DC Independent Film Festival

Feb. 29 to March 4
3115 44th St. Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 338-1198

D.C’s famed Independent Film Festival gained notoriety early on — it was founded in 1999 — as one of the most anticipated cultural events in the area. The beloved festival boasts even more bravado this year as its namesake Les Blank himself promised an appearance. See every film you never knew you’d love at the best Indie fest in the U.S.

 Alexandria Festival of the Arts

Filmmaker Les Blank

lesblank DC Independent Film Festival Preview

(credit: dciff.org)

Les Blank earned his fame with “Flower Films,” a series of poetic, 16mm films that received high praise nationwide. A native of Tampa, Fla., Blank was educated at Tulane University and the University of Southern California. His films are hailed around the world: in Los Angeles at FILMEX, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the National Film Theatre in London, the Cinematheque Francais, Paris, the Independent Film Week in Augsburg, Germany, even in Bulgaria. His truly shining achievement, however, is a stunning handlebar moustache.

Blank’s film fest winners are those who tell truly moving stories, not always the ones who get famous among the pop-culture population. Indie film lovers, however, might recognize a few of last year’s winners or featured films throughout the years such as the “Blair Witch Project,” “House Hunting,” “The New N Word” and “Out on a Limb.”

Getting Around
Because DCIFF cares, it created and continues to improve a one-stop shop for navigating DC. Find links to the metro/bus trip planner, maps of the area and local weather updates right where you need them.


pub DC Independent Film Festival Preview

(credit: Thinkstock)

Searching for best restaurants in DC only leads to endless debates about which site to trust and who likes what. Check out this guide to everything food and drink in D.C. and choose from the best singles bars, barbecue and cupcakes in the capitol.

Just for Fun
DCIFF just loves film. Members and followers are painstakingly tracking down every movie scene ever shot in the area. Click here to learn about this history of “The Exorcist,” “Hannibal” and “State of Play” in D.C. … it’s only mildly creepy. If you know of a scene shot in the area, submit suggestions to DCIFF’s Facebook page. If you’re still not entertained, or need a little light in your life after hours indoors basking in filmmaking brilliance, check out the visitor’s guide to outdoor fun in D.C., or sneak out for a little nightlife action.

Check out the festival up close and personal as a volunteer. Volunteers execute a variety of logistics for the festival, from publicity to set-up. This is a perfect way to experience the films, learn a ridiculous amount about indie film history, and meet the next George Lucas. All interested persons should e-mail filmmaker@dciff.org.

Related: U.S. Film Registry

Patrick D. McCoy is a freelance writer in Washington, D. C. where he is active as a performing arts journalist, educator, church music director and radio show host. His work can be found here.


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