Director Ben Younger (“Boiler Room”) and producer Bruce Cohen (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Beauty”) received standing ovations for their newest film, “Bleed For This,” which screened as the Washington West Film Fest Closing Night Film on Sunday, Oct. 23. Both described the film project’s history after the screening.
Photo by Ryan Dunn.
A red carpet was laid out at Reston Town Center’s Bow Tie Cinema for the 6th annual Washington West Film Festival. The festival invited filmmakers, film lovers, industry professionals, and media alike to experience artistic cinema. Founded in 2011, 100 percent of Washington West’s box office net proceeds are given each year to projects committed to alleviating hunger, disease, displacement, or poor education around the world. The event has long been centered in Reston, with films also shown at venues including Wolf Trap National Park, Leesburg Junction, Arlington, and Reston Community Center.
Washington West Film Festival (WWFF)
”We're getting terrific feedback about our Washington West 2016 lineup of films,” said Brad Russell, founder and president of WWFF. The opening night film was a potential Academy Award documentary nominee “Life, Animated.” The film is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic animated films.
The 6th annual Washington West Film Festival (WWFF) showcased fifty-nine films from around the world, including world premieres and D.C. premieres. ”We're getting terrific feedback about our Washington West 2016 lineup of films,” said Brad Russell, founder and president of WWFF. The opening night film was a potential Academy Award documentary nominee “Life, Animated.” The film is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic animated films.
SATURDAY MORNING, on Oct. 22 attorneys from Berenzweig Leonard LLP based in McLean lead a discussion of legal issues in the entertainment industry.Later there was a showing of films made by students at the George Mason University school.
"Washington West Film Festival focuses on stories for change and as such, FAVS has been delighted to partner with this local film festival for several years. Each year, FAVS students work as volunteers and interns in programming, and provide events support. Faculty have volunteered as jurors and often suggest films to the programming committee that reflect a range of storytelling, and excellence in our program. This year, we presented a strong slate of films including films that have exhibited at other festivals. and Professor Lisa Thrasher conducted a Q&A after the screening with students and alumni. If anyone missed the screening and would like to see these films, your next chance will be the Virginia Film Festival on November 5th at 11am in Charlottesville," said Giovanna Chesler, Associate Professor, Film and Video Studies at GMU.
Films in the GMU showcase included short dramas and documentaries such as “Pineapple” by Irem Dogancali, “Southern Hustle” by Brandon Langford, “Keep On Steppin’ Through” by Omar Amalou, “PeFlexia” by Shawn Leister Frasier, “In Safe Hands” by Erblin Nushi, “Earley” by Alisa Posey, “Goodnight Me” by Michael Kamel, and “Beyond the Weld” by Kyle Van Dyke. “Southern Hustle” is a 1930s period drama, and the documentary “Earley” shares a man’s experience with mental illness. Additional documentaries in the festival included “Mile 19” directed by Jemma Davis and “Edges” directed by Katie Stjernholm.
After a 40th anniversary screening of “All the President’s Men,” journalist Bob Woodward offered reflections on journalism and Deep Throat. Academy Award-winning actor Ed Asner returned to the festival, starring in two short films, “Super Sex,” and “Getting Ed Laid.” Following the film screenings, the filmmakers and Asner held an extended Q&A with audience members. Caterers also attended the film festival, including staff from McCormick & Schmick's and Edibles Incredible Desserts. John George, a resident of Reston since 1989, attended the Sunday shows at Reston with his wife. “It is an amazing event,” said George.
THE FILM FESTIVAL is planning to show additional films next year in Arlington.
Steven Spielberg produced film “Finding Oscar” won the festival’s Best Documentary Award, Robert Duvall provided a two-hour conversation with a packed audience about eight iconic scenes from his movie career. Director Ben Younger (“Boiler Room,” “Prime”) and producer Bruce Cohen (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Beauty”) received two standing ovations for their newest film, “Bleed For This,” which screened as the Closing Night Film on Sunday, Oct. 23. “We had over 40 people volunteer their time and energy to make this year's festival a huge success,” said Jessica Durning, Director of Planning & Events and executive assistant to Brad Russell.
For more information about West Film Festival check out : https://wwfilmfest.com/