DC Independent Film Festival

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DC Independent Film Festival
LocationWashington, D.C.
AwardsKennedy Center and US Department of State

The DC Independent Film Festival (DCIFF) is the oldest independent film festival in Washington, D.C. Launched in 1999, DCIFF exhibits features, animation, shorts and documentaries from around the world, focusing on cutting-edge ideas, new visions and advances in the craft of filmmaking. The festival hosts world premieres, seminars, and workshops, and also sponsors discussions on topics that impact independent filmmakers, in particular the annual "On the Hill" hearing hosted by the Congressional Entertainment Caucus.[1] The festival includes a dedicated POLIDOCS section for documentary films that shed light on human rights, politics and social justice and an international high school film competition started in 2013. The festival also has an oral history collection program Going to the Movies documenting the role of movie-watching in US cultural history.

DCIFF has continued to be an essentially volunteer-run festival. DCIFF has not been a curated festival. With the exception of retrospectives and honorees, all films screened are chosen through the submissions process. As of 2019, the festival has embraced the concept of deep discussion about the film and increased interaction between films, filmmakers and audiences.

The festival was founded by Carol Bidault de L'Isle who was Executive Director until 2011 when Deirdre Evans-Pritchard assumed the role. Evans-Pritchard is a trained anthropologist and folklorist who explores humanity's visualization of life and environment, new definitions of visual literacy and the cultural place of the screen.


Held at the Arleigh Burke Theater, the 2010 festival hosted the documentary "The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird and Wired Future and animated short Roue.[2]


The 2012 festival was held between February 29 and March 4 and honored documentarian Les Blank.[3]



The 19th annual festival was held between February 14 and 19th, 2018 at the Burke and Carnegie Theaters in Washington DC.


  • Best of Fest
    • This is Congo, directed by Daniel McCabe (USA / 2018 / 93mins)
  • Best Feature
    • Closure, directed by Alex Goldberg (USA / 2017 / 90mins)
  • Best Documentary
    • Generation Zapped, directed by Sabine El Gemayel, (USA / 2018 / 74mins)
  • Best Documentary Short
    • Daddy, directed by John Gallen & Alex Faoro (USA / 2018 / 30mins)
  • Best International Film
    • Little Fiel, directed by Irina Patkanian (Mozambique & USA / 2018 / 16 minutes)
  • Best Animation
    • Negative Space, directed by Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata (France / 2017 / 5mins)
  • Best Short (fiction)
    • Moving Violation, directed by Laura Hinson (USA / 2017 / 13mins)
  • Best of Metro DC
    • Change in the Family, directed by Sam Hampton, (USA / 2018 / 63mins)
  • High School Film Awards
    • 1st Place: Invisible, directed by Matthew Gannon (USA / 2017 / 7mins)
    • 2nd place: Aftershock, directed by Ryan Beard, Ceci Becker, Alexander Gaither, Stephen Gentry (USA / 2017 / 9mins)
    • 3rd place: CREDIT 1, directed by David Murillo (Chile / 2017 / 4mins)


The 20th annual festival was held between March 1 and 10th, 2019 at the Miracle and Carnegie Theaters in Washington DC and included a retrospective of the work of Australian director Phillip Noyce.


The 2020 dates for the festival were announced to be April 23rd-May 3rd.[4]


  1. ^ "DC Independent Film Festival". Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Orndorff, Amy (26 February 2010). "2010 Washington DC Independent Film Festival". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Joyce, Amy (29 February 2012). "DC Independent Film Festival kicks off today". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ http://www.filmfestdc.org/

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