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Middleburg Film Festival Presents Virtual Drive-In Access To Oscar Nominees

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This year, the Middleburg Film Festival is shifting towards virtual and drive-in screenings at the Salamander Resort & Spa in scenic Middleburg, Va., Thursday through Sunday.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Presents Middleburg Film Fest (Part 1)

Since 2013, theMiddleburg Film Festival predicted many Oscar contenders.

This year, the festival is moving towards virtual and drive-in screenings at the Salamander Resort & Spa in quaint Middleburg, Va., Thursday through Sunday.

“We decided to keep the movies outside or do it virtually,” founder Sheila Johnson told WTOP. “We have a wonderful giant screen set up on the big lawn and we have 30 rooms that face the screen, so they can sit on the balconies and watch from there. We also have a drive-in installed in our lower parking lot (with) 50 cars and food trucks. “

The drive-in lineup kicks off Thursday with Venice Film Fest champion “Nomadland”.

“Nomadland” is directed by Chlo Zhao, who made “The Rider” and stars Frances McDormand, “said executive director Susan Koch.” She plays this woman, Fern, whom the West Town was completely So she dresses an old van, takes off and joins this group of nomads who are crisscrossing the country.

Thursday also includes Edward Hall’s adaptation of the play “Blithe Spirit”.

“(It stars) Dame Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann,” Koch said. “It’s a comedy, of course, a farce, which is always nice to have this time of year when so many movies tend to be on the heavier, darker side.

Friday brings the unique urban western, “Concrete Cowboy”.

“The stars of ‘Concrete Cowboy’ Idris Elba,” Koch said. “Her son lives in Detroit with his mother; he’s in trouble so she takes him to Philadelphia to live with his father. There he enters this world of urban cowboys. It’s really awesome.

Friday also brings the heartbreaking documentary “The Dissident”.

“’The Dissident’ is a documentary by Bryan Fogle, which won an Oscar for ‘Icarus’,” Koch said. “This is the investigation into the murder of [Washington Post reporter] JamalKhashoggi [at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul]. A very powerful documentary.

Saturday, Regina King’s debut film “One Night in Miami”.

“This is the story of that [fictional] Historic meeting after the Sonny Liston fight, where Cassius Clay won, ”Koch said. “It’s with Malcolm X, footballer Jim Brown, Cassius Clay and singer Sam Cooke, played by Leslie Odom. This is the story of their meeting on the evening of this famous fight in Miami. It really is a great movie. The game is superb.

It is associated with a dual functionality with the romance “Ammonite”.

“Ammonite” stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, “Koch said.” Kate Winslet searches for these dinosaur fossils and artefacts along the windswept coast (in the 1840s in England). She’s a bitter woman. Saoirse Ronan plays a young woman suffering from a serious melancholy who comes to live with her.It’s a beautiful love story.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Presents Middleburg Film Fest (Part 2)

In addition to in-person screenings, you can also watch many movies virtually, including “76 Days,” “MLK / FBI,” “Billie,” “I Am Greta,” “Sound of Metal,” “Minari,” “Assassins “,” Concrete Cowboy “and” One Night in Miami “. There is a 24 hour virtual window for everyone except “The Dissident,” which is only available for three hours.

“We have 24 really fantastic films this year, and 20 of them will be available virtually,” Koch said. “There are only four, where the distributors didn’t want them to be shown virtually. This is because there is such a level of security involved when you are showing movies that have not yet been released that are Oscar contenders.

As always, you can also enjoy Q&A with top performers including Sophia Loren, Aaron Sorkin, Chlo Zhao, Aldis Hodge, George C. Wolfe, and Kris Bowers.

“Every year we honor a composer,” Koch said. “We recorded a concert with Kris Bowers at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Kris actually plays on the same piano that Nat King Cole used. He is joined for two songs by Andra Day, who plays Billie Holiday in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels which will be released in 2021. “

Finally, the annualTalkback with critics a panel will be held on Zoom this year, with Travis Hopson (Punch on drunk critics), Nell Minow (Roger ebert), Susan Wloszczyna (Golden Derby), Tim Gordon (FilmGordon) and yours, Jason Fraley, reporter for WTOP Entertainment.

“We heard from a lot of our moviegoers how important the festival was to them,” Koch said. “So many people wrote to us saying, ‘This is our favorite event of the year, please, please. [have it]. Even though it’s different, we want it. We are very happy to present this hybrid festival. If they can’t reach us in person, join us virtually. “

Listen to the full interview

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