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Short-Film Festival Comes to District

As September weather hopefully brings lower temperatures, Washington will be entertained with some short films.

Now in its eighth year, the D.C. Shorts Film Festival will showcase 145 films from 23 different countries Sept. 8-18.

During the competition weekend, Sept. 8-10, films will be screened in 17 90-minute blocks, followed by Q&A sessions with the directors.

The films will then be rescreened throughout the rest of the week in 90-minute blocks at various venues around town.

Festival Director Jon Gann explained that his motive behind organizing the festival was to give short films a showcase they didn’t have before.

Although D.C. is a city of film festivals — with 87 scheduled for 2012 alone, according to Gann’s count — there wasn’t one dedicated to short films until 2003.

“I was disheartened at how those festivals treated filmmakers,” he said. “We’ve really tried to make [the D.C. Shorts Film Festival] about promoting community between filmmakers.”

Part of the way the festival aims to do this is by offering free classes for filmmakers during the festival weekend. Covering everything from technical tools to filming with a tight budget, the classes are offered for filmmakers of all levels.

Aside from the classes, there will also be free lunch screenings during the week at E Street Cinema and free family-oriented screenings during both weekends. Seating is limited, however, so patrons are encouraged to reserve tickets — for the free and the $12 screenings — in advance.

With 145 films offered, it could be tough to decide which screenings to attend. But Gann said no matter what screening viewers attend, they’re likely to walk away feeling satisfied.

“If you hate the one you’re watching, in six minutes, it’ll change to something else. In a screening of nine films, there must be something everyone can like,” he said.

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