Celebrating strong courageous women seemed to be the theme at this year’s Middleburg Film Festival. The veterans were honored for the roles they have played in building bridges, opening eyes and ears to social issues.

“Celebrating and highlighting the accomplishments of women in film is very important to all of us at the Middleburg Film Festival,” said Middleburg Film Festival Executive Director Susan Koch. “We’re especially thrilled this year to be able to honor such a diverse group of talented women, both behind and in front of the camera.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal received the 2018 Leading Actress Award at this year’s Middleburg Film Festival. The Golden Globe winning and Academy Award® and Emmy-nominated actor Gyllenhaal was recognized for her courageous artistic choices and for breaking down stereotypes of women through these roles. A special screening of her recent film, The Kindergarten Teacher, directed by Sara Colangelo, was held. In it, Gyllenhaal plays a Staten Island kindergarten teacher who discovers a gifted student in her class and becomes obsessed with the child and his talent.

Above: Maggie Gyllenhaal watches the screening of her latest film, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” at the 2018 Middleburg Film Festival.

Above: Maggie Gyllenhaal watches the screening of her latest film, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” at the 2018 Middleburg Film Festival.

Grammy award-winning Diane Warren received the 2018 Impact Award. New talent was also recognized by
the judges.  The festival which celebrated its sixth year, opened Thursday, Oct.18 with Academy Award®-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, starring Yalitza Aparicio. First-time actor Aparicio was honored with the Festival’s 2018 Rising Star Award. Lebanese director Nadine Labaki accepted the Festival’s 2018 Visionary Award for her film, Capernaum.

 

Yalitza Aparicio took home the Festival’s 2018 Rising Star Award for her work in “Roma.” Photos by Tony Gibson.

Yalitza Aparicio took home the Festival’s 2018 Rising Star Award for her work in “Roma.”

“This year’s film slate literally takes us around the world – from the rugged landscapes of Iceland to the streets of Beirut to 1970’s Mexico City to an isolated village in Italy,” said Middleburg Film Festival Founder Sheila C. Johnson in remarks prior to the festival. “These remarkable stories entertain, inform and engage us – and most importantly help broaden our understanding of the world and one another.”

 

 

Photos by Tony Gibson.

This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Middleburg Life.