Film Festivals In Virginia This Fall

by Monica Mitchell | Posted: Oct 12, 2018 | Updated: Sep 25, 2019

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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 17-20, 2019

The Middleburg Film Festival offers four days of incredible films in beautiful Virginia horse-country, just 30 minutes from Dulles International Airport and one hour from Washington, D.C. The annual selection of narrative and documentary films will screen at various venues across the quaint town of Middleburg along with Q & A’s with world renowned filmmakers and actors.

While visiting Middleburg, festival attendees can also experience the beauty of the surrounding area including local vineyards, farm-to-table dining, and shopping through the historic town. 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 24-28, 2019

The Washington West Film Festival invites film lovers to experience world-class 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

October 31 – November 3, 2019

The Virginia Film Festival at the University of Virginia has been celebrating the magic of the movies and inspiring audiences for over 30 years.

The Virginia Film Festival is the Commonwealth’s longest running film festival, celebrating the magic of movies at the University of Virginia for more than 30 years. Every fall the festival showcases award-winning new features and documentaries, new perspectives on old classics, and special screenings from local filmmakers. Discussions lead by internationally acclaimed directors and actors as well as professors and leading cultural experts allow attendees to engage and experience many aspects of filmmaking.

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 in proximity to the Downtown Mall below and visit the festival website for a schedule of screenings and events. (Distance from the Downtown Mall are in parenthesis).
10 Places to Enjoy Dazzling Fall Foliage in the Charlottesville Area!

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Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival – Richmond

November 21-24, 2019

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. The festival brings together Native American artists, authors, filmmakers, and actors to share their creativity and history while fostering greater awareness of indigenous languages, cultures and societies. 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).

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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

September 12-15, 2019

Afrikana Independent Film Festival, founded in 2014, is a multi-day festival featuring a variety of film-centric events throughout the Richmond arts district and downtown. 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.

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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