Tired of the same old Hollywood and Netflix movies? Filmfest DC showcases a wide variety of internationally acclaimed films!The Washington D.C. International Film Festival, also known as Filmfest DC, starts Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the AMC Mazza Gallerie AMC in Northwest DC. The festival is now in its 31st year and will feature an eclectic mix of films, from comedy and musicals to crime thrillers and documentaries. Filmfest DC takes place at various venues through April 30; over 80 films from 45 different countries are scheduled to be screened. With tickets to most events going for a very reasonable price of $14, Filmfest DC is a bargain. In addition to the variety of international film screenings, the festival also features workshops, panels and Q&A sessions with producers, actors and directors. Don’t be surprised to see celebrities in attendance. In past years’ festivals, famous actors such as Charlize Theron, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich as well as many others have shown up. As for the films, patrons can choose from movies grouped in programs by the organizers each year. "The Lighter Side" features comedies, the category labeled "Trust no One" consists of crime, espionage and thrillers, and the films in "Justice Matters" is where you would find social justice documentaries and films as the name suggests. Music lovers may want to head over to "Rhythms On and Off the Screen" (which also features live music and dance performances prior to screenings). Meanwhile the films of the "Division and Debate" series explore issues related to the longstanding differences that have divided citizens and cultures in the social, economic and political realm due to the disagreements spawned by governmental policies, racial tension, immigration and globalization.
In its thirty one year history, Filmfest DC has always been diverse. Some years have showcased better and more successful films than in other years, but all in all attendees can expect to see only the best of the latest new international films. The films bring to light a mixed bag of international cultures with a focus on global issues present in today’s headlines. To most the titles are probably somewhat obscure and unknown, yet still many famous actors and household names such as Kate Winslet have appeared in the films featured at the festival. The festival has even endured its own drama. In 1998 festival organizers were pressured by the Chinese government to pull a controversial film about China’s mistreatment of Tibetans. DC Filmfest is a true film buff’s movie festival, but the average Joe is certain to have a good time too. The screenings and events take place at four different venues: -AMC Mazza Gallerie 5300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015 -The Embassy of France located at 41101 Reservoir Road, NW -Landmark’s E Street Cinema 555 11th Street NW -National Gallery of Art East Building Auditorium 4th Street and Constitution Avenue Tickets can be purchased online through MissionTix.com, by phone: 410-982-0799 Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, festival goers should note that tickets cannot be purchased online and by phone on the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the show only at the theatre, box offices open one hour before the day’s first screening. Discount and group packages are available, students presenting proper school ID also can purchase tickets at reduced prices at the box office. To view the festival schedule, visit www.filmfestdc.com.