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The 2002 Virginia Film Festival Gets "Wet" From Oct. 24 - 27

February 22, 2002-- The 15th annual Virginia Film Festival, slated to take place from Oct. 24 through Oct. 27, 2002, will focus on the theme of "WET," Richard Herskowitz, festival artistic director, announced today. Viewers will be invited to dive into four days of movies featuring images of water, including seas, rivers, rain, swimming pools, showers, beverages, and body fluids.

Among the guests already confirmed are

  • Lynn Hershman, the director, who will bring her latest film Teknolust,
  • George Kuchar, legendary experimental filmmaker and,
  • Roger Ebert, the well-known film critic who will conduct his biennial shot-by-shot workshop.

"The theme began to appeal to me when I was struck by the archetypal power of water imagery in classic movies," Herskowitz said. "The shower scene in Psycho and Gene Kelly’s rain dance in Singin’ in the Rain are among the most indelible moments in American movies, alongside the wicked witch melting in The Wizard of Oz and Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr washed by waves in From Here to Eternity."

Herskowitz also elaborated on the potential for interesting discussion beyond the cinema. "In addition to hosting many guest filmmakers, we will invite speakers from the University community to apply mythological, aesthetic, scientific and religious perspectives on water to movies. The politics of water will also be addressed, since water rights and ecology are increasingly significant topics of public debate."

Based in the Drama Department at the University of Virginia, the Virginia Film Festival designs its program to resemble a huge, comprehensive course on a cultural theme. Its many guests, including actors, directors and scholars, engage a broad audience of film enthusiasts in stimulating discussions revolving around the year’s theme.

Recent Festival guests include directors Sydney Pollack, actors Anthony Hopkins and Sigourney Weaver, creature creator Stan Winston, and many groundbreaking independent filmmakers and artists. Screenings, discussions and workshops take place around the campus and in downtown Charlottesville.

This year also sees the return of the "Fringe Festival," an all-inclusive arts extravaganza featuring a series of art exhibits, readings, dance and drama performances, video installations and architectural designs.

The Festival program and tickets will be available in September. For more information, please see the Festival website.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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