Films

Get tickets on-site, online, or by phone at 804.340.1405.


James River Short Films/Video Competition

Fri, Nov 7, 6:30 – 9 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
Cutting-edge, conventional, digital, experimental, animation, fiction, non-fiction — view the best and most current short videos/films (30 minutes or less) in this juried competition from the James River Film Society. Filmmaker/screenwriter Megan Holley will judge and award approximately $2,000 in cash prizes. Finalists are selected from entries from all over North America. Many filmmakers will be present for comments and Q&A. 

For 20 years the James River Film Society has been a volunteer-run, nonprofit dedicated to the art of film and film as art.

$8 (VMFA members and JRFS members $5)


VMFA Presents Red Sorghum at the Byrd

Sun, Nov 23, 1:30 3:30 pm | Byrd Theatre, Carytown
In conjunction with VMFA's exhibition Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing, VMFA celebrates Chinese cinema with this rare, English-subtitled version of Red Sorghum (1987). This film catapulted actress Gong Li to international stardom as well as launched the career of director Zhang Yimou who went on to make Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and the awe-inspiring 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Screened at the Byrd Theatre,
this sweeping, yet intensely personal, historical epic tells the story of a young woman who is sold into marriage with a rural winemaker. Her life changes when her husband dies and she takes over the business, a man from her past re-enters her life, and fights with her community against the invading army during World War II. Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear (Best Picture) award. For adults due to sexual situations and graphic violence.

$5 in advance through VMFA; $6 at the Byrd, starting at 1 pm on Nov 23.

Special thanks to Xi’an Film Studio and the China Film Archive.


Giuseppe Castiglione in China: Imperial Painter, Humble Servant

Fri, Jan 2, 6:30 – 8:30 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
How did a young Jesuit missionary born in Italy end up in 1700s Imperial China as artist to three emperors? The story of Giuseppe Castiglione is one of passion, conviction, and creativity; and his journey has left a long-lasting impact in China and beyond. Father Jerry Martinson, executive producer of the film, has encountered similar challenges in his 48 years in Taiwan and China. Father Martinson relates his personal experiences in a cross-cultural dialogue with insights into the inner-workings of China in the 18th century and now. This film complements the Forbidden City special exhibition, which includes several of Castiglione’s works, as well as the family event ChinaFest! the following day.

$8 (VMFA members $5)