When Jon Gann launched the first DC Shorts Film Festival back in 2004, he wrote personal checks to buy theater space and “prayed like hell.” Now in its ninth year, DC Shorts has since grown to be the largest short films festival outside of Tinseltown (well… California, anyway); and it’s only getting bigger and better.
Over the course of eleven days beginning September 6, this year’s festival will showcase 140 films from 27 different countries– a “zeitgeist”, as Gann puts it, of documentaries, comedies, dramas, and even computer-animations on themes ranging from lost crafts to women in Islam to teen issues to elderly singles Internet dating (Judy Dench makes an appearance!).
A long list of fantastic local and international films is not unique to this year’s festival, to be fair. Neither is the festival’s swanky online film finder, the screenplay competition, the free screenings or the parties.
But for the first time, DC Shorts is expanding beyond the Beltway– to Angelika Theater in Fairfax; it is releasing a family film guide written by professional educators on how to talk about the films with your kids and teens; and best of all, it has recruited local chefs to prepare dishes based on a handful of foodie films in its “Film-Chef Pairings” series…
Professional discussion guides? Celebrity chefs? Proof positive that DC Shorts… is kind of a big deal.