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Film festival requires choices
Big premieres and selection of special events that look at historical figures on tap for film festival

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Date published: 10/7/2012

By Rob Hedelt


--The director of the Virginia Film Festival says it's a good thing that this year's schedule of more than 120 movies and events Nov. 1-4 will force ticket buyers to make some tough choices.

Jody Kielbasa said that with a four-day event that delivers a wide array of films, special events and major premieres--from David Chase's "Not Fade Away" to the Quentin Tarantino Presents feature "The Man With the Iron Fists"--there's no way filmgoers can see it all.

"The fact there are times when two or even three great choices exist in our schedule is a good thing," he said. "With this many great films being shown, it's inevitable."

Kielbasa said he's proud of the festival's diversity: from documentaries such as the much-anticipated look at the life of Ethel Kennedy ("Ethel"), to a rich slate of foreign films, to a "Presidency in Film" series that includes a screening of "Hyde Park on Hudson," about Franklin D. Roosevelt and his cousin Margaret Stuckley.

The event director noted that any good festival will include a selection of "spotlight screenings" of big movies about to hit the nation's theaters.

With a few announcements still to come, this year's list includes:

Chase's film, which reunites "The Sopranos" creator with star James Gandolfini.

"The Stand Up Guys," starring Al Pacino and Christopher Walken as aging con men.

"A Late Quartet," about a world-renowned string quartet, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener.

"The Details," a dark suburban comedy starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney.

This is the 25th anniversary of the festival, which is presented from the University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Kielbasa said he's especially proud of three aspects of the festival.

The first is the way it creates opportunities to examine political and social issues with special meaning to Charlottesvile and Virginia. One of those moments will come when "Ethel" is presented in Cabell Hall at U.Va.

There, some 60 years before, a third-year law student named Robert Kennedy pushed for Nobel laureate and diplomat Ralph Bunche to come and address the law school community.

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Check schedules for movies and buy individual or multi-film tickets online at virginia filmfestival.org.