Our City Film Fest
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TitleFestival YearDirectorRun TimeSynopsis
Festival Category
Can I Kick It?2008Gabe Uhr7 minEither the sport of kickball has matured or adults have regressed. This short examines the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA), which began in DC and has since grown into an international operation.Our Bodydocumentarysports, kickball, community, World Adult Kickball AssociationDowntown
To Steal a Bicycle
2008Jes Therkelsen13 minThe sting of having a bike stolen can be painful and the process of recovery even worse. Told through the voices of real victims, this film amusingly investigates public awareness, police response and pro-shop experience. Just how easy is it to get away with bike theft in Washington?Our Bodydocumentarybicycle, theft,
Ready to Play2008
Jennifer Crescenzo
61 minOver the last fifteen years Coach "Crash" Crescenzo has taken a passion for baseball and built a neighborhood institution, the D.C. Glover Park Co-Ed Softball League. As administrations come and go the softball league keeps bringing neighbors out to play ball and keeps a changing community connected.Our Bodydocumentarysoftball, community, Glover Park, neighborhoodGlover Park
Of Politics and Prose
2008Andrea Bloom10 minThis short showcases on of the last remaining independent bookstores in Washington and how it has flourished while other independent stores have failed. Our Minddocumentaryindependent, bookstores
Chevy Chase, Cleaveland Park
The Tivoli: A Neighborhood Landmark Reborn
2008Walter Gottlieb20 minThe story of one of America's most elaborate movie houses is unraveled as the Columbia Heights theater's eighty year history is told by famous Washingtonians such as Diane Rehm of NPR.Our Minddocumentarytheater, Columbia Heights, landmark
Columbia Heights
An Impression: Dischord Records
Kylos Brannon and Leena Jayaswal
5 minThis short explores the D.C. punk scene, the record label behind it, and how "D.C. was put on the map" through the voices and personalities of local rockers, writers and producers. Our Minddocumentaryindependent, record label, punk
Blue Line2008Gemal Woods35 minMeet Christon Bacon, aka Christylez. He's a musician, visual artist, an emcee, and a community activist. This visual journal peeks into the life of this young .D.C 'renaissance man' as he rides the Metro to spread his art and his hop for his city.Our MinddocumentaryMetro, musician, activist, visual artistAnacostia
Lessons from the Waterfront
Multi-Media Training Institute
33 minThis film, written and shot by youth of Multi-Media Training Institute explores the history and current state of Anacostia River through various perspectives. The film is shot and produced by "at risk" D.C. youthOur HeartdocumentaryAnacostia, river, youth, environmentalAnacostia
Chocolate City2008
Ellie Walton & Sam Wild
47 minWashington is home to America's proportionally largest black population. This film documents the struggle of the Arthur Capper/ Carrolsburg housing community as they face demolition as part of the Hope 6 regeneration program for the WaterfrontOur HeartdocumentaryArthur Capper, Carrolsburg, Waterfront, Hope 6, Waterfront, gentrificationAnacostia
Tess Moran & Ben Crosbie
8 minStep inside the doors of the Edges Barbershop on 14th and U streets. Meet customers young and old as lively conversations go on about everything from women to politics to life outside jail. Our Souldocumentarybarbershop, 14th Street, U StreetU Street
G-D of a Second Chance
2008Paul Wagner82 minThis documentary explores the role of faith in the lives of two Black men dealing with the toughest challenges of life in D.C.'s poorest neighborhood. Two men, one recovering drug addict and another "at risk" youth, reach out to their community for guidance in improving their lives.Our Souldocumentaryneighborhood, community, drug addiction, "at risk" youthAnacostia
Extreme Commuting
