Despite reduced funding, Filmfest DC is back in action for its 29th year

Perhaps surprisingly to some film enthusiasts and even to Vox herself, one of DC’s well known international film festivalsFilmfest DChas officially announced that it will be back to celebrate its 29th year. At this time last year, director Tony Gittens sadly announced a rather bleak future for the festival, resulting from a massive grant cut from the University of the District of Columbia, one of the festival’s major sponsors.

Yet miraculously, generous donations from individuals and a scramble for bits of funding have enabled the festival to return to DC to celebrate its 29th year, though significantly fewer theatres and films are included.

The festival runs from April 16 to April 26, showing over 70 international films (from over 30 countries) including documentaries, shorts, and features. A highlighted theme of the festival includes a look on The Lighter Side, examining the role of humor in a cultural context and reminding viewers of the international language of laughter. Among these titles are films such as “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” a Swedish film about – well, Vox surmises that the title is kind of self-explanatory. And then there’s the Italian film, “I Can Quit Whenever I Want,” – which perhaps is a mindset you can relate to.

Filmfest delves into other themes this year including Trust No One, examining crime, espionage, and psychological thrillers such as the Canadian film, Elephant Song Reel Jazz; And Justice Matters, which relies on film to enhance our awareness of global injustice and inspire viewers to take a stand for injustice; and the theme Rhythms On and Off the Screen, which claims the opening night with the introduction of an Argentinian film, Tango Glories.

The films will be screened in six theatres across the city at theatres including the AMC Mazza Gallerie and Embassy of France. Some of these locations are easily accessible by metro. And alas, you need not fear that you won’t be able to understand these international films (well, the language anyway). Although the nuanced themes may be a bit complex, any films that are not in English will have subtitles.

Though this year is bound to be a success for Filmfest, the future of the festival remains unclear, so take advantage of this awesome event while it is still here. Tickets and volunteer opportunities abound, and Vox is planning to check out some of these nifty flicks and support the international film industry instead of spending time on her couch watching Netflix.

Whether you’re a mega hip film junkie or an MSBro, Vox still thinks that you can probably find a film that will make you laugh, cry, or inspire you.

Photo: Filmfest DC via

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