Film Festivals In Virginia This Fall

by Monica Mitchell | Posted: Oct 12, 2018

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A wide variety of film festivals are taking place across the state this fall. From screenings of Academy Award contenders and conversations with world-renowned filmmakers to discussions lead by Native American filmmakers and screenings of local student films, there’s a unique experience for everyone to enjoy. Four of Virginia’s largest film festivals are highlighted below along with things to do nearby. To find more,  visit the  Virginia Film Festivals page.


Middleburg Film Festival – Middleburg

October 18-21, 2018

The Middleburg Film Festival offers four days of fantastic films in a beautiful setting, only 30 minutes from Dulles International Airport and just one hour from Washington, D.C. A carefully curated selection of narrative and documentary films will screen in an intimate theatre environment, followed by Q & A’s with world-renowned filmmakers and actors. The films include festival favorites, premieres, and Academy Award contenders.

While visiting Middleburg, festival attendees can also experience the beauty of the surrounding horse-country, farm-to-table dining, wine-tastings at local vineyards, strolling through the historic town, and engaging in casual conversation with filmmakers. Find local offerings below and visit the festival website for the list of 26 screenings, master classes, panel discussions, and much more. (Distance in parenthesis from Middleburg’s Historic Downtown).

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Washington West Film Festival  – Arlington & Reston

October 25-29, 2018

The Washington West Film Festival invites film lovers to experience world-class, premiere, and award-winning films along with talented filmmakers at various locations in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Believing one great story should lead to another, the week-long festival is committed to giving 100% of its box office proceeds each year to a charity project that helps alleviate childhood hunger, illness, and poor education in the U.S. and around the world.

The eighth annual festival features more than 40 films across eight venues in Arlington and Reston. Find local offerings near select venues below and visit the festival website for a schedule of screenings and events.

Bob Woodward being interviewed after a 40th anniversary screening of All The President’s Men.

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Things to Do:

  • Reston Town Center (venue) – outdoor shopping venue offering more than 50 retailers, 35 restaurants, and multi-screen cinema.
  • Shop in the Village at Shirlington – Arlington’s European-style promenade with fun shops, restaurants, nightlife and art-house theater.
  • Arlington National Cemetery – The final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families, the impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest.
  • W&OD Trail – Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the 45-mile long paved trail runs from Purcellville in Loudoun County to Shirlington in Arlington County.


Virginia Film Festival – Charlottesville

November 1-4, 2018

The Virginia Film Festival at the University of Virginia has been celebrating the magic of the movies and inspiring audiences for over 30 years. Every autumn, the Festival showcases celebrated new features and documentaries, fresh perspectives on timeless classics, and local filmmakers from right here in Virginia. The Festival brings in a fascinating selection of guests, from internationally acclaimed directors and actors to professors and leading cultural experts who lead discussions that stimulate, educate, and engage. Today, the Festival stands as one of Virginia’s most important cultural landmarks, and one of the most respected regional destination film festivals in the United States.

The annual Virginia Film Festival will take place on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, on Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall, and throughout Charlottesville. Find local offerings below and visit the festival website for a schedule of screenings and events. (Distance in parenthesis from the Downtown Mall).  10 Places to Enjoy Dazzling Fall Foliage in the Charlottesville Area!

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Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival – Richmond

November 15-18, 2018

The 2nd annual Pocahontas Reframed: Storytellers Film Festival is held at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond and features three days of film and live performances celebrating Native American stories and storytellers. Organized to foster greater awareness and exposure to indigenous languages, cultures and societies, the festival brings together artists, authors, filmmakers, and actors to share, teach, and explain their creativity and history. Find local offerings in proximity to the Byrd Theatre and visit the festival website for a schedule of screenings and event. 

The festival is a signature event of the 2019 Commemoration, AMERICAN EVOLUTION™, a three-year tribute to Virginia’s history and heritage. Featuring events and activities that inspire travelers from around the country and the world to engage in the themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity. AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ positions Virginia as a global leader in education, economic development and tourism. (Distance in parenthesis from the Byrd Theatre).

Places to Stay:

Richmond’s Carytown Restaurants:

Things to Do:

  • Shopping in Carytown (0.0 miles) – Eight blocks of unique boutiques, restaurants, and gift shops in Richmond’s downtown.
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (0.7 miles) – Ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States, attend the Pocahontas Reframed panel discussion here on Thursday before the festival.
  • Virginia Museum of History & Culture (0.7 miles) – One of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation, you’ll find permanent and special exhibits that showcase Virginia’s rich history.
  • Maymont Grounds and Gardens (1.5 miles) – Stroll the gardens, tour the mansion or visit the nature center on this beautiful 100-acre American estate in the heart of Richmond.


Afrikana Independent Film Festival – Richmond

POSTPONED – September 13-16, 2018

Afrikana Independent Film Festival, founded in 2014, is a multi-day festival featuring a dynamic blend of film-centric events throughout the Richmond arts district and beyond. Afrikana showcases the cinematic works of people of color from around the world and strives to present stories that celebrate the diaspora and encourage people to connect.

The 3rd Annual Afrikana Independent Film Festival has been postponed due to Hurricane Florence. Visit their website for a new date announcement.  

Richmond’s Art District Restaurants:

Things to Do:

  • The Valentine Museum (venue) – Located in the heart of historic downtown Richmond, the Valentine collects, preserves and interprets Richmond’s unique stories through exhibitions, programs, and guided tours.
  • 1708 Gallery (venue) – a non-profit arts organization founded by artists in 1978.
  • Maggie Walker National Historic Site and Memorial Plaza – Commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. Despite many adversities, she achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first woman in the United States to found and serve as president of a bank. The site includes her residence of thirty years and the memorial plaza includes a 10-foot bronze statue surrounded by inscriptions tracing her life.
  • Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (venue) – Presents the complex experiences of peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on Virginians, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting historical and cultural artifacts.
  • VCU Institute for Contemporary Art (venue) – Presents the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world



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