The Virginia Festival will return from Oct. 27 to 31 with a combination of drive-in presentations, in-person screenings and other events, coming back to theaters after an exclusively virtual and drive-in version last year.
An episode of the Hulu limited series “Dopesick,” filmed in Virginia and starring Michael Keaton, will be presented in partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book at the Paramount Theater and will be followed by a conversation with writer and executive producer Danny Strong.
“Dopesick” was inspired by a bestselling book by Beth Macy, who appeared at the Virginia Festival of the Book in 2019. It focuses on the impact of the opioid epidemic on a mining community and examines a major drug company’s role in the crisis. Also starring are Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter and John Hoogenakker, with Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson. Philippa Soo and Jake McDorman are among the guest stars. Barry Levinson, an Academy Award winner who has been a Virginia Film Festival guest, directs the series.
Television fans will remember Strng’s work in front of the camera; he played Jonathan for five seasons on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Doyle for four seasons on “Gilmore Girls,” and he appeared on the fourth and sixth seasons of “Mad Men.”
The festival, now in its 34th year, will keep the Drive-In Movies outdoor screenings that proved to be a hit with audiences last year at Morven Farm in Albemarle County and bring back in-person theatrical screenings at the Paramount and Violet Crown Charlottesville downtown and at Culbreth Theatre on the University of Virginia Grounds.
Masks will be required at all indoor festival events, regardless of vaccination status. Events that take place at the Paramount will comply with its rules to require people to show a photo ID and either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours before the program.
The full festival program will be announced Sept. 28. Look for the complete schedule online for browsing at 10 a.m. Sept. 30; tickets will go on sale to the public at 1 p.m. Sept. 30. Details are at virginiafilmfestival.org.
The Virginia Film Festival is a program of UVa and the Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts. For information, go to virginiafilmfestival.org.