AWFJ @ Middleburg Film Festival 2023 – Sandie Angulo Chen reports

The Middleburg Film Festival turned eleven this year, showcasing 39 feature and documentary films in the bucolic Virginia town just an hour from Washington, D.C. The festival, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Sheila Johnson and run by executive director Susan Koch, always highlights women filmmakers and an impressive slate of titles. This year, the festival’s Best Narrative Feature went to American Fiction, written and directed by Cord Jefferson; Best Documentary Feature went to Invisible Nation, directed by Vanessa Hope; Best International Feature was director J.A. Bayona’s Society of the Snow; and the Special Presentation Audience Award went to filmmaker Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’ The Last Repair Shop

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Middleburg Film Festival 2023 Wrap – Nell Minow reports

The highlight of the Middleburg Film Festival every year is not a movie. It is the annual tribute to a film composer, with the Loudoun Symphony’s full orchestra playing the music. Festival founder Sheila Johnson was a music major in college, and she always reminds attendees of the vital importance of a score in guiding the emotions of the film audience. This year’s awardee, Michael Giacchino, attracted such an enthusiastic crowd that the staff of the festival had to rush to bring in several more rows of chairs.

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Middleburg Film Festival 2022: Female Focus – Leslie Combemale reports

The Middleburg Film Festival marked its 10th year in operation this October, and as founder Sheila Johnson and director Susan Koch have done from the start, they made the celebration of women in film both in front of and behind the camera one of the major priorities of the fest. There were 16 female-helmed films represented in the fest out of the 44 shown, including several by women of color, and many of those films also have female heads of departments, which is, of course, important to advancing gender parity overall.

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AWFJ @ Middleburg Film Festival – Sandie Angulo Chen reports

The ninth year of the Middleburg Film Festival brought back the fest’s in-person programming in Virginia horse country. Founded by Sheila Johnson and run by executive director Susan Koch, the four-day festival continues to feature an impressive slate of diverse and thoughtfully-curated narrative and documentary feature films (34 this year).

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SPOTLIGHT: November, 2014 – Sheila Johnson, Film Festival Founder, Entertainment Mogul

sheila johnson4croppedOur SPOTLIGHT is on Sheila Johnson, billionaire entrepreneur, co-founder of BET, backer of independent films and documentaries, philanthropist of note, and the force behind Middleburg Film Festival in Virginia – which celebrates its second year this month.

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