Film lovers unite! In the age of digital you don’t often see people out shooting with film cameras. There are only so many shots per roll, the ISO is set, you get either color or black and white, and it has to be developed — no chimping here. It also can be expensive. But there’s something to be said for using film. It can push your creativity and it can challenge you to take more care when crafting an image. Instead of snapping 20 shots of the same thing in the hopes that you get one usable image, you might take only one or two. The color and tonal range of film is something that digital has yet to master. Sure when you scan film for display on a website or online portfolio it loses some of that detail but it can’t be beat when printed in a darkroom and hung on a wall. Jonathan Fields clearly knows how to use film and captured the light coming into the metro entrance so wonderfully. The black is so saturated and the shades of gray run so smoothly together. Add the lovely grain like the cherry on top, sit back and enjoy. Well done, Jonathan.
National Menorah and Tree 7676
courtesy of tedeytan
The 23rd Washington Jewish Film Festival – one of the oldest and largest festivals of its kind – has returned to the district, with events running through January 13.
Curated by the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, the WJFF features 55 films at ten different venues. It includes a U Street short film pub crawl for the first time this year and a major pass discount for patrons 30 years old or younger.
A special focus on French cinema and a number of music-related films stand out in the 2013 lineup, including a retrospective on Lou Reed and a film detailing the founding of the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra.
There are also, of course, a few films in there inspired by Woody Allen.
The festival’s closing event on January 13 features a screening of Hava Nagila (The Movie) a documentary by Academy-Award nominated director Roberta Grossman which follows the famous song from its origins in Eastern European shtetls to worldwide familiarity.
Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (202) 777-3231. In addition to single tickets, WJFF will be offering full festival passes for the first time this year. Those passes run at $75, but are discounted to $30 for attendees 30 years old and younger.
courtesy of ‘Lauren PM’
Ready to party with one of the proudest crowds in town? Reel Affirmations, DC’s international LGBT film festival, celebrates its 20th anniversary this week with happenings around GWU’s campus and other local venues from October 13-22.
The festival began in 1991 and has grown into one of the largest LGBT events in the region. In addition to screening over 85 films from 23 countries, Reel Affirmations includes an opening night film and party, a women’s filmmakers brunch, and a closing film and party.
This year, the festival has added a few screenings and light receptions at participating embassies. Because of the small space and security regulations, embassy screening passes must be reserved in advance by Thursday, October 13.
To take part in the festival, you can buy individual tickets, six-pack passes, full festival passes, and VIP sponsorships that include special receptions and seating options. Some of the venues are super-small, so order your tickets in advance to be certain to get a seat.
courtesy of ‘MichaelTRuhl’
On Thursday nights this October, American University is hosting their annual Human Rights Film Series.
Presented by AU’s Center for Social Media and Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, the films cover a variety of human rights issues, including euthanasia, immigration and a warlord-turned-evangelical-preacher.
The series takes place at AU’s Katzen Arts Center on Thursday nights from 5:30pm-8:00pm through October 20th. Each screening includes a discussion with the filmmakers and human rights advocates, and the program offers further resources for each film’s topic on their website.
All of the films are free and open to the public, but the series’ organizers suggest you arrive early because seating is limited.
Photo courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum
Looking for some great things to do over the summer while the tourists flood in? There are several great programs (free!) being hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Penn Quarter this month. Take some time to check them out!
Opening Night of the IV BrazilDocs Documentary Film Week: Santiago
June 9, 7 p.m.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery host the opening-night film, “Santiago,” of the IV BrazilDocs Documentary Film Week, sponsored by the Cultural Section of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC. In 1992, João Moreira Salles, one of Brazil’s foremost documentary filmmakers, began shooting a film about Santiago, the butler in his childhood home, who had lived a rich and vivid life. Through the film’s personal narrative, Salles addresses the elements of memory and identity that are crucial to the documentary genre.
The House I Live In
June 11, 4 p.m.
A theatrical presentation by Catherine Ladnier chronicles life in America from New Year’s Eve in 1939 through the end of World War II. Music underscores dramatic readings of letters written by servicemen and their loved ones, which recount the lingering effects of the Great Depression, America’s involvement in World War II, life on the home front, the bravery of soldiers, and gratitude for peace. In conjunction with “To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America.”
courtesy of ‘theqspeaks’
Tonight marks the launch party for the 2011 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital; soon the lights will go down for 150 films from 40 countries that illustrate the connection between energy and the environment.
The festival runs from March 15-27 in various locations around the city, and it includes talks by 55 filmmakers and 94 special guests. Tonight’s kickoff starts at 6:30 in the Warner Building Atrium and features art, dance, and music.
Which of this year’s films are of local interest?
half-frame by patrickjoust
There are parts of me that will forever be trapped in the past. Even though I’m technically an adult, I’ll always feel like a kid in one way or another and rarely take life too seriously. As long as I can pay my bills and stay out of prison, I might as well have some fun right? We’re only on this big blue marble for a short amount of time, which is why I like to move to different cities, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and photograph what I find interesting.
I often think back to when I was young to try to remember how I viewed the world. When I was in elementary school all I cared about was what they were serving for lunch at school (Salisbury steak and buttered noodles were always a favorite). In junior high I realized that I’d probably better start learning something and was baffled by the concept of negative numbers. In high school and college I studied way too hard to get to where I am today, not even using my degree. I thought people who were forty were so old and couldn’t fathom being that age, and I still can’t imagine what fifty will feel like.
