A hybrid of drive-in and virtual screenings, panels and other attractions will comprise the eighth Middleburg Film Festival Oct. 15-18.
“In light of these unprecedented times, we are delighted to be able to offer both in-person and virtual screenings — so whether joining us under the stars in Middleburg or watching from home, filmgoers will be able to experience the best in film from around the world,” MFF Executive Director Susan Koch said in a prepared statement.
Select in-person screenings will take place at Middleburg’s Salamander Resort and Spa, where festival organizers will set up an outdoor drive-in theater.
Opening the festival will be Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” which won top honors at the Venice Film Festival as well as the Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award — the first film in history to take both home.
“Nomadland,” Zhao’s third feature film, stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as a woman who, after losing her job, ventures to the American West and becomes integrated with a society of van-dwelling, modern-day nomads.
Lee Isaac Chung’s critically-acclaimed “Minari” — starring Steven Yeun of “The Walking Dead” fame — will screen as the festival’s Centerpiece Film, and follows a Korean-American family that moves to Arkansas in the 1980s to start a farm.
Two feature directorial debuts will feature as the festival’s Spotlight Films: director Ricky Staub’s “Concrete Cowboy,” starring Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin; and “One Night in Miami,” helmed by Oscar-winning actress Regina King.
“We’re delighted to present such a wide range of perspectives and experiences in this year’s lineup,” MFF Founder and Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson said in a prepared statement. “Films are a powerful way to increase our understanding of one another and encourage dialogue especially during this fraught and divisive time.”
Legendary actress Sophia Loren and filmmaker Aaron Sorkin are among the cinematic professionals to receive special annual awards at the festival.
Also honored will be filmmakers Zhao and George C. Wolfe, composer Kris Bowers and the cast of “Minari.”
More information is available at middleburgfilm.org.