February 24-March 6
The 2016 Washington Jewish Film Festival
From the Press Release
The 26th Washington Jewish Film Festival will be the biggest ever with 69 films, more than 150 screenings and events and 12,000 attendees at the AFI Silver Theatre, the Avalon Theatre, Bethesda Row Cinema, E Street Cinema, the JCC of Greater Washington, the National Gallery of Art, West End Cinema, and the Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC.
The festival explores gender, migration, the supernatural, Arab citizens of Israel, artists’ lives, and LGBTQ themes. In addition to the groundbreaking lineup of films, the Festival will host talkbacks and panel discussions with over 50 domestic and international filmmaker guests. The Festival is one of the region’s preeminent showcases for international and independent cinema.
The lineup includes new and classic films, encompassing a wide range of Jewish perspectives from the United States, Israel, Europe, Asia, and Africa. While the Festival touches a broad set of themes, this year’s lineup offers two programmatic focuses – one on the lives of artists (“Re-framing the Artists”) and the other on LGBTQ individuals (“Rated LGBTQ”). “Reframing the Artist” features an in-depth exploration of artists’ lives, accomplishments, and inspiration. The seven-film “Rated LGBTQ” series explores sexuality, gender, and identity on screen.
The Opening Night film is Baba Joon, Israel’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, at the AFI with a party afterwards at the Silver Spring Civil Building.
The Closing Night film is A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman's directorial debut, set during the time of the British Mandate. A closing night reception and the Audience Award Ceremony follows the film which is shown at the JCC.
The WJFF Visionary Award will be presented to Armin Mueller-Stahl who will do a Q&A after the 1990 film Avalon (Barry Levinson), shown at the AFI.
Spotlight Evenings include Compared to What? The Improbaby Journey of Barney Frank, with filmmakers Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler discussing the film with Barney Frank; and the musical program "Gary Lucas' Fleischerei: Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons."
Other films of note: area premieres of Barash from Israel, Demon from Poland, Dirty Wolves from Spain, the documentary Hebrew Superheroes . The documentary Black Jews: The Roots of the Olive Tree will have its world premiere. Other documentaries include The Law about abortion rights in France, Mariam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos about the artist, and In Search of Israeli Cuisine.
See the website for a complete schedule and ticket information.
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
The AFI shows films as part of the series "Re-seeing Iran: Twentieth Annual Iranian Film Festival" while the Freer is closed. On February 20 at 5:00pm is Jafar Panahi's Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015); on February 21 at 5:00pm is Melbourne (Nima Javidi, 2014); on February 27 at 5:00pm is 316 (Payman Haghadi, 2014) and on February 28 at 7:00pm is Atomic Heart (Ali Ahmadzadeh, 2015). See the Gallery for more.
Special events during February include Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence (Roger Gastman, 2015), a documentary about the history of graffiti starting with the 1960s. February 19 at 7:30pm.
A series of films by William Cameron Menzies will be shown starting in February, titles TBA.
"Leading Men of Hollywood's Golden Age" is a new series beginning in February, titles TBA.
"Bernard Herrmann: Stage, Screen, and Radio" is a new series beginning in February, titles TBA.
The AFI hosts Baba Joon, the Opening Night film of the Washington Jewish Film Festival, the Visionary Award and Avalon, a Spotlight Evening of music from Max Fleischer cartoons, and other films such as Cremator, Demon, Dirty Wolves, Fire Birds, A Grain of Truth, The Hebrew Superhero, Mountain, Natasha, No Home Movie, The Pawnbroker, The Record Man, Song of Songs and Tikkun.
Freer Gallery of Art
The Freer is closed for renovations. Films will be shown at varying locations. See the Gallery below and AFI above for this month's Iranian films.
National Gallery of Art
"Re-seeing Iran: Twentieth Annual Iranian Film Festival" is presented at the Gallery (and AFI) while the Freer is closed. On February 13 at 2:00pm is the short film Wolkaan (Bahar Noorizadeh, 2015) followed by Monir (Bahman Kiarostami, 2015), about the artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmanaian. More at the AFI.
Special events include The Dream (Franc Aleu, 2014) followed by The Dream of Luis Moya (Manuel Garcia Postigo and Francisco Vidal Guardado, 2011), both shown at AU's McKinley Building. On February 6 at 2:30pm is Many Beautiful Things (2015) with filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson in person. As part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival is Eva Hesse (2015) with filmmakers Marcie Begleiter and Karen Shapiro in person for discussion.
The series "Athens Today: New Greek Cinema" concludes in February. On February 7 at 4:00pm is Xenia (Panos H. Koutras, 2014); on February 14 at 4:00pm is Forever (Margarita Manda, 2014); and on February 28 at 4:00pm is Silent (Yorgos Gkikapeppas, 2015).
"Bolshoi Postmodern: Innovative Perforance in HD" (February 20-March 12) is a series of four screenings of ground-breaking dance and opera productions from the Bolshoi Theater. On February 20 at 1:00pm is Flames of Paris (Vincent Bataillon, 2010); on February 20 at 3:30pm is Wozzeck (Andy Sommer, 2010) and on February 21 at 4:00pm is Eugene Onegin (Chloe Perlmutter, 2008), all three introduced by Katerina Novikova and Anna Winestein. More in March.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On February 27 at 3:00pm is the documentary Alice Neel (2010), about the artist, and followed by a Q&A with Andrew Neel, Alice's grandson and director of the film.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
On February 7 at 1:00pm and 3:00pm is Throwing Curves-Eva Zeisel (Jyll Johnstone, 2002), a documentary about the industrial designer.
