4 Can’t-Miss March Film Festivals

Catch Luc Jacquet present his Oscar-winning film "March of the Penguins" at the Environmental Film Festival.
Global swarming: King penguins on South Georgia island in the documentary "The Penguin Counters." Photograph by Harriet Getzels.

March offers several film festivals, encompassing everything from internationally acclaimed documentaries to locally produced shorts. Here are four to keep on your radar:

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Various Venues

This year’s festival goes on thanks in part to a $15,000 contribution from the National Endowment for the Arts. More than 150 films, including several DC, US, and world premieres, examine climate change, endangered wildlife, clean-water issues, and related topics. A highlight: Filmmaker Luc Jacquet presents a survey of his films, including the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins and Ice & Sky, a new work. March 17-29; selected films $10 to $12, others free.

Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

Opening night, Theater J; other screenings, Angelika Mosaic

See 16 contemporary films focused around the Jewish faith or made by Israeli artists. Top picks include The Green Prince, a thriller based on the memoir of Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who spied for Israel; Arlo & Julie, a quirky tale of a couple who become obsessed with the mysterious daily delivery of puzzle pieces to their doorstep; and Above and Beyond, about the early days of the Israeli Air Force. March 19-29; $12; festival pass $64.

Bethesda Film Fest

Imagination Stage

Filmmakers from the Washington area will be around to answer questions after their five short films at this festival, making it an excellent chance to familiarize yourself with local talent. Be sure to catch The Stillbrave 100, which chronicles Springfield runner “Tattoo” Tom Mitchell as he completes a 100-mile trail, dedicating each mile to a different child with cancer. March 20-21; $10.

Annapolis Film Festival

Various Venues

Catch 70 documentaries, narratives, and shorts, plus Q&As and panel discussions. Don’t miss the searing Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing, in which members of an Indonesian death squad reenact the murders they committed. March 26-29; $12; festival pass $105.

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