CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Charlottesville is preparing for an alien invasion of epic proportions when the Virginia Film Festival returns for its 21st year from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2.
This year's event, titled "Aliens!," will feature 80 films and more than 100 guests tackling the spectrum of the alien experience, from immigrants and outsiders to extraterrestrials. The festival is hosted by the University of Virginia.
The "Aliens!" theme led Virginia Film Festival artistic director Richard Herskowitz in two distinct directions, he said.
"I was struck by the different meanings of this word," he said. "What ended up evolving was a two-pronged approach, with one axis covering the extraterrestrial visitor and another looking at issues related to the 'illegal immigrant.' The latter kind of alien is certainly playing an outsized role in the current political season, and it seemed …