Our City Film Fest Is Sunday

Posted February 11, 2010 at 12:45pm

Yachad, a local Jewish housing nonprofit, was looking for a way to raise its profile in 2007 and came up with a unique plan: The group would sponsor a film festival. Our City Film Festival will hold its third annual screening this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Goethe Institute in Chinatown.

“It actually works really well with our mission because it brings people together and it allows us a place to celebrate diversity,” explained Kendra Rubinfeld, program coordinator for Yachad.

The first festival took place in 2008. Rubinfeld said she got a lot of support from D.C.’s film community and was surprised to find the festival would fill a gap. Though a lot of films are made in and about the District, there was no film festival dedicated strictly to that genre. This year about 30 films were submitted, and judges narrowed them down to 14 to be shown Sunday.

Andrea Bloom has been involved in all three years of Our City Film Festival.

“I was a graduate student at American University and saw a posting about the Our City Film Festival and decided to submit a piece I’d made for school at that time about the Politics and Prose bookstore,” she said of the first festival. Her contribution, “Of Politics and Prose,” was screened that year. When she submitted her senior thesis, “Extreme Commuting,” to the 2009 festival, it also made the screening.

This year Bloom helped market and distribute the VideoTakes film “Nora!,” a half-hour documentary on Restaurant Nora — the first restaurant certified organic in the District — and restaurateur Nora Pouillon. It will be screened during the third block on Sunday, along with three other films.

Moviegoers can buy tickets for any of the four blocks of films on Sunday for $10 each at ourcityfilmfestival.com. The blocks are themed Our Body, Our Heart, Our Mind and Our Soul. All-day passes are also available for $35. A filmmakers lounge at nearby Fado will have drink specials. Other activities, including filmmaker question-and-answer sessions, will correspond with the films.

In case of weather complications, information will be posted online at ourcityfilmfestival.com.