Virginia’s Middleburg Film Festival, now in its 11th year, is set to open this October with Netflix’s Bayard Rustin biopic “Rustin” starring Colman Domingo. Director George C. Wolfe will receive the festival’s Impact Award for his work in bringing the vital civil and LGBTQ rights story to the screen.
Also coming to the festival is Alexander Payne’s much-anticipated Christmas (break) film “The Holdovers” as the Saturday night Centerpiece film. Payne will be honored with the MFF Director Spotlight Award for his eighth feature film following his previous projects which include “Nebraska,” “The Descendants” and “Election.”
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Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” will also screen at MFF while the director receives this year’s Agnès Varda Trailblazing Film Artist award and grant. “Saltburn” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in August and stars Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Ewan Mitchell and Rosamund Pike.
Composer Michael Giacchino will be recognized at MFF with the Distinguished Composer Award during a tribute concert from the Louden Symphony Orchestra. Giacchino has earned numerous accolades for his film scores including “Coco,” “Up,” “Jojo Rabbitt,” “Star Trek,” “Jurassic World” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The festival is also set to collaborate with the U.S. Department of State through the U.S.’s flagship film diplomacy program, USC’s American Film Showcase, to host Ukranian filmmakers in a panel discussing their recent projects and the connections between their heritage and Ukraine’s film industry.
Variety’s senior editors Clayton Davis and Jazz Tangcay will host their annual Coffee and Contenders event to discuss this year’s award predictions, and Tangcay will also present Variety’s Creative Collaborators panel at the festival. MFF is set to run from Oct. 19-22 in Middleburg, Va.
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