2009Andrea Bloom28 minA driver, train rider and bicyclist each ride 90 minutes or more to get to work in Washington, D.C. The documentary follows the daily paths of their three professionals as they negotiate their way through one of the most congested cities in the nation, shedding light on this ever expanding subculture of people who are forced into or choose to do this extreme type of commute. Our Bodydocumentarycommute, traffic, congestion, bicyclist, train rider, driver
The Game Comes Home
Jeffrey Herberger
I hour 26 minWith Major League Baseball back in the nation's Capital after a void of nearly forty years, The Game Comes Home chronicles the legendary stories of Washington baseball through the family members of great players, the writers and sportscasters who have and still cover the games, and the fans who have never gone away. Our BodydocumentaryMajor League Baseball, Washington Nationals, sports, baseballNavy Yards
Green Hair Grey Hair
Katrina Taylor & Rachel Williams
28 minWhat happens when you take a group of punk rockers and a group of African American senior citizens and you put them in a room together. The answer is the documentary, Green Hair Grey Hair, which attempts to capture the current gentrification of Washington, D.C.Our Minddocumentarypunk, African Americans, senior citizens, gentrification
Carousel of Memories
2009Cintia Cabib26 minFrom and amusement park ride, to a symbol for the civil rights movement, to an endangered work of art, this documentary captures stories about Glen Echo Park's historic Dentzel carousel in Glen Echo, Maryland.Our Minddocumentarycarousel, Glen Echo, Maryland, amusement park, civil rights movement
Demand the Vote
DC Vote & D.A.A.S. Wuz Up Entertainment
4 minA music video created and produced by DC Vote for the original go-go song entitled "Demand the Vote". The song is performed by Joe L Da Vessel and his band Melodic, featuring more than 100 D.C. residents, including local elected officials Del. Eleanor Norton and Vince Gray.Our Mindmusic videovote, go-go, music, video, Joe L Da Vessel, Melodic,
Making Mothers
Ben Crosbie & Tessa Moran
25 minThe Family Health and Birth Center in Northeast D.C. is more than a place for mothers to come, it's a place for mothers to become. The story follows one of the center's midwives who strives to provide peaceful home births and a breast feeding peer counselor who imparts her experience as a teen mom. They pursue their passion by empowering the women they encounter, and the community in which they work.Our Heartdocumentarymidwife, birth, birthing, community, healthTrinidad
U Street 2009
Kevin Simms & Filmmakers for Tomorrow
23 minAfter the loss of his father, a student at University of DC, finds himself lost and apathetic to the world around him. After being assigned a paper on D.C. landmark, James discovers the rich history of U Street, known as "Black Broadway" and rediscovers himself through his city's history. Through beautiful reenactments of U Street's heyday, James travels back in time to such landmarks as Ben's Chili Bowl and the Lincoln Theater and witnesses the riots of the 1960s. Our HeartnarrativeU Street, "Black Broadway," Ben's Chilli Bowl, Lincoln Theater, riots, historyBest NarrativeU Street
Redemption Stone
2009Tom Dziedzic30 minRedemption Stone introduces Tom Lewis, a storyteller of quiet power who brings extraordinary spirit to his life and work. Tom's compelling memoir recounts the aftereffects of poverty, social upheaval and rebirth that shape his unique American journey. Life altering experiences force Tom to confront the challenging issues he faces and to turn hardship into hope for the children in his Washington, DC community. Our Heartdocumentarypoverty, community, activism, storyteller
Ballou2009Michael Patrie1 hour 20 minThe documentary film follows the talented Washington Ballou Senior High School Marching Band as they overcome their negative environment filled with guns, drugs and violence and uplift the community with music, dedication and personal sacrifice. This Washington, DC High School Marching Band-from an impoverished community just 3 miles away from the US Capitol building- is on its ways to a national band competition. They are a family with heart and soul that use hard work, discipline and compassion to overcome all obstacles. Our Souldocumentaryhigh school, marching band, music, violence,
