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by Fatimah Waseem October 27, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Movie lovers can enjoy eight special screenings today in Reston as the Washington West Film Festival continues for the third day this week. The festival, which will end on Saturday, showcases films from around the world.

The festivities will begin with a happy hour at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market St.) at 4:30 p.m. Screenings explore topics from the life of legendary music man Clive Davis to screenings of several short films about powerful women, darkness and light and family-friendly topics. Davis will also participate in a discussion following the screening.

The day will conclude with a pavilion party at Reston Town Center Pavilion (1818 Discovery St.) at 9 p.m. Audiences, filmmakers and special guests will enjoy an evening of music, dancing and food. Guests are encouraged to wear a mask from a favorite movie. The suggested dress is cocktail attire.

The event is presented in partnership with The Harrison, M&S Grill, and Edibles Incredibles Desserts.

The complete schedule of screenings, discussions with filmmakers and other events in the area is online. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger, illness and limited organization, according to the festival’s website.

Photo via Washington West Film Festival

by Fatimah Waseem October 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Corridor Four, a documentary that follows the story of a 9/11 first responder, will premiere at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market St.) at 7 p.m. as part of the Washington West Film Festival.

A reception, which will include light appetizers and drinks, will follow the screening. The filmmakers and the subject of the documentary will also participate in a question and answer session.

The festival, which began on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, showcases films from around the world.

The complete schedule of screenings, discussions with filmmakers and other events in the area is online. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger, illness and limited organization, according to the festival’s website.

Filmmakers and subject will participate in a Q&A following the Thursday night screening. 7 p.m.

Video via Washington West Film Festival

by Fatimah Waseem October 25, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

The Washington West Film Festival launches today in Reston with a free screening of Deep — Mare Nostrum at Refraction (11911 Freedom Dr.) at 5 p.m.

The movie follows the story of Sofia, who trains to dive after her twin brother dies in a diving championship. The young diver attempts to avenge her brother’s honor after media reports suggested he died due to his own negligence.

This year’s festival will run through Saturday. The complete schedule of screenings, discussions with filmmakers and other events in the area is online

The festival showcases new films from around the world and brings filmmakers and actors for conversation to Reston. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger, illness and limited organization, according to the festival’s website.

Photo via Washington West Film Festival

by Fatimah Waseem October 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

The seventh annual Washington West Film Festival returns to Reston and other locations this Wednesday through Saturday with the theme “A Story Can Change the World.” 

The festival showcases new films from around the world and brings filmmakers and actors for conversation to Reston. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger, illness and limited organization, according to the festival’s website.

On Wednesday at 5 p.m., there will be a free screening of Deep — Mare Nostrum at Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive). The movie is a narrative about a woman who trains to dive in the hopes of avenging her brother’s honor, who died in a diving championship.

The premiere for Corridor Four, a movie that paints a portrait about a 9/11 first-responder, will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market St.). A reception and question and answer session with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

Friday’s schedule is packed with a happy hour with festival guests at Bow Tie Cinemas at 4:30 p.m. Highlights include:

  • Short Film Screenings — Darkness and Light (Bow Tie Cinemas, 5 p.m.) A collection of five short films will begin screening the theater. The films center around the concept of light finding a way to shine through darkness. 
  • Short Film Screenings — Leading Ladies (Bow Tie Cinemas, 6 p.m.): A second collection of six short films about leading ladies will begin, followed by a question and answer session with filmmakers.
  • Clive Davis — The Soundtrack of Our Lives (Bow Tie Cinemas, 7 p.m.): This profile examines the life of Clive Davis, a legendary music man, and explores the cultural revolution of music from the 60s to the rise of hip hop.
  • Family Shorts Showcase (Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, 7:30 p.m.): A free, family-friend screening of fun short films.
  • What Haunts Us (Bow Tie Cinemas, 8 p.m.): This story follows six men from the same year in high school who committed suicide.

