunkett, and local homeless and mental health advocates. The conversation will be moderated by The Washington Post chief film critic Ann Hornaday.

As an unusually bitter Arctic blast makes its way to downtown Cincinnati, a group of homeless library patrons find themselves at odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event. Led by Jackson (Michael K. Williams), the patrons decide to turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging a sit in, and librarians Stuart (Emilio Estevez) and Myra (Jena Malone) are thrown into the middle of the action.  What begins as an act of civil disobedience quickly becomes a standoff with police while the media look to sensationalize the truth. This uplifting story explores issues of homelessness and mental illness in America and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: the public library. Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, produced, and stars in The Public alongside an all-star cast featuring Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright, Taylor Schilling, Michael K. Williams, and Gabrielle Union. The Public will be released in theaters on April 5. For more information, visit facebook.com/ThePublicFilm.

Tickets for this special screening are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and can be purchased online at theparamount.net, by phone at 434-979-1333, or in person at The Paramount Theater Box Office on the Downtown Mall at 215 East Main Street.

Ann Hornaday will also participate in a book signing in The Paramount Theater’s lobby after the screening. Her book, Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies, will be available for purchase on site before the film.

This special screening is presented by Virginia Film Festival and Virginia Festival of the Book, and supported by Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, The Paramount Theater, and UVA Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

About the Virginia Festival of the Book: A signature program of Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Center for the Book, the Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together for a five-day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, programs for children, and more. The 25th annual Book Festival will be held March 20-24, 2019 in venues across Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The Festival consistently attracts audiences of more than 20,000 from more than forty states each year, with an estimated local economic impact of about $4 million annually. To learn more, visit VaBook.org.

View the film trailer here.

Buy Tickets

VAFF at Violet Crown Series

Join us for our forth annual VAFF at Violet Crown Series, a year-round, co-curated selection of films, presented in partnership with Violet Crown Charlottesville.

Full Schedule

Past Events

See below for an archive list of 2018 events.


Martin Luther King Jr.: A Personal Portrait

Sunday, January 28, 2018
Newcomb Hall Theater
1:00 PM
Free and Open to the Public

In partnership with the Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity & Equity and the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center,  VAFF presents a screening of Martin Luther King Jr.: A Personal Portrait as part of UVA’s Community MLK Celebration.

In December of 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. opened his home for the first and only time to a television host, Arnold Michaelis, the legendary interviewer, who spent four days recording Dr. King and his wife Coretta in a uniquely intimate setting, revealing these historic figures’ most private thoughts. This program has never been televised, and had remained unseen in the Michaelis Library of Living History, University of Georgia Libraries, for over forty years. George Silano, the veteran director/cameraman, and the only living member of the team, has rediscovered the film. Mr. Silano will participate in a Q&A following the screening.



Movies and Groovies

There’s nothing better than live music and a movie under the stars! We’re excited to be partnering with Bold Rock Hard Cider on a new and completely free outdoor film and music series, called Movies & Groovies.

Each month starting in May and running through October, join us at Bold Rock Cidery in Nellysford for local live music, a movie screening in their meadow on a jumbo screen, delicious hard cider, food trucks, movie themed activities, and much much more! View the full series schedule below:

New York, NY – Katie Couric. (National Geographic/Jason DeCrow)

America Inside Out with Katie Couric

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
UVA Screening: Culbreth Theatre at 3:00 PM
Community Screening: The Paramount Theater at 7:00 PM

Both events are FREE!
Ticket reservations will begin at noon on Friday, March 23.
See below for ticket reservation instructions.

In partnership with National Geographic, we are thrilled to announce that award-winning journalist and UVA alumna Katie Couric will be in Charlottesville on Wednesday, April 4 to present two special preview screenings and discussions of an episode of her new National Geographic series, America Inside Out with Katie Couric.

The episode to be screened is titled Re-Righting History and centers around the battle over removing Confederate monuments and renaming buildings, schools, and roads named after Confederate generals. It also includes Couric’s first-hand experiences of the events of August 11 and 12 in Charlottesville.