Best Feature Length Documentary
Fresh Farm Markets
2010Video Takes7 min 30 secsThey are hard to miss. They take over the streets. Attract thousands every week and usually cause a scene. They are DC's farmer markets and, as this documentary explains, they are just as rich in history and culture as their organic vegetables are in flavor and color. These grower-only community markets have been instrumental in restoring, or, in some cases, creating an intimate sense of community in the district by providing a forum for local businesses. In a time when local is the way to go for our bodies and our economy, this documentary showcases one of DC's hottest attractions.Our Bodydocumentaryfarmer market, neighborhood, organic, food
Best Mini Documentary
Not a Distant Beast
Douglas F. Williamson
10 minWhile many films focus on animals in wild habitats, many people, filmmakers included, forget that the human habitat is also part of nature and part of the environment. This short documentary focuses on Carl Cole, a lifetime Washingtonian, and his relationship with the ever changing and ever polluted Anacostia River. Our Bodydocumentaryanimals, Anacostia River, activism, wildlifeAnacostia
The Real McCoys
Melissa Thompson
21 minMeet Nina and Mickey McCoy, school teachers from Inez, KY, as they take their fight against King Coal to Washington. This short film documents some of the disastrous impacts of coal mining on Central Appalachia all the while reminding us that Washington, DC is the final destination for all good activists. Our Bodydocumentarycoal, Kentucky, teachers, activism, Appalachia, mining
Best Mini documentary
Midnight Snack2010
Jeremy Diamond
10 minIt's two o'clock in the morning and college students, Jeremy Diamond and Mike Marshall are hungry. Craving more than a standard 24 hour chain restaurant, they grab a camera and head out on the town looking for fun and calories. This light-hearted short showcases some of the more popular local fare amongst party-animals and food-critics alike. Our Bodydocumentarysnack, late night, food,
9:30: Our Scene
2010Mark Colegrove2 min 30 secA hilarious mock trailer for a pretentious dramatic film set at the famous Washington DC rock house, the 9:30 Club. Our Bodymock trailer9:30 club, mock, rock, music
At 9th and S2010
Kaveh Rezaei & Peggy Fleming
10 minIf you think checkers is a kids' game, we dare you to tell that to the men playing at 9th and S streets NW. The members of Capital Pool Checkers Men's Club have been playing competitively since 1985 and they mean business. Men ranging in age from 40 to 80 gather nearly everyday to not just play the game, but to win. No kids allowed...unless that is, they are there to beat dad or grandpa. Our Minddocumentarycheckers, Northwest, men, club,
Best Mini-Documentary
Lens and Pens: Art in an Unexpected Place
2010Deborah Schull30 minThis documentary is about a photography program that is run by volunteers at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.Our MinddocumentarySt. Elizabeths
Next Stop: Silver Spring
2010Walter Gottlieb90 minThis feature-length documentary tells the fascinating story of the B&O Railroad station in Silver Spring, MD. It's a round-trip ticket to the golden days of passenger railroading, and a tale of historic preservation against the odds. Our MinddocumentarySilver Spring, B&O railroad,
Best Outside DC Documentary
Silver Spring
The Old Days: Jewish Life in D.C.
2010Esther McBride26 minImagine a city where the watermelon man, the iceman and the horse-driven fire engine are common sights. There is a sandlot baseball and a swimming race at the beach where the Jefferson Memorial now stands. The world comes to life through pictures and stories from eleven older Jewish Washingtonians who grew up during the 20th Century.Our SouldocumentaryJewish Washingtonians, Jefferson Memorial, 20th Century
Best Short Documentary
Straight Up Go-Go
Shuaib Mitchell, Sowande Tichawonna & Fred Brown, Jr.