Screenings on Saturday run from noon through 9:30 p.m. Highlights include:

  • American Veteran (Bow Tie Cinemas, noon): This documentary explores challenges faced by veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who survived because of advanced medical technology that did not exist in previous wars
  • Free Concert: (Reston Town Center Pavilion, 5 p.m.): The event features composer and guitarist W.G. Snuffy Walden and vocalist Sara Niemietz.
  • Modern Family (Bow Tie Cinemas, 7 p.m.): Guests can watch a free, advanced screening of a new episode of the show as it begins its ninth season.
  • King of Peking (Bow Tie Cinemas, 9 p.m.): This international narrative explores the story of a former projectionists who encourages his young sown to start a pirate movie company.

To view the full schedule, including other events in Arlington, and to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website.

Photo: Washington West Film Festival

by Dave Emke October 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Another pair of celebrities will be part of the festivities surrounding the Washington West Film Festival this week in Reston.

Esteemed record producer Clive Davis will participate in a question-and-answer session Friday night following a presentation of a documentary film about his life. “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market St.).

According to the description of the 123-minute film by director Chris Perkal:

This riveting profile of legendary music man Clive Davis spans a remarkable five-decade career, providing an incredible tour of the most sensational music of the cultural revolution, from the ’60s to the rise of hip-hop. Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys and Sean “Puffy” Combs all attest to Davis as, in Aretha’s words, “the greatest record man of all time.”

According to DCist, actor Robert Duvall — who also participated in the festival last year — will introduce the screening. Duvall’s charity, the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund, is a main beneficiary of proceeds from the festival.

According to the film festival’s website, Duvall’s Children’s Fund is …

… committed to providing for the welfare, health, education and relief of children and their families who are poor, distressed, or underprivileged. This is accomplished, in turn, by promoting and supporting activities of charitable organizations that provide medical assistance, promote education, instruction and development, or provide assistance in meeting requirements relating to food, clothing and other basic needs for children and their families around the world. The Robert Duvall Children’s Fund also strives to educate children about the importance of environmental conservation initiatives through partnerships with nonprofit organizations focused in this area.

Tickets to the event are $35, which includes the screening, the Q-and-A session and admission to that evening’s masquerade party in the Reston Town Center pavilion.

The Washington West Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 25-30 in both Reston and Arlington. For more information about events scheduled as part of the festival, visit its website.

Pictured: Robert Duvall, left, and Clive Davis

by Dave Emke October 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

Some big names have been added to the list of celebrities who will participate in the Washington West Film Festival next weekend at Reston Town Center.

Rapper, actor and activist Common will headline the festival with an in-depth conversation that will also feature Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young. The event will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.), featuring showings of Young and Common’s short films “Letter to the Free” and “Black America Again” prior to the discussion.

Common is a two-time Grammy Award-winning performer and won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” in which he also co-starred and for which Young was cinematographer. In 2011, Common was controversially invited by President Barack Obama to perform at the White House during a poetry event.

Earlier this year, Young became the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar, for his work on the science-fiction film “Arrival.” In addition to that film and “Selma,” Young has also worked on films including “Pariah,” “Mother of George” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” He also worked on “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” scheduled for release in the spring.

Common and Young aren’t the only big names who have been added to the Washington West Film Festival’s lineup.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, actor Ty Burrell will host a free advanced screening of an upcoming episode of long-running ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” on which he stars as father Phil Dunphy. After the showing, Burrell will participate in a 20-minute question-and-answer period with fans.

Burrell has won multiple Primetime Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and more for his work on the critically acclaimed series. He has also been part of numerous other projects including the films “Black Hawk Down,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” and “The Skeleton Twins.”

Burrell is also scheduled to participate in the festival Sunday during the Kids In The Spotlight film program.

The Washington West Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 25-30 in both Reston and Arlington. For more information about events scheduled as part of the festival, visit its website.

Pictured: Ty Burrell, left, and Common

by Dave Emke October 11, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

A Syrian opposition filmmaker, who resides in Reston, was apparently the target of an assassination attempt Tuesday in Istanbul.

