Sneak Peek at the 2022 VAFF Program 

Scene & Heard: The Official Newsletter for the Virginia Film Festival

35th Annual Virginia Film Festival ~ November 2-6

We are thrilled to share a sneak peek of our 2022 program! This Fall, we will launch our inaugural Critic-in-Residence program with noted film critic Carlos Aguilar. We will also present the upcoming Netflix family film My Father’s Dragon and the documentary The Levys of Monticello as part of our 35th annual VAFF. The full program to be announced October 11. Read our full press release below!

Critic-in-Residence, Carlos Aguilar

Critic-in-Residence, Carlos Aguilar

“It is an honor to inaugurate our Critic-in-Residence program with Carlos Aguilar,” said Senior Program Ilva Tovbis at a special stakeholders Reception on Tuesday. “Carlos’ wealth of film knowledge spans the history of the medium, and his interests hit upon nearly every genre, cinematic movement, and form of film storytelling. I can’t wait for Charlottesville audiences to discover first-hand his genius and knack for curating films and artist conversations.”

Carlos Aguilar, originally from Mexico City, was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by, the Sundance Institute, and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The New York Times, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture,, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla, Filmmaker Magazine, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). 

The Levys of Monticello

The Levys of Monticello

When Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, he left behind a mountain of personal debt, which forced his heirs to sell his beloved Monticello home and all its possessions. From Menemsha Films and director Steven Pressman, The Levys of Monticello is a documentary film that tells the little-known story of the Levy family, which owned and carefully preserved Monticello for nearly a century – far longer than Jefferson or his descendants. The remarkable story of the Levy family also intersects with the rise of antisemitism that runs throughout the course of American history.

Presented in Partnership with Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

My Father's Dragon

Family Centerpiece Film: My Father’s Dragon

From five-time Academy Award®-nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers) and Academy Award®-nominated director Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner), comes an exquisite film inspired by the Newbery-honoured children’s book from author Ruth Stiles Gannett. Struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, Elmer (Jacob Tremblay) runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon called Boris (Gaten Matarazzo) who waits to be rescued. Elmer's adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island, and the friendship of a lifetime.

Presented in Partnership with JMRL

Celebrating 35 Years


  • Tuesday, October 11
    Program announced 📽
  • Thursday, October 13
    Full schedule on website
    Donor pre-sale begins! ✨
  • Tuesday, October 18
    Single tickets on sale 🎟
  • November 2-6
    35th Annual Virginia Film Festival 🍿

Virginia Film Festival

Make an Impact

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A program of the University of Virginia. Presented by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.