When La La Land is announced as a festival's centerpiece film, you might think it can only be downhill from there. Fortunately, the Middleburg Film Festival has once again kept up with their tradition of high quality, Oscars-level titles throughout their impressive slate. Today the full lineup for the 2016 event was unveiled and it may be the best of the festival's four years in existence.
The Opening Night film on Thursday, October 20th is Lion, Garth Davis' acclaimed drama starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman, which tells the true story of Saroo Munshi Khan, who was separated from his family as a child in Calcutta and spent years attempting to locate them.
Kenneth Lonergan's coastal drama Manchester by the Sea (already reviewed here) starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler is one of the Spotlight films, alongside Barry Jenkins' Moonlight with Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe and Mahershala Ali.
Jeff Nichols' interracial marriage drama, Loving, will be Sunday's spotlight film. Starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in performances that have already earned strong praise, the true story centers on Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia interracial couple who were arrested and spent years in court battling for the right to be married.
Other major titles of note include teen dramedy The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson, Jim Jarmusch's Paterson starring Adam Driver; Ewan McGregor's Philip Roth adaptation American Pastoral; Courtroom drama Custody starring Viola Davis, Cataline Sanino Moreno, and Hayden Panattiere; Ken Loach's Palm d'Or winner I, Daniel Blake; Pablo Larrain's Neruda; and Asghar Farhadi's Cannes award winner The Salesman.
Plus a number of special guests will be on hand including La La Land director Damien Chazelle, and composer Henry Jackman who will be honored with a live performance of his most memorable film scores.
The Middleburg Film Festival runs from October 20th-23rd. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets go to their website here.