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Virginia Film Festival invites filmmakers to submit entries

Programmers are putting together the lineup for the 2024 Virginia Film Festival, and an important part of the process is considering films made across the state of Virginia.

The festival, which will take place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 in a variety of Charlottesville venues, launched its call for entries this week, and entry fees can be waived for Virginia residents and students attending Virginia schools.

Filmmakers from outside Virginia who submit their films by the May 15 early-bird deadline will pay $30 for features and $10 for short submissions, with students outside Virginia getting a 75% discount. The regular deadline is July 9, at which time filmmakers pay $50 to enter features clocking in at 31 minutes in length or longer and $25 for shorts that last no longer than 30 minutes.

Submissions are entered using VAFF’s Film Freeway portal. The VAFF, which receives more than 800 submissions every year, will notify filmmakers about the status of their entries by Sept. 17.

For complete submission information and waiver codes, which can be used only once per filmmaker, go to Questions can be emailed to

Festival officials announced the dates for this year’s festival, the 37th annual event, on Monday. It is a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

Ilya Tovbis, the festival’s senior programmer, and the festival team are building on the success of the 2023 festival, which screened a variety of films that have been nominated for Academy Awards. The 96th Oscars will be presented at 7 p.m. March 10 at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, and television viewers can see the awards presented live on ABC.

Among the films screened at VAFF that went on to receive Oscar nominations are “Maestro,” which picked up nods for best picture, best actor (Bradley Cooper), best actress (Carey Mulligan), makeup and hairstyling, original screenplay, cinematography and sound; “20 Days in Mariupol,” documentary feature; “American Fiction,” best picture, adapted screenplay, best actor (Jeffrey Wright), best supporting actor (Sterling K. Brown) and original score; and “American Symphony,” original song.

Other films screened at VAFF that have picked up Academy Award nominations are “The Holdovers,” with nods for best picture, best actor (Paul Giamatti), best supporting actress (Da’Vine Joy Randolph). original screenplay and film editing; “Four Daughters,” documentary feature; “May December,” original screenplay; “Perfect Days,” international feature; “Robot Dreams,” animated feature; “Rustin,” best actor (Colman Domingo); and “The Teachers’ Lounge,” international feature.

Each year, VAFF presents screenings, panel discussions and other offerings on a wide range of topics. Speakers represent many different aspects of the film creation process.

For information, go to


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