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Virginia is for viewers: Film Festival set to launch Nov. 1

25th anniversary of Virginia Film Festival invades Charlottesville, brings movie magic

What type of movies are you seeing this fall? I’m guessing some blockbusters are on your list. But if you find the movies that Hollywood pumps out to be somewhat predictable, then you should check out the Virginia Film Festival, an event that has been bringing great films to Charlottesville for 25 years.

Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the Virginia Film Festival is its diversity. Lauren Lukow, a third year and Director’s Assistant at the festival said this year they will be partnering with the University Miller Center to present a ‘Presidency in Film’ series.

The series will include Alan J. Pakula’s 1976 classic All the President’s Men, an American staple about the Watergate scandal, as well as Roger Michell’s Hyde Park on the Hudson, a new film about Franklin D. Roosevelt — played by comic legend Bill Murray — that is already generating substantial Oscar buzz. There will be panels after both films during which the audiences can discuss their thoughts and reactions. The panel after All the President’s Men will be particularly exciting, as the two intrepid journalists at the center of the film’s plot will be making an appearance.

“It will be an especially incredible opportunity to see both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein together again, speaking on the same stage, giving first-rate insight into their experiences with Watergate,” Lukow said.

All the President’s Men will be shown at the Paramount Theater Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.,, and Hyde Park on the Hudson will be screened at the Newcomb Hall Theater Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6:15 p.m.

Another film that’s making the festival rounds is Compliance, a terrifying story based on true events. A manager at a fast food restaurant receives a call from someone whom she thinks is a cop, who proceeds to tell her that one of her employees has stolen some money. What follows is a nightmare for the young girl who has been accused. The film explores the depths to which people will submit to authority and their subsequent capacity for evil.

Additionally, David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook, which boasts an expert cast of both rising stars and veteran players, from Jennifer Lawrence to Robert DeNiro, promises to bring in a packed audience, especially given its apparently enormous Oscar potential.

For those who are interested in smaller, more visually oriented films, Lukow recommended Tchoupitoulas. Named after a street in New Orleans, it follows a group of boys who experience the nightlife of the city for the first time.

“It doesn’t look incredibly plot-heavy, but from what I’ve seen, it visually looks amazing,” she said. “The cinematography, color, lighting, everything — I recommend it to anyone who is really intrigued by the actual art of making film.” Tchoupitoulas is showing at the Regal 4 Downtown Mall Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8:30 p.m.

These films only scratch the surface of what the Virginia Film Festival has to offer. For more detailed information go to and check out the events.