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Virginia Film Festival holding events online and drive-in movies

Crews set up a screen for a drive-in movie as part of the Virginia Film Festival.
Crews set up a screen for a drive-in movie as part of the Virginia Film Festival.(NBC29)
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The 33rd Annual Virginia Film Festival (VFF) is underway, but many changes had to be made due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The festival really will look and feel very much the same way, only we won’t be downtown at The Paramount or in the Violet Crown Theaters or the Old Vinegar Hill or on the grounds of the university,” VFF Director Jody Kielbasa said.

This is Kielbasa’s 22nd year organizing film festivals, but the first time he’s ever had to plan it virtually.

“We were reacting and responding to what’s out there in the world right now, with a pandemic, of course, and our first goal, first and foremost, was to keep everybody safe,” he said.

Although online, there will be many similarities to the traditional festival.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate,” Kielbasa said. “There’s so many arts organizations that are struggling to be able to present or perform. With film, you can still experience it all, either on your computer screen, or you can cast it up onto your flat screen [and] watch it with your family, with maybe any friends that you’re sort of self quarantining with, as well.”

Still wanting to engage an audience the festival has found a way to bring people together.

“We decided to offer drive-in movie experiences, one at Dairy Market and one at Morven Farm in southeast Albemarle County,” he said. “We look forward to getting a crowd out there, safe in their vehicles, socially distanced to experience a kind of communal coming together outdoors, to watch film.”

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