Washington West Film Festival Begins Thursday

Check out movie screenings, live events at second annual event in Reston and other Northern Virginia locations.

The Washintgon West Film Festival returns to Reston this weekend with a four-day lineup of independent movies and special events.

The inaugural Washington West Film Festival was held last November, featuring the local premiere of the highly acclaimed HBO movie, The Loving Story. The festival's theme is "Story Can Change the World," and the film festival founders will donate proceeds to a charity working to change the world.

Some highlights of this year's film festival:

* Opening Night Film and Party, Thursday: A screening of The Keenan Kampa Story, the director's cut of a documentary of The film is directed by Ken Ferguson. The screening is Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.

* Friday - Six film screenings at  Bow Tie Cinema Reston 13 at Reston Town Center and at the newAngelika Film Center in the Mosiac District near Merrifield. The feature documentary is a Director's Spotlight at 8:30 p.m. with Tom Shadyac and his film I AM.

Shadyac, a Virginia native, wrote and/or directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, and Patch Adams.  I AM asks "What is wrong with our world?"  and "what can we do to make it better?"

* Saturday  - Eight more screenings in Reston and at Angelika.  Highlights include the 4 p.m. Director's Spotlight with Brad Hall and his wife, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Hall will be presenting his new short film Picture Paris

 There will be a 5:30 p.m. Director's Spotlight and screening with David Darg and Bryn Mooser, who made Baseball in the Time of Cholera, a film about the plight of epidemic in Haiti. The film was exeuctive produced by actress Olivia Wilde.

The prime time presentation is a screening of the movie An Article of Hope, as well as the festival's Best in Acheivement Awards for Best Short Film, Best Short Film Director, Best Feature Narrative, Best Feature Documentary.

An Article of Hope, executived produced by Tom Hanks and directed by DC native Dan Cohen,  is a documentary film that details the life mission of Col. Ilan Ramon, the first and only Israeli astronaut. Ramon was aboard the Shuttle Columbia, where he carried with him into space a cherished artifact, a miniature Torah scroll that had survived the Holocaust.  

* Sunday  - The festival concludes with a 1 p.m. screening of Happy at Bow Tie Cinema. In this feature-length film, the creators traveled the world to find out what makes people happy.

To see a full film festival lineup and purchase tickets, click here.


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