1 hourA re-release of 1990s classic documentary on the history, sociology, and culture of DC's own GO-GO music. Featuring interviews and performance footage of some of DC's legendary GO-GO bands including the Junkyard Band, Pleasure E.U., and of course, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers. Our Souldocumentarygo-go, music, legends
Nora!2010Video Takes25 minAs a young Austrian immigrant, Nora Pouillon was surprised by the lack of knowledge Americans had about their food, so she set out to try to educate the public by revealing the simple secrets of her delicious cuisine. Three decades after opening Restaurant Nora, the nation's first certified organic restaurant, Nora continues to advocate a holistic lifestyle that is the foundation for both her cuisine and her commitment to living and eating sustainably. Our Heartdocumentaryorganic, ethnic food, food, immigrantsDupont
FL3242010Yi Chen10 minAspiring Asian artist Mike asks his boyfriend Sam to move out upon his estranged father's unexpected visit. But nothing turns out as expected for Mike and he finds himself trapped in a clash of deceptions. Filmed entirely in D.C. with familiar shots of DC neighborhoods and every day sites, FL324 brings drama to "our city."Our HeartnarrativeDC, neighborhoods, Asian artist,
Best narrative short
415 M 2010
Stephanie Slewka
8 min 30 secBuilt as a home for a merchant in the 1860s, this Victorian house located at 415 M St. NW, has sheltered many tenants from different walks of life and faiths. It was D.C.'S first YMHA, then its first Hebrew Home for the Aged. Later, it was an Orthodox Synagogue, a Baptist Church, a gay-lesbian Community Church, and now a home once again. 415M is a true celebration of the rich history and wealth of culture our city beholds.Our Heartdocumentaryneighborhood, diversity, historyMt. Vernon
Shepherd Park: Past and Present
2010Walter Gottlieb26 minThis short documentary tells the story of a once exclusively white community that became one of, if not the, city's first truly integrated suburbs. Childhood resident, Walter Gottlieb, explores how its unique past shapes its diverse present.Our Heartdocumentaryneighborhood, diversity, history, integrationShepherd Park
Equilibrium City
2011Josef Sawyer25 minThe history of how Columbia, Maryland was built is told through the eyes of early residents like Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, exploring how despite death threats and extreme racial unrest in the 1960s, developer Jim Rouse built a new kind of city that was open to all Americans regrdless of race, color or creed.documentarysuburb, neighborhoods, history
Best DC Suburb Documentary
Babylon Central
Eric Hilton Produced by Thievery Corporation
101 minSebastian "Seb" James is a courier by day and aspiring DJ by night. When he forgets an important delivery, Seb finds himself an unwitting participant with a Saudi prince and his attempt to change the currency for oil. As Seb begins to fall or the Prince's daughter and his friends are dragged into the conflict, the powers that control modern-day Babylon-Washington, DC- are exposed and the US Empire is called into question. Musical soundtrack includes tracks by Thievery Corporation, Bad Brains and many more.narrativeCourier, DJ, Babylon
DC Cupcakes2011TLCAnyone who has gone past M Street in Georgetown has likely seen the line out the door of the little cupcakery called Georgetown Cupcakes. Now you can avoid the line, taste the cupcakes, watch the show that made the "Cupcake Laides" so popular, and even get a lesson in cupcake decorating from the ladies themselves! reality showcupcakes, realtiy show, women, entrepreneurs
She's a Sensei 2011Michael Blain20 minCarol Middleton is a seventh-degree tae kwon do black belt and pioneering female martial artist. This film chronicles Carol's journey from the midwest to Washington DC where she founded and directs the DC Self Defense Karate Association, working with students of all backgrounds and ages.
Docs in Progress
documentarymartial arts, women, black belts, karateMt. Pleasant
Letting in the Jungle
Jesse Achtenberg
40 minFollow young explorer James Graham of Anacostia as he uncovers the hidden lives of urban wildlife, and what their increasing presence in our backyard means for environmental education. As the challenges faced by eagles, osprey, deer, foxes and coyotes are revealed, James begins to uncover why conservation pioneers are increasingly looking at the concrete jungle to teach environmental values.
