The Virginia Film Festival, a program of the University of Virginia, has been celebrating the magic of the movies and inspiring audiences for 36 years in Charlottesville.
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 wide array of guests, from internationally acclaimed directors and actors to professors and cultural experts who lead discussions that stimulate, educate, and engage.
Past guests include Annette Bening, Leslie Odom, Jr., Ethan Hawke, Jimmy Stewart, Spike Lee, Meg Ryan, Morgan Freeman, Christoph Waltz, Allen Hughes, Liv Ullmann, Leonard Maltin, Werner Herzog, Ashley Judd, Ben Mankiewicz, Jonathan Majors, 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.
VAFF is primarily a non-competitive Festival. We do offer Programmers' Awards chosen by the programming team and Audience Awards voted on by audiences.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
Virginia Film Festival (VAFF) 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.
VAFF 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.
PREMIERE STATUS REQUIREMENT (Full-Length Films): The Virginia Film Festival requires all feature-length entries submitted and accepted into the Festival to be Virginia premieres (at minimum), meaning no public exhibitions, theatrical runs, streaming, or prior festival play in the state of Virginia before the VAFF dates (Oct 25-29, 2023). Any exceptions to this requirement must be agreed upon in writing by either VAFF's Festival Director or Senior Programmer.
*Note that the Premiere Status restriction applies only to full-length (31 mins. or longer) productions, and not short films, which are eligible regardless of prior exhibition or streaming status.
PRODUCTION YEAR REQUIREMENT: VAFF only considers new productions eligible for submission. In order to qualify for 2023 VAFF consideration, your film must have been completed in 2022 or 2023.
***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***
DISCOUNTS AND WAIVERS
Current Virginia Residents are eligible to submit projects with entry fees waived. Current students are eligible for discounted entry fees. For more information on how to obtain a discount or waiver code, please visit virginiafilmfestival.org/submit-a-film.
Virginia residents are REQUIRED to provide a valid Virginia address with their submission to have the entry fee waived.
Students should upload a photo of a current student ID with their entries.