APPLY NOW! 2023 High School Summer Filmmaking Intensive

Summer Intensive High School Filmmaking Course – July 10 to August 4, 2023, final screening August 5th.

A practical hands-on course in digital short fiction film production with weekly speakers/trips and discussions, introduction to green screen and shooting outdoors. Learn valuable skills and production team development: cinematography, sound, script, on set and editing. Our teaching team has a wealth of experience in filmmaking and we know students love them and the program!

Our program has a $45 (DC) / $85 (non DC) registration fee to cover incidentals due by June 25th, but otherwise the course is free. Interested?

Put your name down HERE to receive more details or email Program Coordinator Dasha Pavlova at

Deadline for applications is June 20th. We review applications, and offer places, as they came in. 

Welcome to the DCIFF Film Club Podcast! Your host, Erin Devost, this season for intimate and engaging interviews that peel back the curtain of the best emerging independent filmmakers in the industry. If you love film and want a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how future legends of cinema hone their craft, you’ve got to hear this!

Our job is to make sure that filmmaker voices are heard. DCIFF’s Press and Outreach team spreads the word through the press, through social media, and by reaching out to embassies and other communities of interest.

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With the 10th annual DCIFF High School Film Festival coming up on February 25th, 2023 (free and all welcome, see HERE) we checked on one of our high school alumni. Jacob Chang-Rascle’ short film, Incubus, was selected for the DCIFF High School Festival in 2016.  It told the story of a boy who sets out on an amateur archaeology assignment with his dad. After he finds a mysterious key, the day takes a turn for the worse, as supernatural powers turn a pleasant afternoon into a nightmare. Jacob continues to create projects that are relatable to the audience and incorporate a significant message to convey to the public. 


We were delighted to chat with Jacob Chang-Rascle as he disclosed his plans for the future and dived into the story of how his passion for cinema began!

Jacob Chang-Rascle

Check out the conversation below:

DCIFF: When your film was selected for DCIFF, you were just in High School (Talk about young talent!). How do you think being a part of the HS Festival helped you in your journey? 

Jacob: One of the most powerful parts about having opportunities like the DCIFF high school festival is the ability to meet and be inspired by other young filmmakers and their work. In college, and later in life, it tends to be a bit easier to surround yourself with like-minded creatives, but in high school and before, I found it to be more difficult to do so. DCIFF gives young filmmakers a great opportunity to be exposed to the work of other talented artists, and to potentially make connections with them for future collaborations.  

DCIFF: We’ve seen you focus a lot on photography lately. Are you still equally interested in filmmaking or has there been a shift in interest (and if so, we would love to know why!)? 

Jacob: Since I first got a camera at 7, my work has often flip flopped between emphasizing filmmaking and still photography, although I have continued to do both throughout. I just graduated from Boston University film school, however, during that time, the work I created was more photograph heavy. This year I feel myself shifting back into more filmmaking projects. I think the two complement each other well, especially because my focus in filmmaking is in cinematography. Breakthroughs in one area tend to translate well into the other. 

DCIFF: You have an amazing photography collection of nature and landscapes. What about this space makes your heart jump a beat? 

Jacob: Landscape photography has grown into one of my greatest creative outlets over the last few years. I love to go hiking and backpacking, seeking solitude in wilderness areas, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of trying to translate these experiences into a photo or set of photos that truly do it justice. So many factors in this kind of photography are out of my control, especially when it comes to weather and lighting, so there are few things more fulfilling to me than when all of these factors come together to create both a beautiful memory and photo. 

DCIFF: We are continuing to host our annual High School Competitions. We would love to know what was your favorite experience during the event in 2016? 

Jacob: One of the things I remember most clearly from DCIFF was having to answer a few questions and explain my process following the screening of the short film. At the time, this was a little daunting, but I think it’s super beneficial and important for artists to get used to articulating their perspectives on their art from a young age. 

DCIFF: Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from you in the coming future? 