Docs in Progress
documentaryAnacostia, environment, wildlife, educationAnacostia
Community Harvest
Lance and Brandon Kramer
10 minThis short film celebrates the natural and cultural harvests of our community, documenting the dramatic transformation of a forgotten lot in Columbia Heights into a majestic, public garden and collaborative green space.Our Docsdocumentarycommunity garden, Columbia Heights
Best Short Documentary
Columbia Heights
Touch, Pause, Engage
2011Jonni Masella11 minTouch, Pause, Engage, tells the story of a teacher and a coach, Tal Bayer, as he combines his two passions: inspiring under-privileged kids and playing rugby. Watch as the first African American high school rugby team is born in the heart of NE WashingtonOur Docsdocumentaryrugby, high school, coach, North East, African AmericanTrinidad
The Washington Redskins: Winning Years
2011Walter Gottlieb17 minThis film is a must for anyone who knows, is, or wishes they could be a Redskins' fan. Through interviews with former players, cheerleaders, fans and even famous actors and comedians, this short documentary takes a nostalgic look back at the team's glory days from 1982 to 1992 when they went to the Super Bowl four times.Our Docsdocumentaryfootball, cheerleaders, Super Bowl, Redskins, NFL
Raymond and Lina
2011Mark Pagan11 minRaymond Johnson is a 62-year-old veteran. Lina Overton is a quiet 8-year-old. During one day in late summer, the two will discover that their lives will be closer than ever expected.Our Narrativesnarrativeveteran, summer, youth
Audio Files2011Scott Lunt7 minIn a tale of two playlists, a young man finds the girl of his dreams in an odd mishap on the Metro. Against the backdrop of songs by a local band, Daddy Lion, the man experiences a typical day in the city with fresh ears and a lighter step.Our NarrativesnarrativeMetro, music, local, romance
Best Short Narrative
Tiebreaker2011Ishu Krishna5 minTwo roommates are sick of disagreeing all the time. They decide to find a "tiebreaker" who will do the deciding for them but find that this is easier said than done. Our Narrativesnarrativeroomates, tiebreaker
Types in Stereo2011Gemal Woods10 minTypes in Stereo is about how we can exist in multiple spaces. Stereotypes make light of those things that are either generally accepted, popularly true or made myth through misinterpretation. This short film will bring us in and out of the world of stereotypes. Our Narrativesnarrativestereotypes, misrepresentation
Fly By Light 2012Ellie WaltonIn the summer of 2011, fifteen high school students from diverse neighborhoods across Washington DC were uprooted from the hustle of inner-city life to beautiful mountain vistas and springs of West Virginia. For many of the teenagers, this was their first time leaving the concrete confines of the city. Follow them on this transformational journey
Docs in Progress
documentaryhigh school, students, inner-city, nature
One Punch at a Time
Lawrence Dortch
9 minThis short documentary tells the inspirational story of Asia Stevenson, an 18-year-old boxer hoping to qualify for the first women's U.S. Olympics Boxing Team. Growing up in foster care, Asia was an angry young girl but found a home in Headbangers Boxing Club.Our Bodydocumentaryboxing, youth, foster care, womenNavy Yards
Fast Forward2012
Brian Beary & Marcel Acosta
13 minThis short documentary provides a glimpse into the struggles and successes of founding DC's now thriving gay and lesbian running club, The Front Runners. Our Bodydocumentarygay, lesbian, running
The Vigil201230 minThis documentary tells the story of a Pakistani classical dancer, trained in the an ancient Hindu art form, who journeys home from her adopted home of DC for the performance of her lifetime. The film represents one of the myriad international presences in our city. Our BodydocumentaryPakistan, dance, immigration
Best documentary
Chevy Chase, Cleaveland Park
Let's Get Out of Here
Sareen Hairabedian
12 minThis short documentary explores the meaning and reason behind DC's youngest street artists and their "paste and run" attitude. Our Heartdocumentarystreet art, youthAdams Morgan
Life as a Collage
Forest Penrod & Lance Kramer
24 minThis documentary is made by seven DC students in an attempt to give a lcoal artist and beloved teacher at the Sitar Center, Tim Gabel, a last chance to speak words of wisdom as he struggles with terminal liver cancerOur Heartdocumentarystudents, art, teacher,
Best Student Film
Adams Morgan
St. Elizabeth's Hospital: A Brief History
Dustin Harrison-Atlas
9 minThis historical documentary explores the turbulent rise, decline and rebirth of mental healthcare in the 21st century, using Washington's St. Elizabeth Hospital as a microcosm.Our Minddocumentarymental health, history, hospitalSt. Elizabeths
