16th Annual Ampersand Arts Fest offers 60+ events

The 16th Annual Ampersand International Arts Festival will bring over 60 events including live performances, film screenings, workshops, panels, author talks and receptions to Williamsburg February 27 to March 5.

Program highlights include:

  • Running film with writer/actor Danny Pudi (Community, Mythic Quest, DuckTales) present for a Q&A discussion,
  • Chicago/LA performance troupe The Improvised Shakespeare Company,
  • Screening of the silent film South with a live score performed by the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra,
  • Musical artist Jen Shyu presenting Zero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses, and
  • A 20th anniversary screening of the cult film The Room featuring a Q&A with actor Greg Sestero.

The festival also includes a film lineup showcasing the best of recent international feature films, including Oscar-nominated titles (Close, EO, Tár, Triangle of Sadness, Aftersun) and festival circuit highlights not yet released to theaters or streaming platforms (Joyland, Blue Caftan, Unicorn Wars).

As a festival sponsor, W&M Libraries will host a diverse lineup of workshops and panels featuring professionals in the arts and entertainment industry, with all sessions free and open to the public, including remote attendance options. Topics range from getting a book published to navigating the film industry to starting a podcast. Most sessions will be held in Swem Library's Reeder Media Center.

Additionally, W&M Libraries continues its annual 24 Speed Filmmaking Competition, which challenges student and alumni teams to create a film from scratch in 24 hours. The festival kicks off on Friday, February 24. Submitted student and alumni films will be screened during the festival at the Kimball Theater.

Free programs are available throughout the full festival week, including an anniversary series of classic films (High & Low, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Sting, Dressed in Blue), the play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, the Fanoos Family Ensemble, and a family program featuring ventriloquist puppeteer Uncle Ty-Rone The Kid’s Comedian.

Passes and tickets must be purchased online prior to festival programming.