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Virginia Film Festival Lights Up the Screens in Charlottesville

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Va. Film Fest Lights Up Charlottesville

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Plan a weekend getaway to the very artsy and fresh town of Charlottesville, Va., this November for a chance to attend one the country's most celebrated regional film fests.

In its 26th year, the four-day Virginia Film Festival is one of the most acclaimed regional festivals in the country and in the past has welcomed big-name guests from Sandra Bullock to Morgan Freeman to Anthony Hopkins -- and, in 2010, commentary from Vince Gill, "Breaking Bad" writer and show creator.
 
This year, most films will take place on the grounds of the University of Virginia, with a handful located near the downtown mall. Just pick your films and events you want to attend, buy the festival pass and make sure your show times don't overlap too terribly much. 
 
Films being shown range from seasoned oldies to the newly released, including flicks like "Running From Crazy" (Nov. 7; 3:30 p.m.), a film directed by Barbara Kopple and starring Mariel Hemingway, a granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. The film gives an inside look into the tumultuous yet brilliant lives of the Hemingways and uncovers hidden family secrets.
 
Another highlight, "Stranger at the Lake" (Nov. 7; 10 p.m.), tells of a man who witnesses a murder but instead of going to the authorities, he becomes infatuated with the murderer, igniting a torrid love affair. What?
 
Tickets for the movies can be purchased individually or in a five-film movie pass, valued at $60, for $50.
 
The festival runs Nov. 7-10 at various locations around the Charlottesville area. Discounted hotel blocks are available but going fast.

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