Washington Jewish Community Center
The 24th Washington Jewish Film Festival takes place February 24-March 6. See above.
Library of Congress
"Music for Martians" is the film series for February. On February 5 at 7:00pm is Predator (John McTiernan, 1987); on February 13 at 12:00 noon is a double feature of Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) shown with Total Recall (Paul VerHoeven, 1990); on February 19 at 7:00pm is Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991); and on February 26 at 7:00pm is Sunshine (Danny Boyle, 2007). See the website for reservations.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On February 17 at 6:30pm is Neko Samurai (Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, 2014), a comedy about a samurai who takes an assassination contract to kill a cat.
The Textile Museum at GWU
On February 18 at noon is the short documentary Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz.
On February 4 at 7:00pm is the documentary Rosenwald (2015) with filmmaker Aviva Kempner present to introduce and discuss the film.
Oscar nominated documentaries and short films are shown February 24-28. Documentary Feature Nominees: On February 24 at 7:00pm is Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015); on February 25 at 7:00pm is Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman, 2015); on February 26 at 7:00pm is The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014); on February 27 at 7:00pm is What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus, 2015); and on February 28 at 4:00pm is Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (Evgeny Afineevsky, 2015). Live Action Short Film Nominees: On February 27 at noon Ave Maria (Basil Khalil), Day One (Henry Hughes), Everything Will Be Okay (Patrick Vollrath), Shok (Jamie Donoughue), and Stutterer (Benjamin Cleary). Animated Short Film Nominees: On February 27 at 3:30pm Prologue (Richard Williams), Sanjay's Super Team (Sanjay Patel), We Can't Live Without Cosmos (Konstantin Bronzit), World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt), and Bear Story (Gabriel Osorio). Documentary Short Subject Nominees: On February 28 at 11:00am Body Team 12 (David Darg), Chau, Beyond the Lines (Courtney Marsh), Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (Adam Benzine), A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy), and Last Day of Freedom (Dee Hibbert-Jones).
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
"Movie Rewind" is a classic film series held on Wednesdays. On February 3 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939); on February 10 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Ben Hur (William Wyler, 1969); on February 17 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Oliver! (Carol Reed, 1968); and on February 24 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975).
National Museum of Natural History
On February 27 at 7:00pm is Ashes and Embers (1982) with filmmaker Haile Gerima in discussion with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Interamerican Development Bank
On February 10 at 6:00pm is The Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra), Colombia's pick for the Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film and the first Colombian film to make the short list.
Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman, 2015), on the short list for Best Documentary Feature is shown on February 3 at 8:00pm, part of "Avalon Docs."
On February 10 at 8:00pm is the comedy Life is Life (Milan Cieslar, 2015), for this month's "Czech Lions."
On February 17 at 8:00pm is the documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones, 2015) as part of the "French Cinematheque" series.
Anacostia Community Museum
On February 12 at 11:00am is the blaxploitation film Foxy Brown (1974) followed by a discussion. Shown in conjunction with the exhibit "Twelve Years That Shook and Shaped Washington, 1963-1975."
On February 13 at 4:00pm is Fly By Light (2014) with filmmaker Ellie Walton present for Q&A.
On February 17 at 12:00 noon is Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution (2015).
On February 26 at 11:00am is Cleopatra Jones (1973), another blaxploitation film.
Young Variety DC is hosting an advance screening of Zoolander 2 on February 9. Happy hour begins at 6:00pm with appetizers and a cash bar and the film begins at 7:30pm. Young Variety supports the Children's Charity of the National Capital Region. DC Film Society members can get a $5 discount on tickets with the code DCFILM here. Angelika Popup is located at 550 Penn Street NE.
Workhouse Arts Center
On February 10 at 7:30pm is the documentary She's Beautiful When She's Angry (Mary Dore, 2014), about the women's movement from 1966-1971.
On February 17 at 6:45pm is Wall Writers: Graffiti’s Genesis, a film screening and book signing with local filmmaker Roger Gastman present to introduce the film and take part in discussion after the screening.
Reel Affirmations XTra
On February 26 at 7:00pm and 9:15pm is the Chilean film In the Greyscale (2015).
Busboys and Poets
On February 18 at 6:30pm is Misery, based on the Chekhov short story. At the 5th and K location.
On February 10 at 7:00pm is the short film Vow of Silence, with the director and actors taking part in discussion afterwards. At the Hyattsville location.
On February 12 at 7:00pm is Timbuktu (2015) from Mali.
The Jerusalem Fund
On February 5 at 6:00pm is Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs (Michael Singh, 2015).
George Mason University
On February 22 at 7:30pm is Kandahar Journals (Louie Palu and Devin Gallagher, 2015) about photojournalist Louie Palu's work in Kandahar from 2006 to 2010. Louie Palu will be present for discussion. Part of the Visiting Filmmakers Series and open to the public.
On February 19 and 20 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm are two programs of short award-winning films from the 2015 DC Shorts Film Festival. Shorts include comedy, drama, documentary, animation and experimental films, all shown at the U.S. Navy Memorial's Burke Theater.