According to the Middle East Eye, Muhammad Bayazid was stabbed in the chest while meeting potential investors for his new film project, which focuses on Syria’s notorious Tadmor prison. The film tells the story of a Syrian-American man unjustly imprisoned and tortured there.

The prison was destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015.

Bayazid’s LinkedIn page shows he lives in Reston and is owner of DC-based LightArt Media Productions.

He and his wife, Samah Safi Bayazid, have a short film scheduled to be shown in Reston later this month as part of the Washington West Film Festival. “Fireplace” will be shown Oct. 27 and 28 at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.). Bayazid and his wife are advertised to be participating in question-and-answer sessions following the screenings.

According to the description of that film:

Inspired by true events. It is Christmas Eve in Syria. A small kid plays hide and seek with his dad, picking the most unexpected place to hide — the fireplace. As a jet fighter bombards the house, the fireplace stands. But now, the child finds himself trapped and alone.

Bayazid is in intensive care following the attack, the BBC reports.

by RestonNow.com Sponsor October 2, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Celebrate the transformative power of film with the Washington West Film Festival, an annual showcase of the best new films and talented filmmakers from around the globe.

Create your own fest experience — reserve your favorites from over 40 films we’ll be screening in Reston and Arlington from October 25-30, with a limited time offer to RestonNow community a 30% discount off our popular The Fest Experience.

And the best part is you can feel good about Fest-binging. 100% of our net box office proceeds go to our charity partner each year that works to help alleviate childhood hunger, illness and poor education.

Purchase Today’s Deal Now
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WHEN: October 25-30, 2017

WHEREMultiple locations in Arlington and Reston

WHAT: Enjoy the best a film festival has to offer. By purchasing this pass, you will have the opportunity to explore the variety of film options and styles showcased at the festival — a documentary film, a narrative film, two shorts programs and the Pavilion party.

Story Can Change The World. Learn more about the Washington West Film Festival

by Karen Goff October 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

All the Presidents' Men/Credit: Washington West Film Festival

The sixth annual Washington West Film Festival returns to Reston and other area locations today with its message “Story Can Change the World.”

On tap are more than 50 films — long, short, documentaries and more. Special event VIPS include Oscar winner Robert Duvall; journalist Bob Woodward; and actor Ed Asner, a consistent supporter of the festival.

Today’s presentations will take place in Arlington. The Reston schedule begins Thursday with Life Animated, a documentary about Owen Suskind, a young man with autism who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. The screening is at 7 p.m. at Bow Tie Cinemas at Reston Town Center.

Check the Washington West schedule for Thursday’s other film screenings.

On Friday, there is a family-friendly screening of SNOWTIME!, an animated movie. That event is free and outdoors in the RTC pavilion. Bring chairs or blankets.

You can also catch Almost Sunrise, the epic journey of ex-soldiers, who battle the moral injuries of war, and the temptation to escape through suicide, as they walk across America; and Endless Night starring Juliette Binoche.

Saturday’s highlights include a George Mason University student film showcase; Midsummer in Newtown, a doc about children in Newtown putting on a play in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings; and Win From Within, a presentation of three short films, including one about Maryland tennis star Francis Tiafoe, an immigrant from Sierra Leone.

Also Saturday, a 40th anniversary screening of All the Presidents’ Men, the panel discussion with Woodward; and a VIP party in the Pavilion and the In Conversation and red carpet event with Duvall.

There is a full lineup on Sunday, including a Sound of Music special event at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, and the headline closing film, Bleed For This, a boxing story from Academy Award-winning Producer Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook, American Beauty, Milk).

To see the full film festival schedule, see ticket prices and purchase tickets online, visit the Washington West Film Festival online.

Photo: All the Presidents’ Men/Credit: Washington West Film Festival

by Karen Goff October 10, 2016 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Robert Duvall/Credit: WW Film Festival

The Washington West Film Festival returns to Reston Oct. 19-25 with more than 50 films chosen to reflect the festival theme of “Story Can Change the World.”

