Drive-in movies highlight unique Virginia Film Festival

Drive-in movies highlight unique Virginia Film Festival
Cars line up for a drive-in movie at the Virginia Film Festival (Source: WVIR)

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - COVID-19 has changed the way the Virginia Film Festival has operated, but the show must go on. That’s why it has hosted a number of drive-in movie viewings in the Charlottesville area.

As the sun set over the trees and mountains at Morven Farm, cars drove up one-by-one for the drive-in movie - a blast from the past made necessary by the present pandemic.

“You know I haven’t been to a drive-in theatre since I was a child,” said Sandra Dicarlo. “But I’m just glad to get out on a beautiful night and have something fun and safe to do.”

Ticket buyers parked in spots, clicked on the FM radio, and just like that they were at the movies.

Friday night’s showing was Gunda, a black-and-white wordless film.

“You don’t get to see films like that very often which is what is so awesome about the Virginia Film Festival is that you get to see films that are usually not picked up by theatres,” said Aniko Safron.

It’s an unusual experience for an unusual year with a common theme: sit back, relax, and enjoy the show - even if there are some challenges.

“The hardest thing is actually turning off the lights,” Jeremy Stern said. He attended the drive-in films the first two nights and plans on attending all five. “I’ve realized modern cars are not meant for drive-in films.”

One of the staff members at the ‘theatre’ said that while the drive-in component is different, it’s kind of nice and maybe we should do it more often.

In addition to drive-in movies, the Virginia Film Festival is hosting virtual screenings and discussions as well.

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