Charlottesville | Community Idea Stations



The Community Idea Stations’ new documentary “Charlottesville” explores the events that led to the tragedies of August 11 and 12, 2017, and grapples with the difficult question of how such acts could have occurred in modern America.

When to Watch:
November 3: Virginia Film Festival Premiere, 4:00 p.m. at the Paramount Theater • Get Tickets
November 20: Local TV Premiere on WCVE PBS, WHTJ PBS and WVPT PBS at 9:00 p.m.

Watch the Preview:

About The Film
“Charlottesville” is the latest film in a long-standing partnership between Community Idea Stations and University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

“This isn’t just a film about a terrible event in one small college town,” says Larry Sabato, Founder and Director of the Univ. of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “What happened in Charlottesville in August 2017 is a national disgrace, and the nation as a whole needs to confront a cancer growing on our Republic. The film ‘Charlottesville’ shows us what can happen anywhere in America if we don’t confront this era’s menacing malignancy of racial and religious hatred.”

Through the use of first-hand accounts, “Charlottesville” offers local insight and perspective on the events that garnered national and international attention, prompting us to ask questions about who we are as a people, what we can learn from this experience, and how we can come together as a country.

Director Paul Roberts says including stories from people who were actually at the event was of the utmost importance.

“Early in the filmmaking process, it was decided to seek people to interview who were at ground zero -- at the UVA torch rally, at the street fights in and around Emancipation Park, at the car attack on Fourth and Water Streets,” says Roberts. “Some interviewees were not present during these events, but were asked to participate because of their unique knowledge of the situation.”

Community Idea Stations’ Vice President and General Manager of Television John Felton says they decided to tackle this story because it took place in their backyard.

“Due to the local origination of the Charlottesville protest and subsequent violence centering around the event, we felt it was our obligation to tell this story from a local perspective,” says Felton.

He adds partnering with the Univ. of Virginia Center for Politics was important for telling this story.

“While the Community Idea Stations has the expertise and track record for producing award-winning national public television documentaries, the UVA Center for Politics provides the academic background and research to support these films,” says Felton. “Standing alone, neither partner would have been able to create the Charlottesville documentary.”

“Charlottesville” premieres at Virginia Film Festival November 3, followed by a speech by Martin Luther King III and discussion moderated by Larry Sabato of the Univ. of Virginia Center for Politics.

Watch the local premiere of “Charlottesville” November 20 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS, WVPT PBS, and WHTJ PBS.

After unlawful assembly was declared, brawls continued at Lee Park for approximately one hour. Here, counter protesters beat a lone Unite the Right protester.

After unlawful assembly was declared and the Unite the Right rally ended before it even started, fights continued throughout the streets of Charlottesville. Deandre Harris was brutally beaten in the Market street parking garage literally next door to the Charlottesville Police Department.

Prior to the planned start of the Unite the Right Rally, protesters form a shield wall to keep counter protesters and press from inhabiting a designated public area in the park.

One of the largest and longest lasting melees on August 12 happened after unlawful assembly was declared and after the State Police ordered the crowd to disperse.

Officials knew about the probability of a torch rally on UVA grounds, but the sheer number of marchers surprised almost everyone.

Community Resources
There are many resources in our community that help us to learn about the issues surrounding the debate about the Monuments and understand each other better. The resources below will help us to be better informed, to come together and combat hate in our community. If you know of a resource that could be helpful to people watching the Charlottesville documentary, please contact

The Heaphy Report was one of the primary guiding documents in the production of this film. You can read the entire report here.


  • The Heritage Museum Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society - Ongoing “Third Thursday Talks” on varies historical subjects.
  • Harrisonburg local public schools are Teaching Tolerance. Resources are provided for teachers and schools to educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.
  • James Madison University -- have implemented a Diversity Board in response to promote diversity on campus. They also have a humanitarian curriculum for teaching students. They provide students with a global perspective on major issues facing the human community today. Students investigate the impacts of natural disasters, disease, poverty, conflict, human rights violations, and governmental policies on human communities around the world. They also explore solutions to humanitarian crises and some of the organizations that address those crises.


  • The Virginia Center For Inclusive Communities – RVA Table Talk. Dinner and dialogue programs throughout the year that bring people together and improve understanding of issues related to diversity and inclusion. 2018-2019 topics include mental illness, ageism, youth and refugee resettlement. The first talk is November 27th. Information available at
  • Virginia Inclusion Summit – January 25th event brings together higher education, business, and government sectors for a day of learning, networking, and strategizing to advance inclusion across Virginia.  Information available at
  • The Virginia Holocaust Museum Break Glass Exhibit - The Art of V.L Cox--A Conversation to End Hate on view until February 10, 2019. Cox aspires to spark conversation about civil rights and equality while also exploring the persistence of hate and injustice in America today. Go to to learn more.
  • The Valentine Richmond History Museum--Monumental: Richmond's Monument's. This looks at the historical context of public monuments in Richmond, and the Valentine is excited to build on its role as a space to engage in meaningful, sometimes uncomfortable discussions about what we have chosen to commemorate and what we have chosen to forget. Go to the to learn more.
  • American Civil War Museum -- is a center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians. Go to to learn about their many educational programs.