Ten under $10

Journey around the world through photographers’ lenses at FotoWeek DC, travel back to 1920s Bolivia with free films, or channel your inner child to help construct a 12-foot-tall Christmas tree made from Legos—all in this week’s top budget bets.

By: Eliot Stein

1. This week marks your last chance to grab some popcorn and catch the free DC Latin American Film Showcase. On Thursday, E Street Cinema will screen Proyect Grey—a Salvadorian film about a camping trip gone awry—at 6:30 and at 8:30, The Maid, which explores class issues in modern Chile. Tickets are first come, first-served and are distributed one per person 30 minutes prior to the film.

2. Tucked as it is between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce in the federal dictionary, it’s easy to overlook the US Department of Bhangra. Dedicated to bringing a hot monthly Indian dance party to Washington, its employees work at Bossa on Thursday night, keep odd hours (10 PM to 2 AM), and require very little funding (an $8 cover). For more information, visit Bhangra’s official Web site.

3. Winner of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 2009 Open Exhibition Opportunity, artist Renee van der Stelt will showcase ten large sculptures and drawings that resemble satellite images of Earth at the gallery on Friday from 6 to 8. This free exhibit is accompanied by an artist’s talk at 7.

4. Hipsters unite! After dropping $50 on that American Apparel hoodie, drop by the Wonderland Ballroom on Friday, where $4 gets you rail drinks, $3 buys you footlong hot dogs with chili and/or cheese, and there’s a $2 discount off all drafts (yes, there’s Yuengling) every day from 5 to 8. Stick around—DJ Obeya will turn the upstairs ballroom into a dance party at 10.

5. Play hooky from work on Friday and head to the Avalon Theatre for the opening of Anonyma: A Woman in Berlin. The new film by Golden Globe-nominated Max Faerberboeck is based on the best-selling diary by a German journalist and tells the story of a woman’s struggle to survive the widespread rape in Berlin by the Red Army during World War II. For those who can’t make it to the 2:15 show, two more screenings are at 5:15 and 8:15. The matinee costs $7.50 for adults, while the other shows are $10.50 for adults, $8 for seniors, $8.50 for students, $7.50 for children.

6. Let some of the world’s most talented photographers whisk you around the world through their cameras at the annual FotoWeek DC festival, starting on Saturday. For seven days, more than 50 galleries, embassies, and museums will offer lectures, exhibitions, and portfolio critiques. Last year’s event drew more than 20,000 visitors, and this year’s promises an even greater turnout. For a full list of events, venues, and schedules, visit the festival’s home page. Nearly every event and exhibit is free.

7. Start your morning drinking off right with Nellie’s Sports Bar’s Amazing Weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 5. The ambitiously titled rager features $3 mimosas, Bloody Marys, house rail drinks, and the homebrewed Nellie draft beer. Between the free-flowing libations and the sports bar’s many flat-screen TVs showing a full lineup of college and NFL games, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

8. If you judge a film by its cinematography, special effects, or mis-en-scène, the Found Film Festival probably isn’t for you. Showing on Saturday at 6:15 at the Arlington Cinema ’N Drafthouse, this one-of-a-kind feature shows bizarre video clips that have been found by friends Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher (of the Onion and The Late Show With David Letterman) at thrift stores and garage sales since 1991. Tickets are $10.

9. Looking for a weekend nightcap to FotoWeek DC? Join blogger Michael Shaw and eight local photographers at Busboys and Poets Sunday from 6 to 8 for “Eight Short Stories From Around the World.” From journeys through Central Asia to the war in Afghanistan to following drug cartels in Mexico, each photographer will present his or her work and explain the stories behind them in this free event.

10. Channel your inner child at Arundel Mills Mall this weekend to help construct a 12-foot Christmas tree entirely out of Legos. Anyone who stops by the mall’s Lego store to witness this engineering feat can enter to win a $50 gift certificate. Friday and Saturday 11 to 7, Sunday 11 to 6.

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