Middleburg Film Festival turns 10 with largest program ever
The Washington Post
By Ann Hornaday
Middleburg Film Festival Executive Director Susan Koch remembers a moment in 2014 when she knew the festival had fulfilled its mission. The awards-season favorite “The Imitation Game” had been playing to packed crowds when Koch walked through the cozy-elegant lobby of the Salamander Resort and Spa, the festival’s hub in Virginia’s Loudoun County.
She spied Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game’s” screenwriter, sitting “by the fireplace, just working on his next script,” she recalls. “Anybody could come up and talk to him.”
Intimacy, accessibility and buzz have always been paramount at Middleburg, which celebrates its 10th annual edition beginning Thursday with 40 films, its largest program ever. Launched in 2013 by Sheila C. Johnson — who, in addition to owning the Salamander, has served on the board of the Sundance Institute and has produced several films, including “The Butler” and “Summer of Soul (... Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” — Middleburg is one of the few regional film festivals that seems to have punched above its weight from the very beginning.