It will also be bringing some high-profile Hollywood and media names.

Academy Award-winning actor, director, and writer, Robert Duvall, who lives in nearby Fauquier County, will speak at an “In Conversation with Robert Duvall” event on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at Bow Tie Cinemas Reston. Tickets are $45-50 and available online.

Duvall will share multiple on-screen scenes from his career and answer audience questions after each. Scenes from The Godfather and The Apostle will be included in the sampling and conversations about his career.

The Duvall event will immediately follow the festival’s 2016 Best In Achievement Awards presentations, all beginning at 3 p.m. It will be hosted and moderated by Chris King, Director of Birthday, a 50+ award-winning and Oscar-qualified short film.

Following the Duvall talk there will be a red carpet event on Market Street outside the movie theatre. This event is free to the public.

Also at the festival:

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of All the President’s Men with a screening of the movie and a Q-and-A with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward at Bow Tie on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35-40 and available online.

The ticket to the anniversary screening and panel discussion also includes the After-Party at the Reston Town Center Pavilion.  Audience, filmmakers, and VIPs will celebrate the Washington West Film Festival at the Reston Town Center Pavilion on Oct. 22 (9 – 11:30 p.m.). There will be music, dancing, drinks, and food from M & S Grill.

On Oct. 23 at 2 p.m., head over to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna (education center) for a a Film Vault Classic conversation about the making of the film classic The Sound of Music with actors Heather Menzies Urich (Louisa von Trapp) and Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich von Trapp). The discussion will be moderated by journalist Fred Bronson (Chart Beat, Billboard Magazine). Questions will be received from the audience. Tickets are $10-12 and available online.

Tickets to the other films from around the world range from free to $20. Some will be shown at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage, as well as at Reston Station and other venues.  Check out the full schedule.

Photo: Robert Duvall/Credit: WW Film Festival  

by RestonNow.com October 26, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

The Washington West Film Festival wrapped up its final day in Reston on Sunday with a red carpet event at Bow Tie Cinemas at Reston Town Center.

In addition to about 50 short films, documentaries and international films in keeping with the theme “story can change the world,” this year’s festival — the fifth annual — highlighted the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future.

Sunday’s event featured a bunch of DeLoreans, the sportscar that served as the time machine in the movie trilogy, arriving at town center. On hand Sunday were actor Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc Brown in the movies; Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale; actress Claudia Wells; and special friend of the festival Ed Asner, among other VIPS.

A huge crowd filled Market Street to welcome the DeLoreans and the special guests.

Proceeds from the event benefitted the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Photos courtesy of Vita Images

by Karen Goff October 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

Coach of the Year/Credit: Washington West Film Fetival

The Washington West Film Festival, going on now in Reston and other Northern Virginia locations, is taking the show (s) on the road Friday night.

There will be free movie screenings at Southgate Community Center, 12125 Pinecrest Rd., beginning at 7 p.m.

Here is what you need to know:

Two short film fest movies will be shown: the animated Taking Flight and Great Britain’s The Gift.

The feature presentation is Coach of the Year, about comedy about a Richmond swim team’s quest to win a state championship even though they have no pool in which to practice.

Coach of the Year Director David Stott will also be in attendance for a Q&A with the audience.

Admission and snacks are free. Donations are accepted, and they will be donated to the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund)

Photo: Coach of the Year/Credit: Washington West Film Festival

by Karen Goff October 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm 4 Comments

Back to the Future

How much did Back to the Future get correct about life in 2015?

That’s what NBC Nightly News explored on Tuesday, with Reston Town Center and a time machine DeLorean as the backdrop.

Oct. 21, 2015 was the exact date Marty McFly and Doc Brown found themselves in in the second Back to the Future movie. It was a world with drones, hoverboard skateboards, flying cars, video phone calls and the Cubs winning the World Series.

Well, we’re constantly on the video calls and the Cubs, despite being down 3-0 in the National League Championship Series, still have a (slim) shot.

