The DC Independent Film Forum (DCIFF) — formerly the DC Independent Film Festival — just began its 23rd edition, and will run through Sunday, March 6, at locations throughout the nation’s capital.
This year’s lineup of more than 40 independent feature films, documentaries, shorts, and animated films explores a range of topics, including the experience of growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, corruption in small-town U.S. justice systems, and the rise of American Street Art.
While there are many film festivals in the city, DCIFF is renowned as the oldest independent film festival in Washington DC and has a storied history of presenting extraordinary films.
“We’re thrilled to be one of the first film forums in the world to be fully in person after a year of watching and talking about films online,” said Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, Executive Director of the DC Independent Film Forum. “This year’s DCIFF will set a new standard for film forums by promoting filmgoing as a dynamic, active, communal experience and featuring ample opportunities for debate and discussion.”
All film screenings will be held at the E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004) and will feature Q&A sessions with the films’ directors. The DCIFF will also feature workshops, professional development seminars, and other in-person events around the city. Ticket packages are available via Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets.
Some featured documentaries include the world premieres of “The Hit,” a reinvestigation of a 2014 fatal crash involving NASCAR legend Tony Stewart and a young competitor directed by American University Investigative Broadcaster in Residence Chris Halsne, and “Living in Delusionville” (Constant van Hoeven), a documentary on controversial artist and muralist Ron English, the “Godfather of Street Art.” Student Academy Award finalist David Peter Hansen will also show his documentary short, “The Militiaman,” which chronicles a rural Pennsylvania militia leader’s response to the turbulent political landscape of 2020.
Feature films that will be screened include “Adam & the Water,” the debut drama from Washington-area native Matthew Appleby; “Americanish,” a non-traditional romantic comedy from Emmy- and Princess Grace Award-winner Iman Zawahry; “Sons of the Sea,” a South African survival-thriller from award-winning Latinx filmmaker John Gutierrez; “We Won’t Dance for Nothing,” an homage to the Filipina domestic workers of Hong Kong directed by Stefanos Tai; and “Bootyology,” a music-industry mockumentary directed by Joe Eddy and featuring Brian Austin Green.
The forum will also feature 13 animated shorts including “I Will Always Love You,” a stop-motion lovestory from artist Lydia Ricci; “One Last Wish,” the story of an immigrant fisherman and his magical goldfish friend directed by Galia Osmo; “To the Last Drop,” the story of a cancer patient and the IV pole fighting for his life directed by Simon Schnellmann; and “Pony Henge,” a look at rusting rocking ponies reminiscent of a psyhedelic acid trip directed by Gina Kamentsky.
As part of the Forum, DCIFF will host its 9th annual High School Film Competition from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, at the Miracle Theatre (535 8th St. SE, Washington, DC 20003). Registration for this free event is available here.
“The DCIFF is for everyone, from film buffs and industry professionals to casual movie-goers,” Evans-Pritchard said. “We’re looking forward to providing our independent filmmakers a platform for sharing their stories.”