The Virginia Film Festival, a program of the University of Virginia, has been celebrating the magic of the movies and inspiring audiences for 32 years in Charlottesville, set against the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Every Fall, the VAFF showcases celebrated new narrative and documentary features, independent and international projects, fresh perspectives on timeless classics, and local filmmakers from throughout Virginia. Today, the VAFF stands as one of Virginia’s most important cultural landmarks and one of the most respected regional destination film festivals in the United States.

The Virginia Film Festival brings in a fascinating selection of guests, from internationally acclaimed directors and actors to professors and cultural experts who lead discussions that stimulate, educate, and engage. Past guests include Jimmy Stewart, Spike Lee, Meg Ryan, Morgan Freeman, Christoph Waltz, Allen Hughes, Liv Ullmann, Leonard Maltin, Werner Herzog, Ashley Judd, Ben Mankiewicz, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Gena Rowlands, Bill Plympton, Sigourney Weaver, Shirley MacLaine, Danny McBride, Colin Firth, Tippi Hedren, Ross McElwee, Matthew Broderick, Stanley Nelson, Cherry Jones, Oliver Stone, Will Forte, Mia Wasikowska, Jorma Taccone, Jenna Elfman, and Walton Goggins.

While the VAFF is primarily a non-competitive Festival, we do offer category-specific awards, including our Programmer's Awards, Audience Awards for which our moviegoers vote via ballots, and our Commonwealth Award for Best Virginia Feature Film and Best Virginia Short Film.

Students are eligible for discounted entry fees, and Virginia residents are eligible to submit with the entry fee waived. For more information on how to obtain a discount or waiver code, please visit virginiafilmfestival.org/submit-a-film.

Virginia residents submitting to Virginia-specific categories are REQUIRED to provide a valid Virginia address with their submission to have the entry fee waived.

Virginia Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the VAFF 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 in a timely manner, 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
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Sam Bathrick

    VAFF was a a fantastic experience. Our screening was a success, but it was the quality of the other films and the filmmakers we encountered that made the experience truly memorable. Highly recommend.

    January 2019
  • Al Rabih Rami

    The Virginia Film Festival is simply a great festival. I was honored to present my short "The Dance of Amal" in its 31st version. I would recommend applying for this festival. Defintely worth it !

    November 2018
  • I've attended many festivals as a film maker and fan. The VA FF ; ; provides the best venue for a festival I've seen; great location, excellent layout, super turnout, and top notch organization. We will be submitting here regularly!

    November 2018
  • Vicki Vlasic

    WOW!!! Having been a student at UVA before this festival started, I had no idea what to expect but it is a class act from start to finish. Great communication from Wesley prior to the festival, wonderful hospitality with great volunteers and packed houses at the screenings of enthusiastic film lovers. We were so honored to have Fiddlin’, our bluegrass music doc, included in the festival among an outstanding selection of films and to then have a sold out screening at a 500 seat theater was beyond our expectations! Thanks to everyone at VA Film Fest for an outstanding job!!! Highly recommend this festival!

    November 2018
  • 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