Inaugural Loudoun Arts Film Festival puts the spotlight on local artists


LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The inaugural Loudoun Arts Film Festival (LAFF) is dedicated to bringing culture to the community.

Many artists, musicians and actors are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have not been able to perform for a live audience since March. This is why Kaeley Boyle and Owen Palmiotti, co-founders of LAFF, said they decided to create the festival.

“With COVID going on, this is something where we can still have an event, where we can still bring the community together, where we can still support the arts.”

Owen Palmiotti, co-founder of LAFF

When COVID-19 hit, Boyle and Palmiotti decided that the show must go on. They decided to hold the event at 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg, VA. The space, they said, was perfect — open and socially-distanced.

Once they found their venue, they decided to spread the word to the community. Boyle said many residents were thrilled with the idea of an arts festival, and the concept of an old-school drive-in especially appealed to the Loudoun demographic.

“A lot of our sponsors are small businesses in the area. They heard what we were trying to say, they wanted it too. there’s a mixture of the old meets new in Loudoun County now.”

Kaeley Boyle, co-founder of LAFF

The film festival features many movies that have been featured in the Cannes Film Festival. Movie-goers can opt to stay at home and watch the movies if they feel more comfortable, or visit the drive-in at the vineyard. In addition to films, the festival has live musicians, food and wine.

The last night of the festival is Sep. 19, but both Boyle and Palmiotti say that the event will be back again next year.

“We’re definitely going to do this again. This is fun,” said Palmiotti.


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