March 29, 2022
The following story originally appeared as an online exclusive on the W&m Alumni Magazine website. Liz Sykes is a member of W&M’s Class of 2006. – Ed.
William & Mary’s Global Film Festival returns with a new name and expanded lineup
Entering its 15th year, the William & Mary Global Film Festival has grown and rebranded to the Ampersand International Arts Festival. This expanded version of the festival will feature more films than ever before, in addition to music, theater, dance and an industry summit.
The festival will be a hybrid in-person and virtual event in Williamsburg and online from April 6-10, with a slate of programs featuring the work of international artists as well as William & Mary alumni, faculty and students.
Alumni guests include Milan Chakraborty ’00, who will be on hand to lead a Q&A session after a screening of “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,” a film for which he was the executive producer. Based on a true story, the film follows the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly Black veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed during a conflict with police officers who had been dispatched to check on him.
“My Asian-American Dream,” a documentary produced by Truman Ruberti ’20 in collaboration with former W&M writing instructor Emily Pease, is another alumni film that will screen during the festival followed by a Q&A discussion. In the film, three Asian Americans — Jenny Loveland, Hannah Aaronson and the late Satoshi Ito, a Japanese internment camp survivor and former W&M sociology professor — discuss their unique individual experiences.
Another alumni-produced documentary in the lineup is “Blue Ridge Barnum,” which follows Mark Cline, an artist and entertainer from Virginia, through the ups and downs of a pivotal year of his career. Producer Zachary Keifer ’07 is also editing the film and will be present for this special work-in-progress sneak peek screening to discuss the filmmaking process.
Anne Rasmussen, director of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at W&M and a member of the festival’s planning committee, will help open the festival with live music at the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka on April 6.
The event will include music and dance performances from the W&M Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, the Music of India Ensemble and William & Mary Afsana, a Bollywood Fusion dance troupe, along with several other campus groups.
The industry summit features professional workshops facilitated by alumni and festival guests working in arts and entertainment, as well as networking opportunities. Virtual attendance will be available for most workshops.
Those unable to attend the festival in Williamsburg may enjoy international and alumni films through the event’s virtual platform. This platform functions exactly like popular streaming platforms, enabling attendees to view content on demand. For more information, visit AmpersandFestival.com.