A Monument for Martin Luther King, Jr
2012Tim Come6 minThis short is a thoughtful video essay exploring the significance of MLK,Jr Memorial and the future of memorials in our modern world. Our Mindvideo essaymemorials, Downtown
The Road to Rehabilitation and Reform
Angeal Massino & Daniel Okankwo
20 minCommitted youth, judges, mental health experts and others tell the story of DC'S juvenile justice agency's horrible failures and now hopeful successes.Our Minddocumentaryyouth, juvenile justice system, mental health,
First Day Home2012
Drew Lewis & Joshua Choen
14 minDC serves as a backdrop to this short narrative about Cory's first day out of prison after a five year stint. He visits those most important to him to make amends and settle scores.Our Soulnarrativeprison, youth
Out for Good2012
Nico Colombant
19 minThis short documentary follows DC resident, Eddie Ellis, Jr. as he struggles to recover from his 15 years in prison, while at the same time searching for ways to improve the difficult fate of home-comers across the United states. Our Souldocumentaryprison, justice
Lance and Brandon Kramer
8 minThis short documentary tells the story of how a city block was inspired to come together through music. Our Souldocumentarymusic, neighborhoodMt. Pleasant
Oxygen for the Ears: Living Jazz
2013Stefan ImmlerThe story of Jazz music's past, present and promising future as told through the lens of DC's lively jazz sceneOur Bodydocumentaryjazz, music, history, future, presentU Street
Silence in My Mind
2013Jess TherkelsenKerry Klein finds peace in her violin...can sheOur Minddocumentarymusic, women
Walk With Me2013
Tanisha Christie & Ellie Walton
This film follows three generations of women who use theater to inspire, stir and animate social change in our democracy.Our Minddocumentarywomen, activism, generations, history
Forgiving all My Enemies
The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking GWU
Three Boys from DC neighborhoods that destine them for prison, rise up by creating a Go-Go band at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a local community center. While they face issus that put the band in jeopardy, they also must deal with their own complicated personal circumstances. expand this state of mind into other aspects of their life.Our Minddocumentarymusic, go-go, youth, community
Eastern Market, Navy Yards
73 Cents2013
Ben Crosbie & Jamie Crausman
After losing her husband to cancer, a grieving widow advocates for easier access to patient information through her art in this heartfelt story about how love can inspire change. Our Heartdocumentaryillness, widow, health care, art
Chevy Chase, Cleaveland Park
Vuela, Vuela Mariposa
Meridian Hill Pictures and Mundo Verde Public Charter School Students
Kindergartners from a bilingual DC Charter School partner with filmmakers to make a short film about the life of monarch butterflies.Our Heartshort filmbutterflies, students, youth
Columbia Heights
The Red Line DC Project
2013Saaref YosephA two-part documentary that explores the Metro's Red Line route and challenging line between graffiti and communal artOur Heartdocumentarygraffiti, art, MetroBrookland
Locating U2013Kyle PienaarA history and analysis of the ongoing gentrification of DC's diverse U Street neighborhood. The documentary pays particular attention to the Ethiopian community's role in the neighborhood as well as the historic restaurant, Ben's Chili Bowl.Our Souldocumentarygentrification, U Street, Ethiopian, community, Ben's Chilli BowlU Street
A short History of Sweet Potato Pie and How it Became a Flying Saucer
2013Nina SeaveyAt the age of 82, Peral Mallory has lived nearly her entire life working in the kitchens of senior citizen homes. But Pearl's cuisine is not the traditional beige and grey offerings normally found in institutional walls. Her specialty- sweet potato pie- inspires the most extraordinary and unexpected effect on the normally sober and otherwise staid residents of DC's St. Mary's Home.Our Souldocumentaryelders, baking, pie, homeMichigan Park
Muralismo DC/DC Muralism
2013Alberto RoblestAn exploration of Dc's rich Latino mural making tradition and its contrast in our changing neighborhoods, told through interviews with the artists and community.Our Souldocumentaryart, murals, Latinos
Columbia Heights
Chinatown2013Yi ChenThe last native residents in the now "gentrified" Chinatown neighborhood struggle to find afforable housing, authentic Chinese grocery stores and a sense of community. Director Yi ChenOur Souldocumentarygentrification, Chinatown, ChineseChinatown