The Virginia Film Festival has announced its line-up for 2023. Now in its 36th year, the annual fest held in Charlottesville, VA, unveiled their full slate today, with several Oscar hopefuls in the mix.
Notable award contenders screening at this year’s fest (10/25 – 10/29) include Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, Bradley Cooper’s biopic on the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein (Maestro), Todd Haynes’ May December starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, George C. Wolfe’s Rustin starring Colman Domingo as the famed Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin, American Fiction the highly anticipated directorial debut of Emmy award winning screenwriter / journalist Cord Jefferson (starring Jeffrey Wright), as well as Origin, the first film for theaters from Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay in five years.
DuVernay and Jefferson are both expected to be in attendance, along with Riley Keough for War Pony, poet Nikki Giovanni (recipient of the VAFF Changemaker award), Oscar winning (American Beauty) producer Bruce Cohen for Rustin, and Oscar winning composer (Soul) Jon Batiste with Oscar nominee (Cartel Land) director Matthew Heineman in support of American Symphony, which details the struggle of Batiste and his partner Suleika Jaouad, after learning her cancer has returned.
Leading off the fest as its opening night film will be Maestro. The closing night film will be American Symphony, which the VAFF will be awarding its Directorial Achievement Award to Matthew Heineman for his helming of the picture. Perhaps the film with the most pre-festival buzz is Payne’s The Holdovers.
The full 2023 VAFF program is available for review today on the festival’s site. Tickets for the festival will go on sale at noon on Friday, October 6, and can be purchased on the VAFF site as well.
Here is the 2023 VAFF screening roster with director:
Origin (Ava DuVernay)
American Fiction (Cord Jefferson)
Rustin (George C. Wolfe)
Dream Scenario (Kristoffer Borgli)
May December (Todd Haynes)
War Pony (Gina Gammell and Riley Keough)
Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson)
All of Us Strangers (Andrew Haigh)
Eileen (William Oldroyd)
Fingernails (Christos Nikou)
The Persian Version (Maryam Keshavarz)
The Disappearance of Shere Hite (Nicole Newnham, recipient of the 2023 VAFF Chronicler Award)
And as a proud supporter of international film, the VAFF will be showcasing the following eight official International Oscar Selections (listed with country of origin):
20 Days in Mariupol (Ukraine)
About Dry Grasses (Turkey)
Fallen Leaves (Finland)
Four Daughters (Tunisia)
Perfect Days (Japan)
The Settlers (Chile)
The Taste of Things (France)
The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany)