From Mary Burgan. You can email me at mary[AT]borderstan.com
The Annual Environmental Film Festival has come to DC for the 20th year since 1993. According to the organizers, “… the Festival has expanded to become the nation’s largest showcase of environmental film, attracting an audience of over 30,000. Beyond Washington, D.C., the Festival has launched a movement, serving as a model for environmental film festivals across the country and around the world.”
The festival began on Monday and runs through March 25 — more than 120 films, some “professional” and some first-time efforts, will be featured. They will be screened in venues in and around Dupont — at the Carnegie Institution for Science (16th and P NW) and the National Geographic Society (17th and M NW), and downtown at the Martin Luther King Library. See the festival website for movie summaries and titles, times, and places.
Like other festivals, the Environmental Film Festival offers a rich menu of important films, but the scheduling is such that you must have your evenings free for the ones you really want to see. For example, You’ve Been Trumped about Donald Trump’s drive to put his projects in sacrosanct places such as the dunes of Aberdeen, Scotland (not to mention the Old Post Office Building in DC) has only one showing on Tuesday, March 13, at the E Street Cinema. If you can’t go on that date, you’ll miss the show.
So here’s a plea for alternate showings of important festival films, especially ones that are unlikely ever to appear in local theaters.
No matter what you thought about the Oscar nominations and awards, now is the time to look for new films that offer new experiences.
Today is a good day to get started by attending a film at the All Roads Film Project, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Film Series,” sponsored by National Geographic in honor of National Women’s History Month.
National Geographic: National Women’s History Month
This year the series offers three films–one tonight, Friday, March 2, at 7:30 pm and two on Saturday, one at 4:30 pm and the other at 7:30 pm. Location is the National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium, 1145 17th Street NW. An Australian film called Here I Am starts the series this (Friday) evening at 7:30 pm.
Saturday’s offerings include A Small Act from Kenya at 4:30 pm and My Wedding and Other Secrets from New Zealand, at 7:30 pm. You may not experience such an array of global films elsewhere — ones that offer subtitles in Kikuyu, Swedish and Mandarin.
And you are not likely to see films that focus so closely on women’s experiences from around the world. Tickets for these films are relatively cheap compared to inflated prices at a Cineplex. For more information, call 202-857-7700 or visit the website for National Geographic events.
And soon it will be time for the biggest festival in the district — Filmfest DC, which begins April 12 and runs for 10 days. The list of films in the series won’t be ready for publication until the end of March, although a pre-announcement promises that this year’s list will include the 2012 nominee for best foreign film, “Monsieur Lazhar” from Canada. There will also be new work from Italy, Iran, Norway, Japan and Russia, Argentina, Cuba and Jamaica.
Film festivals such as Filmfest call for intensive planning. It is impossible to view every film included, even if your take the whole week off from work. So check the website for film announcements, make your choices and buy your tickets early.
Additional Film Festivals in Area
About.com for Washington has information on other film festivals coming to the DC area. The list also includes the outdoor flim venues scheduled for summer 2012 — another opportunity for planning ahead!