Checking In with Festival Director, Deirdre Evans-Pritchard

Last week, we closed our call for submissions for the 2014 DC Independent Film Festival. We’ve received an incredible response of over 1,000 films from the international film community. Our staff has worked hard to keep up with the flow of submissions to make sure each film gets the attention it deserves. While we understand enthusiasm is high to take part in the festival, unfortunately, we can only spotlight about 60 during our five-day run.

In addition to choosing the festival lineup, our amazing group of volunteer-only staff is busy scheduling seminars, workshops, panel discussions and more. Our staff – willing to donate their free-time to support film and filmmakers – is one of the unique aspects that drew me to becoming festival director. While there are many opportunities to see films in the city, at DCIFF, we prioritize our programming to focus on filmmakers and the benefits they could reap. For DC residents, coming out to see exceptional films is an experience beyond just entertainment which provokes thoughtful discussions and, most importantly, directly helps local talent.

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Our wonderful staff celebrate during last year’s successful festival

Another unique aspect is our accessible submission requirements. DCIFF accepts films of any length, genre or format as long as the content is not pornographic. We also keep submission fees low, encouraging filmmakers from Metro DC and around the world to enter films. We’ve found this gives filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels equal footing in the submissions process. To further increase younger filmmaker participation, we recently created the high school submission category and received a healthy response.

As the festival draws near, stress gives way to excitement! Finalists will be chosen and notified between December 20th and 30th. We look forward to seeing all filmmakers and community members on February 19th!

Deirdre Evans-Pritchard previously worked for DCIFF running the “Filmmakers on the Hill” seminar and the workshops and education initiatives before taking over as executive director and programmer. After many years of promoting media arts and artists, the 2014 festival will be the third straight under her guidance.

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