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P. Bogdanovich to become Virginia Film Festival Fellow

Virginia Film Festival Director Jody Kielbasa today unveiled a new graphic identity for the festival during a special event at the Paramount Theater.

Also at the event, Kielbasa announced that legendary film artist Peter Bogdanovich has accepted an invitation to become the 2010 Virginia Film Festival Fellow. In this role, the revered director, writer, actor, producer, film historian and critic will lead special film lectures for students at the University of Virginia in addition to participating in a screening event and Q and A with a leading film critic as part of the festival.

This year’s Virginia Film Festival will take place from November 4-7 at locations throughout Charlottesville.

The new logo, created by the Virginia-based Design Army, features an outline of the Commonwealth complemented by a color scheme, from top to bottom, of lighter to darker shades of blue and interspersed with a three filmstrips stretching across the image at slightly different angles.

“While we are fortunate to attract special guests from throughout the industry and the world, our identity is uniquely tied to our community, to our state and to our region,” Kielbasa said. “Our location, and our affiliation with the University of Virginia, is in so many ways what sets us apart, and what makes us appealing to film lovers everywhere. We wanted to make sure to capture that visually, not only with the shape of the image but also with the filmstrips, which are an homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and speak to our being a destination festival as well.”

The announcement of Peter Bogdanovich as the festival’s third Virginia Film Festival Fellow, Kielbasa said, signals a new direction for the position and an exciting opportunity for U.Va. students and festival fans alike.

“This is the third year for the Festival Fellow position. Up until now, we’ve been fortunate to have two true academic heavyweights in Professors Hamid Naficy and Maria DiBattista, whose reputations and accomplishments in the study of film are unparalleled. This year, in Peter Boganovich, we are bringing someone who has made notable and even historic contributions to the film and entertainment industries through extraordinary work for more than five decades. He has an amazing amount to offer and share with students and with the community, and we are delighted to have him.”

Bogdanovich began his entertainment career as a teen, studying with Stella Adler and working in theater and live TV. He began his movie career as an intern for Roger Corman, who financed his first film, Target, a cult classic he wrote, directed and acted in. He first won mass critical and public acclaim in 1971 when his Last Picture Show garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including statues for Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson. His film What’s Up Doc was a huge success, reviving and honoring the 30’s screwball comedy classic with stars Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand. Paper Moon earned four Academy Award nominations and a Supporting Actress award for 9-year-old Tatum O’Neal. Other highlights include 1985’s Mask, which won an Academy Award for Cher.

Bogdanovich has published 12 books on the subject of film and filmmaking, including the bestselling Who the Devil Made it: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors, which features interviews with sixteen directors including Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, George Cukor and Howard Hawks. His extensive acting credits include playing Dr. Melfi’s (Lorraine Bracco’s) shrink on The Sopranos, for which he also directed several acclaimed episodes.

The Virginia Film Festival, presented by the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, is a four-day celebration of cinema’s unique power to inspire, enlighten and entertain. It’s a chance to see first-run-features and revisit timeless classics. It’s a chance to discover new films and filmmakers, a place to hear from high-profile industry insiders and up-and-coming stars, and a forum for talented filmmakers from around the world and throughout Virginia. It’s an opportunity to hear cultural experts lead fascinating lectures and discussions that illuminate the films and themes in the context of the world in which we live today. And to top it all off, the festival features a series of special events that invite the entire community to come together and revel in the magic of the movies.

Premier sponsors for the 2010 Virginia Film Festival include The AV Company, Acura, Virginia Film Office, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Regal Entertainment Group.

The festival will announce its program for the 2010 festival in early October. For more information, visit the newly re-launched website at www.virginiafilmfestival.org or download the new iPhone app today.

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