The tricked-out DeLorean — owned by Back to the Future enthusiast Ken Smith — has been at Reston Town Center all week as the Washington West Film Festival prepares to open tonight. A showing of the entire Back to the Future trilogy begins at Bow Tie Cinemas Reston at 7 p.m.

Reston received a proclamation from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors over the summer ceremoniously changing its name from Reston to Hill Valley, where Back to the Future took place, for the duration of the festival.

Sunday will feature a red carpet screening of the first movie, and a Q-and-A featuring star Christopher Lloyd. That event is sold out.

Check out the NBC News report.

by Heather Mongilio October 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Washington West Film Festival/Credit: WW Film FestivalNorthern Virginia moviegoers will be taken back to 1955 and to the hills of Austria, among dozens of other destinations, at the fifth annual Washington West Film Festival.

The festival runs from Oct. 21-27, with movie showings at Bow Tie Cinemas Reston Town Center and other Northern Virginia locations.

The festival kicks off on Oct. 21 with a screening of the Back to the Future trilogy at 7 p.m., said Reston outreach coordinator Andy Sigle. Oct. 21, 2015 is where Marty McFly and Doc Brown landed when they time traveled in Back to the Future.

The film festival will also hold a red carpet showing of the first film on Sunday, and actor Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc and Bob Gale, one of the trilogy’s writers, are expected to attend, Sigle said.

The festival will also feature a 50th anniversary screening of The Sound of Music at The Barns of Wolf Trap on Oct 24 at 7:30 p.m.

The festival includes more than 45 other films, including featured, independent and short films and documentaries. Among the highlights: a showcase of films by George Mason University students; a documentary about Matt Rutherford, the first person to sail alone around North and South America; and a documentary My Friend Ed, about longtime actor Ed Asner the reality behind heroes vs celebrities.

See the full schedule and purchase tickets on the Washington West website.

This year, the festival is trying to reach further in the Reston community, Sigle said. Sigle says there will be streetlight banners at Reston Town Center drawing greater awareness for the event.

“We’re trying to be much more out front with people in the Reston Town Center.”

The festival is reaching out to parts of the Reston community that usually do not attend the festival, such as those living near the Southgate Community Center, Sigle said.

To remedy that, there will be a free screening (donations accepted) at Southgate of Coach of the Year, a movie about a swim team struggling to practice without having a pool, at the center. Two short films, Taking Flight and The Gift, will also be shown.

“We’ll take the film festival to that area of Reston instead of hoping that area will come to us,” Sigle said.

The proceeds of this year’s festival will go the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund.

“It is kind of cool that the festival combines the love of the arts and philanthropy,” Sigle said.

by Karen Goff October 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm 2,749 6 Comments

Back to the Future/Credit : Universal Pictures

Reston is going Back to the Future.

In honor of the Washington West Film Festival’s fifth birthday and the movie Back to Future’s 30th anniversary, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July passed a resolution symbolically changing Reston’s name during the five days of the Washington West Film Festival.

The film festival, running at Reston’s Bow Tie Cinema, among other Northern Virginia locations, begins Oct. 21.

Hill Valley was the name of the town where Back to the Future hero Marty McFly lived. And the date, Oct. 21. 2015, was the exact spot on the calendar where the DeLorean deposited Marty and Doc in the movie.

Washington West will host two Back to the Future events at Bow Tie Reston: A trilogy marathon on Oct. 21, as well as a red carpet screening of Back to the Future Part 1 on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Scheduled to appear at the Oct. 25 screening: Actor Christopher Lloyd (Doc); trilogy co-writer and producer Bob Gale; Claudia Wells (Marty’s girlfriend in Part 1); and others.

Box office proceeds from the Oct. 25 red carpet screening will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

“Back To The Future represents for us the idea of dreaming what could be, and the potential personal impact every individual can have on the future,” says Washington West Founder and President Brad Russell. “Washington West is entirely about inspiring innovative ways to change our future and our world.”

See the full lineup of events and films on Washington West’s website.

Photo: Back to the Future/Credit : Universal Pictures 

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