Virginia’s eighth annual Middleburg Film Festival has announced Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” as its opening night film, Zhao will also be presented with the Agnès Varda Trailblazing Filmmaker Award. Lee Isaac Chung’s critically acclaimed family drama “Minari” will be the festival centerpiece film and “Concrete Cowboy” starring Idris Elba will be the Friday Spotlight film, while Regina King’s feature directorial debut, “One Night in Miami” has been selected as the Saturday Spotlight film.
George C. Wolfe (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”); composer Kris Bowers (“Respect,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”); the cast of “Minari” and film legend Sophia Loren (“The Life Ahead”) will all be honored at the festival with tribute awards, Loren will receive the Legacy Tribute Award.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual screenings, conversations and events. Variety editors Clayton Davis and Jazz Tangcay will return to host their Coffee and Contenders discussion with The Film Experience’s Nathaniel Rogers.
“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” said MFF Executive Director Susan Koch.
“We’re delighted to present such a wide range of perspectives and experiences in this year’s lineup,” said MFF Founder and Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. “Films are a powerful way to increase our understanding of one another and encourage dialogue especially during this fraught and divisive time.”
The festival will run October 15-18 with most films screening virtually while a select number of films will be programmed as outdoor and drive-in screenings in Middleburg, Northern Virginia’s historic wine country, one hour from Wash., D.C. Festival ticket packages and passes are currently for sale at middleburgfilm.org, and individual tickets will go on sale October 6.