The Virginia Film Festival at the University of Virginia has been celebrating the magic of the movies and inspiring audiences for over 30 years in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Every autumn, the VFF showcases celebrated new features and documentaries, fresh perspectives on timeless classics, and local filmmakers from here in Virginia. Today, the VFF stands as one of Virginia’s most important cultural landmarks, and one of the most respected regional destination film festivals in the United States.

Each year, the VFF brings in a fascinating selection of guests, from internationally acclaimed directors and actors to professors and leading cultural experts who lead discussions that stimulate, educate, and engage. Past guests include Jimmy Stewart, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Leonard Maltin, Werner Herzog, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Gena Rowlands, Bill Plympton, Sigourney Weaver, Shirley MacLaine, Danny McBride, Colin Firth, Liv Ullmann, William Styron, Tippi Hedren, Ross McElwee, Matthew Broderick, Stanley Nelson, January Jones, Cherry Jones, Oliver Stone, Will Forte, Mia Wasikowska, Jorma Taccone, Meg Ryan, Ashley Judd, Jenna Elfman, and Patrick Wilson.

While the VFF is primarily a non-competitive festival, we do offer category-specific Programmer's Awards, as well as Audience Awards for which our moviegoers vote via ballots.

Virginia-based films are available for the VFF's Commonwealth Award, which carries a cash prize of $1,000 for Best Virginia Feature Film, and $500 for Best Virginia Short Film.

Students are eligible for discounted entry fees. Virginia residents are eligible for submit with the entry fee waived. For more information on how to obtain a discount, please visit

Virginia residents submitting to Virginia-specific categories are REQUIRED to provide a valid Virginia address with your submission to have your entry fee waved.

Virginia Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the VFF for promotional purposes.

The submitter affirms that any and all issues of copyright pertaining to any imagery or music contained in the submitted film have been properly cleared for use.

If a film is accepted, press materials for the film will be required, which can include but may not be limited to: high-resolution publicity stills, filmmaker bio, or online trailer.

The Virginia Film Festival does not offer “notes” or specific critique of any films not accepted for exhibition, and reserves the right to not accept a submission for any reason.

The individual or organization submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

Overall Rating
  • Nora Stone

    Excellent festival with great venues and programming, and a sizable crowd for the shorts program on Sunday morning - a wonderful experience.

    February 2018
  • Ryan Betschart

    Virginia Film Fest is superb! Great lineups every year; I'm stoked to submit again this year!

    February 2018
  • Lorenzo Dickerson

    I thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 Virginia Film Festival. I appreciated having my film selected, and enjoyed speaking to and learning from other filmmakers and film-lovers. I watched films and participated in events. The hospitality at VFF is high, and the quality is great. They show a variety of amazing films that are both national and local to Virginia. Truly a top-notch event. Looking forward to seeing what next year brings.

    March 2017
  • Shawn Leister-Frazier

    Wow! Truly blown away. Beautiful theaters, beautiful venue, I was able to network, meet with famous directors and actors, as well connect with other people passionate about film. There were so many excellent films to choose from. It was well organized and had many fun events. It far exceeded my already high expectations.

    November 2016
  • Troy Thomas

    We screened our documentary here. Love this festival in Charlottesville, VA. Great support, great films and great fun. Would definitely go back to this festival again...and again.

    November 2016