13th Annual DC Shorts Film Festival

13th Annual DC Shorts Film Festival & Screenplay Competition

With new programming team, DC’s “Best Film Festival” presents the best shorts from around the world.
September 8-18, 2016 — Washington, DC

DC Shorts film festival logo As they say, 13th time’s the charm. They say that, right? Ok, fine, I say that. The DC Shorts Film Festival is always a little familiar, but every year it brings something new to the table. Most notably this year it’s in new hands. Founder Jon Gann has passed the leadership duties to Joe Bilancio and Derek Horne, both of them with a lot of experience from various festivals around the country and they have brought a lot of enthusiasm with them.

That energy is important as the festival received 1,300+ submissions from 40+ countries and narrowed that field down to 131 films and screenplays. (I tried to do the math in my head, and got lost in just how much hours of film that translates to watching, evaluating and reviewing. Props to the committee.)

New this year is the expansion of the programming including more unique showcases (18 total, up from 13 last year) and an increase in animation, with at least one animated short in each showcase plus a special ANIMATION NATION of encore presentations. Also special this year is the amount of films that have been critically acclaimed at other festivals around the world including Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Berlin, and Cannes and are making their DC premiere.

Aria for a Cow: When a callow young farmer shows himself to be completely uninterested in the sensitive art of milking a dairy cow, Aria, a bovine diva, along with her singing and dancing back up bulls, belts out a tune demanding to be respected for more than just dairy products.

Documentaries and Spanish speaking films gain focus in this year’s programming. “The selection of short documentaries making their DC premiere is phenomenal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them on Oscar shortlists this year,” says Co-Programmer Derek Horne. There were also a large number of high-quality, female-driven, Spanish language films that will be spotlighted in a showcase nicknamed “Viva Hispanica,” with a parallel themed party following the premiere screening at the annual City View Party.

Desayuno con Tiffany (Breakfast with Tiffany): Rafael prepares a special birthday breakfast for the woman sleeping beside him.

Also new this year is that our programmers arranged the 18 unique showcases by theme. For late night viewing, there are is a showcase focused specifically on the horror/comedy genre, and showcase featuring provocative shorts exploring sexual topics. Each year, a collective consciousness is evident through themes expressed in submissions from around the globe – reflecting the state of the world. Perhaps not surprisingly, programmers created unique showcases around immigration, frustrations with technology, as well as overcoming oppression.

rated: Maggie, a wife and mother, must find the courage to own up to her behavior when she wakes to find every adult has received a YELP-like star rating floating above their head.

Aside from the animation features, there won’t be a lot of overlap between the showcases so make sure you plan accordingly, or if you prefer the taste of your own popcorn and comfort of your own couch, grab a pass for the online film festival!

What: DC Shorts Film Festival & Screenplay Competition – 131 short films, 6 screenplays from 31 countries, special showcases, competitions and parties.  A full list of films, showcases and events are listed online at www.dcshorts.com/festival.

Where: Film Screenings

  • Landmark E Street Cinema: 555 11th Street, NW, WDC
  • U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater: 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, WDC
  • Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, WDC
  • Various DC Public Libraries in all 8 Wards.

When: September 8-18, website (www.dcshorts.com) for full schedule.

I rarely get out to see as many movies as I’d like because, as I’ve said over and over again, they’re too long. (There are other reasons, but that’s the main one.) DC Shorts is a great opportunity to see fun and unique short films you likely won’t stumble across on YouTube. Especially the non-US films. Hey, it doesn’t get repeatedly voted “Best Film Fest” in DC for nothing! :mrgreen:

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