Jody Kielbasa is the Vice Provost for the Arts and Director of the Virginia Film Festival. Appointed the second Vice Provost for the Arts in January 2013, Jody is responsible for planning for the arts in consultation with the Arts Advisory Committee, participating in fundraising initiatives associated with the arts, and for initiating and coordinating cross-disciplinary collaborations for the arts at the University. Since his appointment, he has spearheaded important arts initiatives including the creation of a President’s Speakers Series for the Arts that has featured Tina Fey and Kevin Spacey in its first two years; the Berlin Wall Symposium, a week-long series of lectures, presentations and performances around the 25th Anniversary of fall of the Wall; the launch of the new UVA Arts Magazine and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Library of Congress that will facilitate a variety of student research opportunities.
Since becoming Director of the Virginia Film Festival in 2009, Kielbasa has help lead the festival to six consecutive record-breaking years in both sales and attendance, highlighted by a 46% increase in sales in 2014. The records owe much to the Festival’s unique relationship with the University of Virginia, which paves the way for a unique array of special guests both from inside and beyond the film and entertainment industries. The 2014 lineup included legendary actors Hal Holbrook and Frank Langella; noted film stars including Ashley Judd, Jenna Elfman and Patrick Wilson, among others; the Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson; and cultural icons such as Julian Bond and Rita Dove; and renowned journalist and U.Va. alumna Katie Couric.
Prior to coming to the University of Virginia, Kielbasa spent ten years as the Founding Artistic Director of the Sarasota Film Festival. He also founded the award-winning Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood, where he produced more than 100 plays. Jody received his B.F.A. in Theatre from Florida State University and an M.F.A. in acting from the F.S.U./Asolo Conservatory for Actor’s Training in Sarasota, Florida