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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

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At that time, U.Va. had no black students and public halls like those at U.Va. were strictly segregated. It took a special plea to college President Colgate Darden to arrange a dispensation that met Bunche's demand that blacks could attend his address.

"So there will be special significance when this documentary on Bobby Kennedy's wife, Ethel, made by daughter Rory Kennedy, is shown here in Cabell Hall, where it will be introduced by their son, Max," he said.

The director is especially excited to have a new "Presidency in Film" series as part of the festival, a partnership between The Miller Center and former Gov. Gerald Baliles.

The event that kicks it off--in this 40th-year anniversary of the Watergate break-in--is a showing of the film "All the President's Men," which documents how two Washington Post reporters broke that story.

Those reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, will be on hand to talk about the movie.

"Whenever we can bring a part of our country's history to light here at the festival, by bringing in the people who actually made and participated in that history, we see it as a gift to the community," said Kielbasa.

The third festival segment Kielbasa said makes Virginia's Film Festival unique is its "Library of Congress" series, done in partnership with that federal entity, to screen classic films from its vaults.

This year's showings range from the documentary "Sherman's March" to the 1926 classic film "Sparrows," starring Mary Pickford, to the 1962 political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate."

Festival attendance has set new records the past few years, topping 24,000 tickets last year. Kielbasa said it would be neat to hit 25,000 in this 25th year.

With a lineup dotted with big films and a few more to be announced soon, it's a good bet they'll hit that mark.

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415
Email: rhedelt@freelancestar.com


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