Middleburg, VA to host third annual film festival

From Oct. 22 to 25, The Middleburg Film Festival will return to the quaint town of Middleburg, Virginia, about an hour’s drive from AU.

Middleburg is an unlikely place for a film festival due to the lack of actual movie theaters in the town. However, the festival will draw on the town’s kitschy wine-and-countryside vibes to create a unique festival experience. The event aims to be more than the high-profile pretension and massive film slates that mark most major festivals and to offer its guests a warmth and friendliness that has been lauded greatly in its short life.

The 2014 festival highlights included “The Imitation Game,” which was nominated for eight Academy Awards. The festival also exhibited “The Last Five Years,” “The Horseman” and “Red Army,” among many other films that received critical acclaim and caught eyes during award shows.

Although not as prominent as other big-name festivals, like the Sundance Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival or the Telluride Film Festival, the Middleburg Film Festival shows increasing promise.

The Middleburg Film Festival will offer an eclectic selection in addition to featuring the films “Carol,” “Anomalisa” and “Brooklyn,” which found success at earlier film festivals in 2015. Highlights will include foreign language films like “Rams” and “Mustang,” documentaries such as “Armor of Light,” and panel discussions with names in the industry like Dante Spinotti and Lee Daniels.

Among this year’s most promising events is the world premiere of “Ithaca,” a drama directed by Meg Ryan (“Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally”) which features famous actors such as Tom Hanks and Sam Shepherd. A successful world premiere of Ithaca could bring publicity to the Middleburg Film Festival.

Regardless of future success, the fletchling festival’s charm has already attracted many viewers, fans and artists. Composer Carter Burwell will be in attending a concert honoring his work, actor Tab Hunter will be in the audience for a film featuring himself and directors Meg Ryan, Lee Daniels, and Catherine Hardwicke will hold discussion panels, according to the event website.

The film festival will commence on the night of Thursday October 22 with opening film “Spotlight,” a drama about a journalism team investigating the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal, featuring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton.

Oct. 23 will showcase 16 films, including “Arabian Nights: The Desolate One” and “Ithaca.” Oct. 24 will exhibit 17 films, featuring “Brooklyn” as well as the Carter Burwell Tribute concert. Sunday, Oct. 25 will exhibit 10 films including “Anomalisa” and multiple panel discussions.

The full film slate can be found here, and tickets for individual movies can be purchased (typically for $15) online or at the venues.

thescene@theeagleonline.com

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