25 Faces of The Virginia Film Festival — Part I

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

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To celebrate The Virginia Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary, Cville Niche contacted 25 people who are (or have been) a part of the VFF family of volunteers, interns and staff, local enthusiasts that help continue to make this event an annual event, and even first timers who are on the edge of their seats with excitement!

We’re breaking this up into five parts, so make sure so check in everyday to see all 25 responses!

We begin with Judy McPeak, UVA Dept. of Media Studies Administrator and administrator to the Virginia Film FestivalMatthew Burtner, on the panel for Chasing Ice, Marc Adams, local filmmaker screening his film Something in the WaterKay Taylorlocal dog photographer and VFF enthusiast, and Nick Leichtentritt, first timer and owner of Milli Joe Coffee and Gelato.

Judy McPeakVirginia Film Festival 25 years logo

Administrator to The Virginia Film Festival

How long have you lived here and did you attend the festival before you took on this role?

We’ve lived here for 11 years. We went to the festival before I started in this role. We would pick out one or two films that we wanted to see. It’s hard to pick and choose. I totally sympathize now that the film festival has gotten bigger each year because there are a lot of great films out there, but you find them screening at the same times. You have to make choices.

There was one last year that we wanted to get a copy to send to my husband’s cousin. We had to purchase it online and one of the reviews said, ‘I saw this at the Virginia Film Festival last year and it has a ridiculously large number of films each year.’

It was cool to stumble on that comment. For me it verifies that we’re doing a good job and we make people make hard choices.

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

Seven total but this is the fifth year I’ve been involved with the Festival.

What’s your favorite part of the festival?

That’s really, really hard to say. I think it’s the people that I work with. It’s a small group of people that put on a very large event. The teamwork is incredible and it’s fun to be a part of that.

Which year was the most memorable? If there was a theme what was it? What film, experience and/or guest(s) stood out to you?

It is too hard to pick just one year!  In 2010, Peter Bogdonavich was the Film Fellow and I was quite surprised by the impersonations he did of various actors and directors he had known.   Film-wise, too many to count:  Amazing Grace, Honeydripper, Passione . . .

What sets the Virginia Film Festival apart from other film festivals you’ve attended?

The opportunity to discuss the film with the filmmakers, or discuss its theme/subject with experts in the field, is one of the things that transforms the Virginia Film Festival from “just another film festival” to a film festival not to be missed!

Do you get a chance to see the movies?

No, but I have a lot of films on my list after the festival is over. The programmers see them because they screen them for the festival, but most of us work the festival and don’t have time to see the films. It’s all good because we learn a lot about the films and bringing the Festival to the Charlottesville area and Virginia is our reward.

What film(s) are you most excited about this year?

Future Weather, Quartet and California Solo

Do you have any tips for people on if they are deciding to come and once they come?

I don’t think there should be a decision whether or not they should come. They should come.This is not your average film festival. There are so many films where we have the filmmakers or a panel of experts that discuss the topic. You have the opportunity to learn even more and to have more in-depth knowledge. Or information from the filmmaker about what it was like to make the film. To learn more about the passion of the filmmakers, in that way, it sets us apart. To learn more about the subject matter from experts that discuss it, is what sets us apart from other festivals.

When they get here, they need to plan. More and more, the tickets sell out in advance. They have to plan carefully and have a wonderful time at the festival and in Charlottesville.

Where do you go for a quick bite between movies?

Eppie’s

Where do you go for a post-movie drink?

Escafe

Dinner and a movie… Where would you recommend for dinner?

C&O

What Virginia Film Festival event are you most looking forward to?

Opening Night Gala

Matthew Burtner

UVA Faculty/Staff and Panelist for Chasing Ice

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

Five

Which year was the most memorable? If there was a theme what was it? What film, experience and/or guest(s) stood out to you?

The year of Lynn Hershman’s premiere and pre-premiere talk about her new film

What film(s) are you most excited about this year?

Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice

Where do you go for a quick bite between movies?

Cafe Cubano

Where do you go for a post-movie drink?

C&O

Dinner and a movie… Where would you recommend for dinner?

Hamilton’s

What Virginia Film Festival event are you most looking forward to?

Family Day

Anything else you’d like to add, about yourself or the film festival?

It looks like a fantastic line-up of films and I am pleased to be a part of it. Just back from the world premiere of my multimedia, climate-change opera “Auksalaq” . I am excited about work that engages boldly with complex and nuanced issues of our time (such as Chasing Ice about photographer James Balog). This fall I am in no mood for distraction and entertainment in art so I will be looking for works of creative action and activism at the film festival.

Marc Adams

Local Film Maker, Director of  Something in the Water

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

Five

Which year was the most memorable? If there was a theme what was it? What film, experience and/or guest(s) stood out to you?

Last year was the debut of my first feature film alchemy of an American artist and it certainly was exciting a huge turnout and great afterparty.

What sets the Virginia Film Festival apart from other film festivals you’ve attended?

I have been to TriBeCa and of course south x southwest is a music festival and film festival but its nice to be home and local and have my films appreciated by a group of real peers.

What film(s) are you most excited about this year?

My film the Cville music documentary Something in the Water, Aaron Farrington’s film, Faces in the MirrorFat Kid Rules the World and Love Free or Die.

What’s a word of advice you would give a first timer to the Virginia Film Festival?

Plan accordingly there are so many good films some right after one another  but you can’t sit through 6 hour locks of films pick 4 a day unless they are short and pay closer attention to those few.

Where do you go for a quick bite between movies?

Rapture and Millers

Where do you go for a post-movie drink?

Rapture

Dinner and a movie… Where would you recommend for dinner?

Rapture, Millers or C&O

What Virginia Film Festival event are you most looking forward to?

The Black Heart Valentine Club playing the official after-party at Rapture following Something in the Water.  (12 pm Nov. 2nd)

Anything else you’d like to add, about yourself or the film festival?

I appreciate that I live in the fantastic town with so much arts and culture I am a chef, a musician and a filmmaker. I think I do all three pretty well but I was raised in this town and she has to take most of the credit, she is my alma mater.

Kay Taylor

Local Enthusiast and Photographer

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

Twelve

Which year was the most memorable? If there was a theme what was it? What film, experience and/or guest(s) stood out to you?

2004, when Sandra Bullock came to present a preview of Miss Congeniality 2 and then we watched Miss Congeniality.

What film(s) are you most excited about this year?

Deadfall

What’s a word of advice you would give a first timer to the Virginia Film Festival?

Try to see at least one film at Culbreth, something off of the mall.

Where do you go for a quick bite between movies?

The Nook

Where do you go for a post-movie drink?

Rapture

Dinner and a movie… Where would you recommend for dinner?

Citizen Burger

What Virginia Film Festival event are you most looking forward to?

Just catching as many movies as I can!

Anything else you’d like to add, about yourself or the film festival?

Keep an eye out for the Sheridan Avenue Boys on the downtown mall during the film festival. Come snap a picture with us!

Nick Leichtentritt

Newbie, Local VFF Enthusiast and Owner of Milli Joe

What film(s) are you most excited about this year?

All of them!

Buzz, rumors, chatter? What’s one thing you’ve heard about the Virginia Film Festival?

It’s one of the biggest events of the year.

Where do you plan to go for a quick bite between movies?

Revolutionary Soup

Where do you plan to go for a post-movie drink?

Milli Joe!! or Whiskey Jar

Dinner and a movie… Where would you want to go for dinner?

Citizen Burger

What Virginia Film Festival event are you most looking forward to?

Late Night Wrap Up Party