Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7th Annual Alexandria Film Festival to Feature 60+ Films Nov. 7-10

From our friends at the Alexandria Film Festival...

World Premiere of Ass Backwards, Works by Local Filmmakers, Q&A with Beasts of the Southern Wild Director Benh Zeitlin among Highlights

The 2013 Alexandria Film Festival will be the largest in the festival’s seven-year history, bringing more than 60 new works by independent filmmakers to venues in Old Town and elsewhere in the city Nov. 7-10.

The festival will include a thought-provoking mix of programming and genres, including works by local filmmakers, foreign-language films, shorts, documentaries and feature-length productions. Directors and cast members of several films will participate in Q&A sessions after the screenings.

“This year’s festival represents our most ambitious yet,” said festival chair Patti North. “We will have something for everyone, like ‘Dark Night’—our late-night blocks of macabre, mysterious films; a full menu of foodie films for our opening night; some family-friendly movies at Beatley Library; and—new this year—a Sunday afternoon ‘Best of Fest’ program where attendees can see our award winners.”

Some highlights:

Q&A WITH BENH ZEITLIN, director of the Oscar-nominated BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Zeitlin will appear via Skype on Nov. 9 following a screening of two of his shorts, GLORY AT SEA and I GET WET, that paved the way for the film that launched him to international acclaim. Zeitlin, who is also a writer, animator and composer, will take questions from the audience as well as those submitted in advance to the Alexandria Film Festival’s Facebook page.

ASS BACKWARDS a lighthearted comedy co-written by and starring one of Alexandria’s own— T.C. Williams High graduate Casey Wilson. It will have its world premiere at the festival ahead of nationwide release. The film also features Alicia Silverstone and is directed by Chris Nelson.

SPENCER is a narrative romantic comedy that follows the travails of Spencer Baum, an aspiring filmmaker trying to make his first movie in Brooklyn. Imagine what Woody Allen would be like if he were 26 in 2013 with a Canon 5D. Director Geoff Lerer plus members of the cast will be on hand for an audience Q&A.
PIED PIPER is a satirical folk tale of a simple laundryman, Chunnilal, who is rumored to have acquired his beloved donkey’s brain in a freak accident. Charming millions with his asinine traits, Chunnilal soon rises to become the most popular—and feared—hero of his time. Director Vivek Budakoti and writer/producer Rajita Sharma are traveling from India to Alexandria to field audience questions.

HEARTS AND MINDS is a story of war, psychology and family. The film was nominated for the James Bridges Award at UCLA and writer/director Charlie Guillen won the prestigious 2013 Charles and Lucille King Foundation Award for the work. He will also participate in an audience Q&A.
HOLLYWOOD ON THE POTOMAC. Local author/film reviewer Mike Canning will give a talk based on his book Hollywood on the Potomac: How the Movies View Washington, DC. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Works by local filmmakers include TA (GRANDFATHER), a short film set in Thailand directed by Alexandria-based Kunlakan Chanakan Mamber, WHEELCHAIR DIARIES by George Washington University graduate Reid Davenport and CAPITAL FOOD FIGHT by D.C.-area director Robert Paschen. Films from France, Italy, the U.K., Germany and Brazil are among the international offerings.

This year’s venues for the Alexandria Film Festival include the recently restored Old Town Theater, the historic Lyceum, United Way (Gates Learning Center Auditorium) and Charles Beatley Central Library. A full schedule of films will be available at www.alexandriafilm.org.

Tickets for most screenings are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. (Note that programming at Beatley Library ONLY is free of charge.)

The Alexandria Film Festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of the City of Alexandria Department of Parks and Recreation and Cultural Activities, MOM’s Organic Market, Burke & Herbert Bank, Pulte Homes, Alexandria Hyundai, media partner Alexandria Gazette Packet, and many other corporate sponsors and individual contributors.