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Filmfest DC Brings Arab and International Films to Washington, DC April 14-24

posted on: Apr 7, 2016

Filmfest DC Celebrates 30 Years of Bringing International Films to Washington, DC

Purchase Tickets Here 

WASHINGTON – Film lovers, movie-goers, and global culture enthusiasts – get ready to celebrate the Washington, DC International Film Festival’s (FILMFESTDC) 30th Anniversary!

As the first, largest and only international film festival in the nation’s capital, Filmfest DC has continuously met its commitment to bring new, diverse and entertaining films to Washington residents and visitors.

With a history spanning from 1987, Filmfest DC has grown alongside an audience that values and appreciates quality, entertaining movies from around the globe.

This year, April 14-24, 2016, the festival will bring 75 films from 35 to 45 countries to show on 6 screens across 11 days during 1 exciting festival please change Films span across a variety of sections, including World View (international dramas), The Lighter Side (comedies), Trust No One (thrillers and espionage), Rhythm On & Off Screen (music and dance), Justice Matters (social justice), Shorts (international and women-directed) and Cine Cubano. Representing the festival’s commitment to help bring insight to timely issues, Cine Cubano will showcase three films focused on life in today’s Cuba. Numerous directors and filmmakers will be present throughout the festival for questions and/or discussions. The Opening Night celebration, sponsored by the Embassy of Australia, will take place on April 14 and feature The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet. The film led the 5th AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Awards with 13 nominations.

FILMFEST DC Arab Films Featured:

Included in this year’s line-up, Filmfest DC will feature 6 new films from the Arab world plus one short film. These films, which represent diverse and timely topics, offer a unique cultural experience and an entertaining window into other societies.  

Arab America ( is a proud media sponsor of FILMFEST DC.


Films include The Idol, directed by Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad. This feature tells the story of Mohammed Assaf, a wedding singer from a refugee camp in Gaza, who went on to win the Arab Idol singing competition in 2013.


Sweet Smell of Spring is an ironic comedy about the birth of the Arab Spring by Tunisia’s leading director and screenwriter, Ferid Boughedir, who will be present for the World Premiere of this film.


Let Them Come is a gripping drama set in the 1980’s during Algeria’s clash with radical Islamists. Director Salem Brahimi will be present to address the audience.


Documentary filmmaker Mai Masri comes to Filmfest DC with her first drama feature, 3000 Nights, winner of the Audience Award at the Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain and the Annonay International Film Festival in France.


Also featured will be Nabil Ayouch’s controversial film Much Loved from Morocco


The World Premiere of Nasser’s Republic: The Making of Modern Egypt, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Michal Goldman.


The winner of the Short Film Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Waves ’98 from Lebanon, will be included in Filmfest DC’s shorts program, Short Cuts 1.

FILMFEST DC Guest Directors
The following guest directors will be in attendance along with their films from the Arab World and will conduct a Q&A discussion with the audience immediately following each screening:

3000 Nights
In Person: Director Mai Masri


Let Them Come
In Person: Director Salem Brahimi


Nasser’s Republic: The Making of Modern Egypt                                                                                           In Person: Director Michal Goldman


Sweet Smell of Spring
In Person: Director Ferid Boughedir


The full Filmfest DC catalog will be released in the Friday, April 8th issue of The Washington Post.

All screenings will take place at Landmark’s E Street Cinema and AMC Mazza Gallerie Theatre.

For information go to: or call 202-234-FILM (3456) 

To purchase Tickets, additional information, including film summaries and opening and closing night events, will be available at


Complied by Arab America