Sadly, I have only a handful of photos to document what the world looked like through my eyes during those years. I didn’t have a camera back then, let alone a Leica like this girl. The color of this diptych really adds a nostalgic feel, as if these photos could have been taken thirty years ago. The candid aspect of these photos truly captures her innocence and curiosity, something many of us lost long ago. Will she look back on these exposures when she’s an adult and remember her time at the National Gallery of Art? Will she carry her passion for photography into adulthood? Will her curiosity continue to make her look at the world in different ways? For the sake of everyone, let’s hope so.
courtesy of ‘dr_kim_veis [”o ]’
The VW Beetle. An icon of design, a symbol of a generation, and captured here in all its glory on film.
Flickr pool contributor dr_kim_veis [”o ] uses film well, capturing the Beetle with tones that are hard to replicate using a digital camera. The square format and the smilie sticker just add that excellent finishing touch to this shot.
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’
The overbearing heat and swamp like humidity are expected when hanging out on the Mall in late July. It’s part of DC’s charm. The sudden downpours that send hundreds scrambling for partial cover are also par for the DC weather course. But when you wrangle up your good friends, pack up a little picnic dinner, grab a big blanket to spread out on and bring along your favorite adult beverage hidden in an ambiguous plastic container that could possibly (and hopefully) be mistaken for a water bottle by Park Police, you tend to get your hopes up about a glorious night under the stars watching a classic film from the past on the super-jumbo screen. Unfortunately, last night was not the Screen on the Green’s finest moment.
If you’ve ever thought of starting your own sustainably sourced salad shop or of plucking all the trash from the city streets, check out tomorrow night’s screening of Climate of Change, a film that shows how ordinarily people are making a difference for the planet, around the planet.
It shows how self-described “hillbillies” in Appalachia battle strip mining and mountaintop removal, a London woman starts an environmental communications firm, a 13-year-old in India rallies against plastics, and more.
The screening starts at 6:30 p.m. at Georgetown’s Letelier Theater, and a wine reception catered by Sweetgreen follows. Tickets are $20 and RSVPs are required to this Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital event.
‘Screen with Wings’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’
When it’s hot outside, all I want to do is go to the movies. Something about sitting in an incredibly dark and cold room with a diet coke (or perhaps one of those yummy cherry frosty things) in my hand just makes it all better. For about 2 hours at least.
So, when I heard about DC’s first Buddhist film festival this weekend I thought, now this is really something, 4 days out of the heat – I am so in.
BuddhaFest is a four-day event being held June 17-20 at American University’s Katzen Art Center. BuddhaFest presents 12 films, including a world premiere, talks by leading American Buddhist teachers, meditations, and a Picnic for Peace.
Most tickets are $9.95 and festival passes are available starting at $47.75.
Now all you need is that delicious cherry frosty…
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’
The Initiative for Architecture and Design on Film will be screening the latest documentary, Contemporary Days: Robin and Lucienne Day Design the UK. Robin and Lucienne Day transformed British design after World War II with modern furnishings and abstract textiles, yet, all the while remaining sensible in their approach. The film follows the Day’s personal and professional lives over the course of their careers – spanning more than 70 years.
The film premieres at 7:30 PM on May 15 at the National Geographic Museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium, and a question and answer session with Directory Murray Grigor and Cinematographer Hamid Shams will follow the screening.
Tickets must be purchased in advance!
Dirt! The Movie - © Gene Rosow
Break out the organic popcorn — the Environmental Film Festival is coming. From March 16-28, you can see up to 155 films from 31 countries. This year’s theme is the connection between food and the environment.
Going Green DC has a good wrapup of the festival’s global and local highlights. A Road Not Taken, which talks about the solar panels that once graced the White House roof, is another of the 13 local films.
So are Not a Distant Beast and “River of Hope”: Welcome to our City, Mr. President, which share the story of locals’ relationship with the Anacostia River.
Nora! features the founder of Restaurant Nora, the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. In Coal Country, Appalachian miners and activists tell the story of mountaintop removal coal mining, which helps to power the DC area.
This year, the festival received funds to offer additional free screenings to young and underserved audiences at libraries, museums, and theatres throughout the DC area. A launch party takes place March 10 at the Warner Theatre.
courtesy of ‘photo_secessionist’
Perhaps you had enough of water over the weekend? If not, get thee to the DOME in Rosslyn at 7 p.m. tonight for a screening of Liquid Assets (see the trailer).
This third film in a green series sponsored by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment promises to share the true importance of systems of water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment that we often take for granted.
I understand — at first glance it sounds a bit dry, no pun intended, but it can be fascinating to find out how things work. How does that water get from the river to your faucet anyway?
This film talks about what goes on far below our feet — and how to keep that clean water flowing.
‘Anacostia Fish Market Red Snappers’
courtesy of ‘andertho’
Last night, National Geographic held a sold-out screening of The End of the Line: Imagine a world without fish.
With scenes of fishing boats and markets the world over, the movie does a great job of explaining why seafood is on the decline worldwide — and predicted to run out in 2048 — and what you can do now to keep more fish in the sea. (Hint: Know which fish is sustainable, and ask where it comes from before you buy it.)
The film, which mentioned our own Chesapeake Bay rays, will come to E Street Cinema on Aug. 14. Now, you can see the trailer and join a campaign to protect marine life.
Had enough American Idol and The Bachelor drama this week? Let’s give reality movies a whirl instead.
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital starts with a special event next Tuesday and runs through March 22. It stars 136 films, with oceans and sea life as this year’s theme.
Local faces and places on the big screen include Restaurant Nora’s owner, Chesapeake Bay oysters, a toxic dumping site under Northwest D.C. (who knew?), and a plan for ick-free area rivers (hear, hear). Just the break we need.