A Special Screening of The Public

Fri. March 22, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Paramount Theater

215 E Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by: Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, The Paramount Theater, and UVA Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts

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The Virginia Festival of the Book and Virginia Film Festival are pleased to present a special screening of The Public, a narrative film that explores issues of homelessness and mental illness in America and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: the public library.

A post-screening discussion with writer, producer, director, and star Emilio Estevez, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library director David Plunkett, Cyndi Richardson from On Our Own, and Herb Dickerson from The Haven will be moderated by The Washington Post chief film critic Ann Hornaday. After the discussion, Hornaday will sign copies of her book, Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies, which will be available for purchase.

This screening is generously supported by Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, The Paramount Theater, and UVA Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

Advance tickets for our screening of The Public are no longer available. Unclaimed tickets may become available at the door on the night of the screening.

Here are the details:

  • We will begin to sell unclaimed tickets to patrons waiting in a standby line at 10 minutes before the screening begins, or 6:50 PM on Friday, March 22.
  • Please know that we do not have control over when the standby line will begin to form and therefore cannot advise patrons on an arrival time to join or form the line.
  • Saving of places in the standby line is not permitted.
  • A max of four tickets per person will be sold.

Why should you attend?

As an unusually bitter Arctic blast makes its way to downtown Cincinnati, a group of homeless library patrons find themselves at odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event. The patrons, led by Jackson (Michael K. Williams), decide to turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging a sit in, and librarians Stuart (Emilio Estevez) and Myra (Jena Malone) are thrown into the middle of the action. What begins as an act of civil disobedience quickly becomes a standoff with police while the media look to sensationalize the truth.

This uplifting story explores issues of homelessness and mental illness in America and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: the public library. Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, produced, and stars in The Public alongside an all-star cast featuring Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright, Taylor Schilling, Michael K. Williams, and Gabrielle Union.

CLICK HERE to view the film trailer.