Charlottesville, VA – August 30, 2016 – The Virginia Film Festival made two major announcements at its annual Stakeholders Meeting & Reception, held this evening at The Local in Charlottesville.
The Virginia Film Festival is presented by the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.
VFF Director and UVA Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa announced that the Festival, set for November 3-6, will welcome award-winning documentarians Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker. The pair will present their highly-acclaimed 1993 film The War Room, which documented the inner workings of Bill Clinton’s improbable 1992 election. Noted CNN political consultant and CNN commentator Paul Begala, who played a key advisory role in that campaign and is featured in the film, will also be on hand for a discussion.
In addition, Hegedus and Pennebaker will present their acclaimed film Unlocking the Cage, which follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project, as they file the first lawsuits aimed at ineffective animal welfare laws in an effort to protect cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants from physical abuse. The film follows the team as it argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State for limited personhood rights using writs of habeus corpus historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment.
The VFF will also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast by welcoming Page O’Hara, the voice of Belle in the film, along with the film’s producer, Don Hahn. Beauty and the Beast remains the only animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and helped pave the way for what has become known as the “Disney Renaissance,” which changed the animated film landscape forever. Hahn played a key role in the renaissance, including producing The Lion King, which in 1994 set worldwide box office records for animated films and became the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history.
O’Hara and Hahn will participate in a discussion following a special screening of Beauty and the Beast, and Hahn will also be on hand for a discussion following the critically-acclaimed 2009 documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. The film, which Hahn narrates, chronicles the rise of Disney animation from 1984 to 1994.
The Virginia Film Festival will announce its full 2016 program on Tuesday, September 27. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, September 30. For more information, visit www.virginiafilmfestival.org.
The 2016 Virginia Film Festival is generously supported by the following Premiere Sponsors: The AV Company, Bank of America, Harvest Moon Catering, James Madison’s Montpelier, The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, Virginia Film Office, and Violet Crown, Charlottesville.