After launching the Loudoun Film Festival last year in the midst of the pandemic, co-founders Kaeley Boyle and Owen Palmiotti said they are ready and excited to hold the event for a second year.
“Our first year was an incredible success under extreme conditions," Boyle said. "We were able to pull off a seven-day first year festival at a gorgeous venue, championing all the arts and providing a safe respite from Covid-19 and it’s emotional fatigue.”
This year's festival, like last year, will take place at 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg, where there will be drive-in screenings the weekends of September 10th and September 17th. Screenings will also take place during the week of September 13th at Artistic Fuel. Tickets are $40 for the drive-in movie and $10 at Artistic Fuel which is located at 215 Depot Court in Leesburg.
The opening night film will be “A Shot Through the Wall,” which premiered at Bentonville Film Festival in 2020. The film, which tells the story of a Chinese-American police officer's life as it unravels after he accidentally shoots an innocent Black man, is directed by Aimee Long and stars Kenny Leu, Ciara Renee and Fiona Fui.
The co-founders say the mission of the festival is to entertain and engage audiences by curating innovative and compelling films that reflect Loudoun County's increasingly diverse community.
The festival will showcase over 150 films and video projects, including award-winning features and shorts as well as selected screenplays and music videos.
In addition to the films, there will also be live music, food vendors, Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, table-reads and happy hours.
The event is co-sponsored by Loudoun Arts, Artistic Fuel and 50 West Vineyards.
“Loudoun Arts Film Festival embodies the heart of the Loudoun County community," Boyle said. "It’s a collaboration between local business leaders, artists and community members that provides a platform for individuals to speak their truths in a safe and beautiful space.”
The event will offer live music from eleven local and regional musicians, with performance by Henry Conlon, Willie White Band and David Mininberg, among others.
The pop-up Lee Grunewald Fine Art gallery will offer visitors a curated experience of seven regional artists.
The Film programming at 50 West, which starts at sundown, will be shown on a 40-foot inflatable movie screen with audio dispersed through cars' speakers.
The festival will be closed out with a screening of “Peace By Chocolate” which was directed by Jonathan Keijser and premiered at 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The film tells the story of a young Syrian refugee who struggles to settle into small-town life, caught between following his dream and preserving his family's legacy. The film stars Hatem Ali, Ayham Abou Ammar and Yara Sabri.
"It feels fantastic to be back again. Once you learn how to make it through the fire swamp — and when that's the bar for getting something done — this year will run even more smoothly," Boyle said.
For more information, visit Loudounartsfilmfest.com.