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

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

Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation on ‘TWO DISTANT STRANGERS’

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Join the Virginia Film Festival for a virtual conversation with Travon Free, writer/director of the Academy Award nominated short film Two Distant StrangersThe livestreamed discussion will take place Tuesday, April 20 at 3:00 PM ET and will be moderated by Kevin McDonald, UVA’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships.

This event is part of the Virginia Film Festival’s Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation Series. All conversations in the series will be free, open to the public, livestreamed on Zoom, and archived on the VAFF’s YouTube channel. Pre-registration is required to attend the livestreamed Zoom conversations. Two Distant Strangers is streaming now on Netflix.

The Virginia Film Festival’s 2021 Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation Series is presented by The Jefferson Trust. For more information on past and upcoming virtual conversations, visit virginiafilmfestival.org/year-round-events.

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

About the film: 

Nominated for a 2021 Academy Award in the Live Action Short Film category, Two Distant Strangers tells the story of a Black cartoonist Carter James (Joey Bada$$) and his repeated attempts to get home to his dog as he gets stuck in a time loop that forces him to relive a deadly run-in with a cop (Andrew Howard) over and over again. Travon Free wrote and directed the short film during the pandemic with co-director Martin Desmond Roe. The film was produced by three-time Oscar-nominee Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, and Inglourious Basterds), Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chris Uettwiller, and Jesse Williams.

About the participants:

is a two-time Emmy winning and Peabody winning television writer, actor and comedian from Compton California. He’s been a writer/producer for many shows including Adam McKay’s upcoming Laker’s drama, Showtime on HBO, Black Monday starring Don Cheadle on Showtime, and Lena Dunham’s Camping on HBO, and he was co-head writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. His other writing and producing credits also include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central), Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons (HBO), Larry Wilmore’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Hood Adjacent with James Davis (Comedy Central), and many more. He’s the writer and co-director of the critically acclaimed Academy Award nominated short film Two Distant Strangers starring Joey Bada$$ and Andrew Howard, and currently has projects in development with Paramount Plus, Morgan Freeman’s Rev- elations Productions, and most recently sold an Africa-based spy film with Idris Elba and Simon Kinberg that was acquired by Apple after a heated bidding war among the top studios. His writing work can also be found all over the web as one of the most sought after young comedic voices on social, political and pop culture issues.

, is the UVA Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships. He joined UVA after serving as the chief diversity officer and vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity at the University of Missouri System and the University of Missouri – Columbia. Prior to the University of Missouri System and Flagship campus, McDonald held positions at several other universities, including as vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology, vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Tech, as associate director for compliance and conflict resolution at Johns Hopkins University, and as campus compliance officer at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to his work in higher education, McDonald worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and for Network Solutions, Inc. McDonald holds a law degree from The Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from the University of Rochester. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.


Tuesday, April 20


3:00 PM


Virtual Discussion