Middleburg Film Festival 2021: Belfast, Cyrano, Red Rocket, C’mon C’mon and Much More

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 2:02 pm

In just seven years Virginia’s Middleburg Film Festival, set in the fabulous Salamander Hotel, has become a great way to see the films we’ll be talking about all awards season and to talk to the people who created them. Sheila Johnson has made MFF one of the post prestigious and coveted places to premiere a film. Following a “hybrid” year with online access in 2020, the festival is back in person in gorgeous, gracious, Virginia hunt country, always spectacular in the fall.

I’ll be speaking in the “Talk Back to the Critics” panel again this year, with my friends Travis Hobson, Susan Wloszczyna, and Tim Gordon. And some of the films I’m most looking forward to are “Cyrano,” starring Peter Dinklage and two ready-for-stardom up-and-coming young actors, Hayley Bennett and Kelvin Harrion, Jr., Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical “Belfast,” “Red Rocket” from “Florida Project’s” Sean Baker, and “C’mon, C’mon” with Joaquin Phoenix. Stay tuned for more!

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ReelAbilities Film Festival in New York Highlights Films About and Made By People With Disabilities

Posted on March 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

The 8th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival kicks off today in New York City at the JCC Manhattan. Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo will be in attendance to introduce the festival and opening night film MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival is the nation’s only film festival dedicated entirely to presenting award-winning films by and about people with disabilities. Too many mainstream films overlook the disabled community entirely or cast able-bodied actors to play them, or, worst of all, show them as one-dimensional. These films are not just inclusive; they are wise and insightful in exploring the humanity and complexity of people with disabilities. They are not just there to inspire or be inspired; they are there like any other movie character — to fall in love, to have sex, to be right, to be wrong, to be angry, to be scared, to be funny. The subjects of documentaries in the film include disabled veterans, gifted children with learning disabilities, a one-legged mountain climber, and a boy with autism who has an unusual ability to identify the tones of wind chimes.

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Middleburg Film Festival — Year Two

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm

The paint was hardly dry at Middleburg Virginia’s swanky new Salamander Resort when the first Middleburg Film Festival kicked off last year, but it was a spectacular start for both the festival and the resort, with Bruce Dern appearing to introduce “Nebraska.” This year, the festival hits its stride with an impressive schedule and an award for Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago,” “Silence of the Lambs”). The films featured at the festival include:

The Homesman, a frontier story based on the Putlizer Prize nominated novel by Glendon Swarthout, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, starring Jones, Meryl Streep, and Hillary Swank

Mr. Turner is a Mike Leigh film, with Leigh regular Timothy Spall, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes, as one of the 19th century’s most important artists.

The Overnighters is a documentary about how technology made it possible to extract oil in North Dakota, which meant that in a recession economy all of a sudden there were high paying jobs, which attracted a lot of men from out of state, more men than jobs.

The opening night film is “The Last Five Years,” the musical with Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, with the romance told from both perspectives.  Writer/director Richard LaGravenese will appear for a Q&A with Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday.

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