The first event will be held at 3:00 PM at Culbreth Theatre and is open to UVA students, faculty, and staff. An evening event for the local community will follow at 7:00 PM in The Paramount Theater. Both events will feature post-screening discussions where Couric and moderator Larry Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics, will be joined by members of the UVA and Charlottesville communities featured in the episode.

Panelists will include Charlottesville High School student Zyahna Bryant, who wrote the original petition to have the Robert E. Lee statue removed from the park; Don Gathers, local activist and Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Monuments and Memorials for the City of Charlottesville; Seth Wispelwey, United Church of Christ minister and one of the leaders of Congregate Cville; Gary Gallagher, Director for John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at UVA  and  Professor in the History of the American Civil War (Paramount event only); and  John Mason, Associate Professor in the Corcoran Department of History at UVA and  Vice Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Monuments and Memorials for the City of Charlottesville.

Tickets are free and will be available starting at noon on Friday, March 23. There will be a limit of two tickets per person for each event.

Tickets for the 3:00 PM Culbreth Theatre event will be distributed in person through the UVA Arts Box Office and are available only to the UVA community. UVA students, faculty, and staff must show a valid UVA ID at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road.

Tickets for the 7:00 PM Paramount Theater event: REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT. If you have a reserved ticket to this event, please note that your ticket does not guarantee your entrance. All ticket holders must claim their ticket at will-call and be inside The Paramount Theater by 6:45 PM the night of screening. At this time, we will begin to distribute unclaimed tickets to those waiting in the standby line.  Questions? Please contact The Paramount Theater Box Office at theparamount.net, by calling 434-979-1333, or in person at 215 East Main Street.

MORE ABOUT THE SERIES: America Inside Out with Katie Couric is a six-part documentary series that follows Couric as she travels the country to talk with people bearing witness to the most complicated and consequential questions in American culture today. The series premieres Wednesday, April 11, 2018 and will air globally on National Geographic. Inspired by her own journey making National Geographic’s critically acclaimed documentary Gender Revolution (2017), Couric travels to dozens of cities across North America — from Freemont, Nebraska, to Montgomery, Alabama, to talk with hundreds of people to get an inside look at pressing social issues, including gender inequality, Muslims in America, political correctness, white working-class anxiety, the battle over Confederate monuments and statues, and how technology is affecting our humanity.

For the episode featured in these preview screenings, Couric travels from Charlottesville to Montgomery to New Orleans, the front lines in the highly controversial and sometimes violent battle over removing Confederate monuments and renaming buildings, schools, and roads named after Confederate generals. Couric meets with people on all sides of this divisive issue: from Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, who is helping lead the fight to change the name of her former high school, to Sons of Confederate Veterans and white nationalists. This is a very personal journey for Couric, who attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and who, while filming this episode, found herself in the middle of the alt-right protest that rocked the nation. Couric sifts through all the emotions and experiences that inform the debate, as she talks with scholars, celebrities, and Americans of all races about the complicated question of how we approach the history — and the future — of race in this country.

The Paris Opera Image FINAL

The Paris Opera

Friday, June 1, 2018
The Paramount Theater
7:30 PM
Tickets: $10.00

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. Introduction by Allen Hench (Charlottesville Opera)


Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor UVA Gamma Knife Center for their generous support of this screening.

Media Sponsor:


FoD #1

Field of Dreams

Friday, July 13, 2018
C-VILLE Weekly Ballpark at CHS
Free and Open to the Public

In partnership with the Charlottesville Tom Sox,  VAFF will present a free screening of the beloved baseball film, Field of Dreams. Ray Kinsella, an Iowa corn farmer, hears voices and decides to build a baseball diamond in his fields. When the ghosts of the Chicago White Socks, banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series, appear on the new field, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him seek out the purpose of it all.

The screening will begin immediately following the Tom Sox baseball game which begins at 6:00 PM. The film screening will be free and open to the public. To attend the baseball game, visit tomsox.org to learn more about tickets.

A rain date has been scheduled for the following night, Saturday, July 14.