‘East’ opens D.C. fest devoted to world cinema

'Instrument,' 'Rats' rep local talent, various venues to screen intl. pix

WASHINGTON — The works of two local D.C. filmmakers are among the more than 100 features, documentaries and shorts from 30 countries unspooling at the 14th annual Washington, D.C. Intl. Film Festival. Fest’s mission is “to represent the broad geographical diversity of world cinema.”

Filmfest opened Wednesday night with a gala at General Cinema Theaters in Mazza Gallerie and the Washington premiere of “East Is East,” an award-winning feature by British filmmaker Damien O’Donnell. Pic’s part of Filmfest’s New British Cinema series.

New Turkish cinema is another focus of the fest, which runs through April 16 with screenings at a variety of venues, including the American Film Institute, National Gallery of Art, the Embassy of France and the National Geographic Society.

D.C. docus

The first local effort is Jem Cohen’s “Instrument: Ten Years With the Band Fugazi,” which follows the career of the D.C. hardcore band. Cohen filmed the group over the years at rehearsals, in concert and on the road. Docu “Rats,” by native Washingtonian James M. Felter, is described in the fest’s program as being “as much about the joys and challenges of contemporary D.C. living as it is an exploration of the battle to eradicate the city’s notorious vermin infestation.”

Fest also offers Films for Families and as well as the free programs Filmfest D.C. for Kids and Cinema for Seniors. Tony Gittens is the festival director and executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.ner Entertainment.

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