Oct. 7 -20, 2005
Vol. 35, Issue 17
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Marshall wins award for discovering link between ulcers and bacteria
Board discusses diversity, salaries, benefits and more

Faculty Senate focuses on diversity issues

Beattie wins $30,000 Rea Award for the short story
Hot topics subject of education conference
Letter to the editor
Digest
Harvey sees his role as catalyst and coordinator
Tundra getting greener & warmer
Gorman releases new study of gender bias in hiring
Fiddlin' Beethoven
Lampkin family becomes Lawnies --- again
New additions will address space needs and highlight faculty design excellence
The many sides of 'In/Justice'
Poet W.S. Merwin to read on Oct. 13
Hugo live concert
Campaign struts Health System's stuff

 

The many sides of ‘In/Justice’

By Jane Ford

From top to bottom, scenes from
“Dirty Harry,” “The Fever,” “Manderlay,” “Inherit the Wind,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Rainmaker.”

Justice is a theme that has fascinated filmmakers since the days of silent movies. Films and presenters at the 18th annual Virginia Film Festival, whose theme is “In/Justice,” will explore how films promote the rule of law and challenge its flawed practice.

The four-day festival, which runs Oct. 27-30, kicks off with the U.S. premiere of actor and playwright Wallace Shawn’s “The Fever.” The movie explores the social divide between the privilege of those who live in the first world and whose lifestyles are made comfortable by the products made by the third-world workers in our global economy. The film’s star Vanessa Redgrave and director Carlo Nero will be on hand to discuss the project. In a phone-mail message to festival director Richard Herskowitz, Redgrave stated, “The theme [of the festival] is the most important theme of our time. Everyone wants and needs justice.”

The festival theme is both timeless and timely. Issues of justice and injustice are in the news every day: the Abu Ghraib prison incidents, detainees at Guantanamo, the use of DNA evidence in legal cases and questions about the death penalty, Herskowitz said. “Justice is in the air right now — from both the left and the right.”

Featuring more than 60 new and classic films on the theme of injustice, the festival also includes a lineup of more than 100 guest filmmakers, artists, experts, legal scholars and political activists who will discuss the issues.

“The Virginia Film Festival is all about discussion,” Herskowitz said. “People talk about not just the movies but the broader issues.”

On Friday, Oct. 28, local author John Grisham will show clips of film adaptations of his novels. He and Hollywood reporter Duane Byrge will discuss the process of translating his works to film.

Other special guests include director Harold Ramus, who will introduce “Groundhog Day” and his latest production, “The Ice Harvest.” Director Rodrigo Garcia, accompanied by actresses Sissy Spacek and Kathy Baker, will present “Nine Lives,” which depicts nine women at emotional crossroads in their lives. Garcia presents each woman’s story in an unbroken film take and the star of each episode plays a supporting role in the other women’s stories. The film won the Golden Leopard winner at the Locarno Film Festival.

The four-day schedule features classics that address various aspects of the judicial landscape. The movies “Inherit the Wind,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “Paths of Glory,” “The Ox Bow Incident” and “Dirty Harry” highlight filmmakers’ fascination with courtroom drama, the court-martial, frontier justice and street justice.

Documentaries, which are experiencing a renaissance, play a larger role in the festival offerings this year. Independent documentaries including “The Untold Story of Emmet Till,” “Searching for Angela Shelton,” “Same Sex America,” “Winter Soldier,” “Sisters in Law” and “Chagas,” address issues such as mental illness, child abuse and truth and reconciliation, which are not often tackled by the mainstream media. Social justice advocacy groups, including Restorative Justice Community, Legal Aid Justice Center, Witness to Innocence and the Mental Health Association, recommended movie titles and helped organize speakers and discussions.

The festival has expanded its tradition of including regional premieres, and this year’s screenings include “Manderlay,” “The Ice Harvest,” “Bee Season,” “The Matador,” “The Green Street Hooligans,” “Sophie Scholl” and “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic.”

Six undistributed films will compete for the new Virginia Film Festival Jury and Audience Award. The contenders are “Stay Until Tomorrow,” “Mutual Appreciation,” “The Definition of Insanity,” “Chain,” “Swimmers” and “Deepwater,” based on a novel by Charlottesville-based author Matthew Jones. Each film will be shown twice at the Regal Downtown Mall and audiences will participate in the voting.

Jury members will award a $5,000 cash prize to the winning film, which will then be screened in New York at the Regal Battery Park. The jury of film industry executives will include Ira Deutchman of Emerging Pictures; Jon Douglas with Regal Entertainment Group; Eric D’Arbeloff of Roadside Attractions; and Paula Silver, a filmmaking marketing consultant. The jury will participate in a panel discussion addressing independent film distribution opportunities on Sunday, Oct. 30.

Special events include the return of the Adrenaline Film Project, the Darden Producers Forum, as well as the Fringe Festival, art exhibits and musical events related to this year’s theme. Alt-country-punk musician Jon Langford will give a free outdoor concert, “Music For Justice,” on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Downtown Pavilion. Langford also will present his multi-media show “The Executioner’s Last Song” on Friday evening at the Satellite Ballroom, followed by the Fringe Festival Costume and Dance Party.

The festival will close on Sunday with the U.S. premiere of “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.” Director Dan Ireland will introduce the film. Producer Lee Caplin and screenwriter Ruth Sacks will be on hand to discuss the production. Sacks, along with husband Mortimer Caplin, College and Law School alumnus, are supporters of law and arts programs at U.Va. Their son Lee Caplin is a graduate of the School of Law.

The 2005 Virginia Film Festival schedule and tickets are available online at www.vafilm.com. Beginning on Monday, Oct. 17, tickets will be available at the festival box office at the Culbreth Theatre or by telephone at (800) UVA-FEST or (434) 982-5277.


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