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.
In May of 2009, he was appointed to serve as Director of the Virginia Film Festival and in his first year guided the festival to record breaking attendance and has continued to do so. The festival welcomes an array of high-profile special guests from either side of the camera, including actors, writers/directors and other Hollywood legends. In addition, Jody significantly expanded the festival’s Outreach and Educational programs to include a community-wide family day event, student filmmaking initiatives including a digital media installation and more.
Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jody Kielbasa attended Rollins College on an academic scholarship and graduated with a B.A. in History. He went on to receive a 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. Jody spent 10 years in Los Angeles where he worked as a professional actor before founding the award-winning Tamarind theatre in Hollywood. He produced over 100 plays there, working with numerous renowned stage and screen artists.
For 10 years, Kielbasa served as the founding director of the Sarasota (Fla.) Film Festival as it became one of the largest and most highly acclaimed festivals in the Southeast. He expanded it to include the Sarasota Film Festival Outreach and Education Program, which offered symposiums and special programs for children and families. He also initiated a charter cruise to the Cannes Film Festival for the festival’s board members and supporters.
Kielbasa resides in Charlottesville with his wife Helen, and their three children Camille, Luke and Juliet.