Sep 19, 2018
Arts Council, Virginia Film Festival

This Arts Council-funded Project is entitled VFF Scholars Program.  The project was proposed by Erica Barnes, Business Manager and Outreach Coordinator of the Virginia Film Festival.

The VFF Scholars Program is a 6-day immersive, educational, and networking experience for UVA students around the themes of filmmaking, film industry, and film criticism. 10-12 Scholars will be selected to enroll from a competitive application process open to all UVA undergraduate and graduate students. Enrolled Scholars will view 8-10 films during the VFF weekend, and meet 8-10 times over the course of study, including group discussions with VFF guests and advisory board members. All enrolled students will receive two complimentary group dinners to kick-off and wrap- up the Program.

Films included in the program of study will be carefully curated and selected by a Lead Film Scholar and VFF’s Programmer, Wesley Harris. Harry Chotiner, professor of film at New York University, is the VFF’s proposed Lead Scholar for this inaugural 2018 Scholar Program.

Chotiner was the Editor of the Socialist Review Magazine, Reader for Francis Coppola at Zoetrope Studios, Head of Story Department at CBS Theatrical Films, Vice President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox, and Executive Vice President in film division at Interscope before leaving the movie business to teach History in high school and adult education film classes at New York University. Chotiner has attended and moderated for the Festival since 2005, and has led a successful student symposium for the VFF in the past.

The VFF Scholars Program will directly impact 10-12 UVA students who will be mentored and guided in their studies, discussions, and overall experience by a seasoned film professional recruited by the VFF.

The VFF Scholars experience will be:

  • Immersive: Each VFF Scholar will receive complimentary admission into all film screenings chosen as part of the VFF Scholars’ course study. The Scholars will meet 8-10 times during the 6-day course and will view 8-10 films during the 2018 VFF.
  • Educational: Scholars will be assigned articles on the themes of filmmaking, film criticism, and the film industry, as well as participate in discussions and lectures with visiting film professionals during the course.
  • Networking: With the full credentials and a Festival Badge, VFF Scholars will gain access to VFF’s Filmmakers & Sponsors Lounge where they can meet and talk with film artists in the film industry. Group discussions will included opportunities to meet with VFF industry guests and advisory board members.

A UVA student intern will coordinate with VFF Staff to support the VFF Scholars Program’s call for applications, recruitment of applicants, review/selection process, reservations of meeting spaces and tickets, organization of group communications, and maintenance of web, print, and other shared resources.

The VFF Scholars Program has an indirect impact on the community. Filmmakers, industry guests, and VFF advisory board members will engage with the student scholars throughout the 6-day program offering mentorship and connection via film discussions.

As a program of the University of Virginia, the Virginia Film Festival has a unique opportunity to connect film professionals to the student population. VFF will promote the program and this unique aspect of the Festival through regional press releases, in all social media channels, e-newsletters, the official Festival Program, and in local media alerts and print advertisements.

The goal of the VFF Scholars Program is to create an opportunity for UVA students to engage in a meaningful dialogue with filmmakers, critics, and producers; to involve visiting film artists beyond their screenings with meaningful, educational outreach opportunities; and to provide an opportunity to a diverse cross-section of student participants by opening the opportunity to all UVA undergraduate and graduate students across Grounds. The Scholars Program will amplify VFF’s missions to support discussions between artists, students, academics, and audiences about the films and how they relate to the world in which we live, and to educate and engage in an open dialogue on the art of film. We will measure success by qualitative feedback from student and filmmaking participants through a post-program survey. We will quantitatively track film artists who directly engage in discussions with the VFF Scholars.

The Arts Council provides advocacy, advice, and support in the Arts at the University of Virginia. It strives to develop and strengthen the bonds of interest and participation among the Arts Departments, their associated programs,  and their alumni and friends; to advocate on their behalf; to advise and assist with communications; and to help raise funds in support of academic programs, facilities, and special events. Among its multitude of arts advocacy efforts, the Council awards annual Arts Council Grants. These grants have, and continue to play an instrumental role in a number of  residencies, workshops, project and research-based endeavors proposed across Arts Grounds annually. This series of articles will highlight each funded project and serve to inform the UVA community of their unique timelines, progress and outcome reports.

See all 2018-2019 Arts Council Grants Awarded Arts Council Logo