The Virginia Film Festival will run from Thursday, Nov. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. Five alumni will bring their films to Charlottesville to screen at this year’s festival. 

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1. David Koplan (Col ’93) produced Leaves of Grass

What’s it about? Edward Norton stars as Bill Kincaid, an Ivy League professor who is called home to Oklahoma upon hearing of his estranged brother’s death in a marijuana deal gone bad. Upon arrival in Tulsa, Bill finds that his brother Brady (also played by Norton) is not dead, but scheming to get back at a sinister druglord played by Richard Dreyfuss.

Screening: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 5:00 p.m. at Culbreth. Producers David Koplan and Bill Migliore will hold a Q&A moderated by Harry Chotiner.

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2. Mark Johnson (Col ’71) produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Breaking Bad

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
What’s it about? In this remake of the 1973 cult film by the same name, a young girl stumbles upon the basement of the home her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) are renovating, which has been undisturbed since the disappearance of its builder a century ago. She inadvertently releases a race of evil creatures bent on destroying them all.

Screening: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 9:00 p.m. at the Paramount. Producer Mark Johnson will hold a discussion.

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What’s it about? High school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is diagnosed with lung cancer and told that his days are numbered. Desperate for money to leave behind for his family, he puts his chemistry skills to use—cooking meth.

Screening: Sunday, Nov. 7 at 11:00 a.m. at Culbreth. Producers Mark Johnson and Vince Gilligan will provide live commentary on an episode of AMC’s hit show and hold a discussion.

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3. Glenn Williamson (Col ’85) produced happythankyoumoreplease

What’s it about? Sam Wexler, played by Josh Radnor, is a struggling writer having a decidedly bad day when a young boy gets separated from his family on the subway. Sam chooses—questionably—to bring the child back to his apartment and begins a rewarding, yet complicated friendship.

Screening: Sunday, Nov. 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Paramount. Executive producer Glenn Williamson and director Josh Radnor will hold a discussion.

4. Kevin Edds (Col ’95) directed Wahoowa: The History of Virginia Cavalier Football

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What’s it about? This is the story of the college program that impacted the sport of football like no other. It is not only a comprehensive look at the history of football at the University of Virginia, but also an exploration into the development of the truly American sport of football through the prism of U.Va.’s players, students, administration and opponents.

Screening: Friday, Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Newcomb Hall Theater.

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5. Tom Shadyac (Col ’81) directed I AM

What’s it about? Influenced by his own struggle with Post-Concussion Syndrome, Shadyac centers his film around two fundamental questions: “What’s wrong with the world?” and “What can we do about it?” Shadyac interviews many of today’s leading minds, among them Noam Chomsky, Desmond Tutu and Howard Zinn, and proposes a new way of thinking about what the film realizes as the endemic crisis of our time.

Screening: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2:00 p.m. at Newcomb Hall Theater. Director Tom Shadyac will present the film and hold a discussion.

Compiled by Erin O’Hare.

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