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March’s Film Festivals: A Primer

Four film festivals take over Washington this month. Here’s what to expect, from the Environmental Film Festival to the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

Jamesy Boy—with Taissa Farmiga and, in the title role, Spencer Lofranco—opens the Annapolis Film Festival. Photograph courtesy of Annapolis Film Festival.

Washington Jewish Film Festival

February 27-March 9

At 14 locations in the District and Maryland, including the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, this festival presents 64 films from 18 countries. This year, its “visionary” award goes to Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher, and there are films by actor John Turturro (Fading Gigolo), Canadian documentarian Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny), and more, as well as talks, a “cinematic pub crawl,” and other events. Single tickets ($12) at

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

March 18-30

This year’s festival, at multiple area venues, has the theme Our Cities, Our Planet, exploring urban environments in the 21st century. The 170 films range from Andreas Pichler’s The Venice Syndrome to Riri Riza’s The Jungle School. Events include post-screening discussions. Single tickets (free to $20) at

Bethesda Film Fest

March 21-22

For a second year, this festival at Imagination Stage screens five short documentaries by local filmmakers including Precious Lambert, Leah Edwards, Stephen Menick, and Scott Sowers and selected by a panel including George Mason University director of film and media studies Cynthia Fuchs. The screenings are followed by a Q&A both nights. Tickets ($10) at

Annapolis Film Festival

March 27-30

More than 70 films are on the slate for this festival at four venues. The opening feature is Jamesy Boy, a movie about a gang member with Taissa Farmiga, Mary-Louise Parker, James Woods, and Ving Rhames. Shot in Baltimore and Jessup, it’s directed by Trevor White and produced by Tim White, both of whom grew up in Annapolis. Events include a Q&A with Oscar-winning screenwriter David S. Ward (The Sting). Tickets ($12) at

This article appears in the March 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

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