Washington West Film Festival kicks off five days of films Thursday

The Washington West Film Festival returns for the 10th edition after postponing the event in 2020. (Photo courtesy Washington West Film Festival)

The 10th Washington West Film Festival is back in-person after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will feature 31 films being shown from Thursday through Monday and expand its locations to include Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center, ShowPlace Icon in The Boro Tysons, Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner and CenterStage at the Reston Community Center.

The festival kicks off Thursday night with a single 7 p.m. showing of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” at ShowPlace Icon in the Boro Tysons.

Friday’s films will begin with two blocks of short films at Bow Tie Cinemas. The first block will feature six short films focused on family bonds and the second block will consist of seven shorts documenting the journeys of characters intentionally seeking something.

The remainder of Friday’s films will begin with a double feature block entitled “Making Your Mark,” with documentaries “Love Reaches Everywhere” and “The Shoulders of Giants.” A second double feature will follow about individuals pushing their physical and emotional boundaries with a showing of “Against the Current” and “Last Know Coordinates.”

Capping Friday’s films will be the narrative film “I’M FINE (THANKS FOR ASKING)” with the short film “Are You Okay?” preceding it.

Saturday will mark the official closing night of the festival. It will begin with a 75th anniversary screening of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and will be followed by “Five Years North” and “A Crime on the Bayou.” The evening will be capped by the Washington, D.C., premiere of the documentary “Mission: Joy – Finding Happiness in Troubled Times” and will be preceded by the short film “Alone Together.”

While the festival will close Saturday, Sunday and Monday will also feature a handful of other films.

The ShowPlace Icon will host three blocks of films on Sunday. The blocks will begin with a student showcase of films from George Mason University’s FAVS (Film and Video Studies) student festival. The day will finish off with a reshowing of Friday’s film blocks about family bonds and followed by the documented journeys of characters intentionally seeking something.

The final film on Monday will be “The Blackest Battle,” written D.C. theatre artist Psalmayene 24.

Tickets are still available for purchase on the festival website.

All proceeds of the event will be donated to four charities: Evans Home for Children in Winchester, Baltimore non-profit Blueprint, foster program Virginia Kids Belong, and The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

The full lineup of film blocks with their times and locations is below:

Thursday, Oct. 21

  • 7 p.m. – “The French Dispatch,” at ShowPlace Icon in The Boro Tysons

Friday, Oct. 22

  • 5:30 p.m. – “Shorts Program One: Family Bonds,” at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center
  • 6 p.m. – “Shorts Program Two: Seek and You Will Find,” at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center
  • 7 p.m. – “Making Your Mark,” at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center
  • 8 p.m. – “Beyond the Limits,” at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center
  • 9 p.m. – Short film “Are You Okay?” precedes “I’M FINE (THANKS FOR ASKING),” at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center

Saturday, Oct. 23

  • 10:30 a.m. – “It’s A Wonderful Life,” at Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner
  • 1:30 p.m. – “Five Years North,” at Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner
  • 4:30 p.m. – “A Crime on the Bayou,” at Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner
  • 7:30 p.m. – Short film “Alone Together” precedes “Mission: Joy – Finding Happiness in Troubled Times,” Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner

Sunday, Oct. 24

  • 1 p.m. – Showcase of “best of” films from George Mason University’s FAVS (Film and Video Studies) student festival, at ShowPlace Icon in The Boro Tysons
  • 1:30 p.m. – “Shorts Program One: Family Bonds,” at ShowPlace Icon in The Boro Tysons
  • 4 p.m. – “Shorts Program Two: Seek and You Will Find,” at ShowPlace Icon in The Boro Tysons

Monday, Oct. 25

  • 7:30 p.m. – “The Blackest Battle,” at CenterStage in Reston Community Center

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