Legendary actress Sophia Loren and filmmaker Aaron Sorkin are among the cinematic professionals to receive special annual awards from the Middleburg Film Festival later this month, representatives said Monday.
The festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 15-18, will also honor filmmakers Chloé Zhao and George C. Wolfe, composer Kris Bowers and the cast of "Minari," the festival's Centerpiece Film directed by Lee Isaac Chung.
Zhao, whose acclaimed film "Nomadland" will open the festival, will receive the Agnès Varda Trailblazing Filmmaker Award, which is accompanied by a mentoring grant for aspiring female filmmakers. Zhao's next feature film is Marvel Studios' "Eternals," scheduled for release next year.
For Wolfe's film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," an adaptation of August Wilson's eponymous play, he will receive the Director Spotlight Award, which features the final completed performance of the late Chadwick Boseman. Ticket sales to Wolfe's award presentation will benefit Broadway Cares' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which aides theatre professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, per festival officials.
An Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright whose credits include "The Social Network," "A Few Good Men" and "Moneyball," Sorkin will earn the festival's Screenwriter Award for his work on "The Trial of the Chicago 7," which is also his second film as director after 2017's "Molly's Game."
Bowers, whose work on the TV series "When They See Us" and "Mrs. America" earned him separate Emmy nominations, will receive the Distinguished Composer Award for his body of work — including the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic "Respect" and "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" — and perform a virtual tribute concert.
Festival organizers describe "Minari" — which follows a Korean-American family's efforts to start a farm in 1980s Arkansas — as "a tender and sweeping story about what roots us," and will present its cast with the Ensemble Cast Spotlight Award.
Finally, historic Italian actress Sophia Loren will receive the 2020 Legacy Tribute Award just before the premiere of "The Life Ahead," her first acting credit in more than 10 years.
According to MFF officials, not all films for which filmmakers are to receive awards will be screened during the festival. "The Trial of the Chicago 7," "The Life Ahead" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," for example, will not be featured, but are scheduled to launch on Netflix Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and Dec. 18, respectively.
Other films scheduled to screen at the festival are Edward Hall's "Blithe Spirit," Ricky Staub's "Concrete Cowboy," Bryan Fogel's "The Dissident," Regina King's "One Night in Miami" and Francis Lee's "Ammonite."
Some films will be viewable both in person and virtually, though officials said screenings of "Nomadland," "Blithe Spirit" and "Ammonite" will be exclusively in-person.
Tickets to individual screenings, panels and presentations went on sale this week. More information is available at middleburgfilm.org.