Jacob: Currently, I am working as a freelance photographer and filmmaker in Boston. A few current projects that excite me most in the upcoming year include finishing a documentary filmed in Vietnam about a Vietnamese adoptee, continuing the process of creating a production collective in the Boston/NYC area with other local creatives, and traveling to Alaska to work on a personal book project documenting the world’s most spectacular remaining coastal wildernesses. 

To stay up to date with my work, please find me at and Instagram @jacobchangphoto 

To catch the 2023 DCIFF High School Festival in downtown Washington DC, details here.

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Thank you for joining us for our 24th annual DC Independent Forum! We were excited to welcome over 70 filmmakers March 1 – 5. Click to explore our program, buy passes, or purchase tickets which can be found on the individual film pages below. We showcased 9 feature films and 10 short film program blocks starting at $13 each with exciting filmmaker Q&A’s. Please also check out our selection of seminars and workshops with industry professionals. Click HERE to download a printout of our schedule


Wednesday, March 1st – Sunday, March 5th

Run Raven Run

directed by Michael Rainin
narrated by Michael Madsen
(USA / 2022 / 101 mins)

Despite a historical legacy that dealt the dark cards of slavery, holocaust and poverty, music has always been the winning hand for Gypsy survival.

Location: Landmark's E Street Cinema
Times: Sunday, March 5th - 5:05pm

(March 5) - $13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR

About the Director

Michael has served as a producer and director for countless productions across film, television, and online platforms including promotional campaigns for FX Network’s Nip/Tuck and commercials, music videos and web productions for revered artists and performers. Michael currently wrapped production on a new, in-depth feature documentary on the music of the Roma and the musicians behind this renowned artform, narrated by Michael Madsen while producing ongoing projects with celebrity editorial photographer Kwaku Alston (New York Times, Time Magazine), as well as serving as the creative director behind CBD industry leader Green Gorilla alongside Alston. Michael has additionally founded a boutique branding, design, and production company RAINPIX, INC.

Our Father, The Devil
Our Father, The Devil

directed by Ellie Foumbi
( USA and Cameroon / 2021 / 1:47 mins )

An African refugee’s quiet existence in a sleepy mountain town in the south of France is upended by the arrival of a charismatic Catholic priest whom she recognizes as the warlord who slaughtered her family.

Location: Landmark's E Street Cinema
Times: Thursday, March 2nd - 8:15pm; Friday; March 3rd - 9:00pm

(March 2) - $13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR
(March 3) - $13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR

About the Director

Ellie is an award-winning Cameroonian-American filmmaker whose debut film, Our Father, the Devil, went on to win 17 prizes at international film festivals, including Tribeca where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. She's an alum of Berlinale Talents and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. She's also a 2022/2023 BAFTA Breakthrough USA Fellow. Her projects have been supported by The Gotham, Film Independent, the Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM Rainin Grant, and the Venice Biennale College. Ellie's stories often explore pressing social-political issues within the African diaspora, aiming to shine a light on marginalized populations whose voices are seldom heard or included.

The Smoke Master
The Smoke Master

directed by directed by Andre Sigwalt & Augusto Soares
( Brazil / 2022 / 1.44mins )

Two brothers and a fistful of friends face the Chinese mafia:Three Generations Revenge relying on Smoke Master and his unique Cannabis fighting style. A Stoned Kung-Fu movie.

Location: Landmark's E Street Cinema
Times: Thursday, March 2nd - 9:00pm; Saturday, March 4th - 8:30pm

(March 2) - $13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR
(March 4) - $13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR

About the Directors

Andre Sigwalt studied cinema and, since 1999, has specialized as a cinematographer and camera operator. He was director of photography for other features such as "Pólvora Negra", "Uptake Fear" and "Skull, The Mask." "The Smoke Master' is the first feature film he directs.

Augusto Soares has a degree in Radio and Television from FAAP since 2000. Founder of Terceiro Ato Videomarketing, he specializes in corporate videos and has been working in this market for over 20 years. "The Smoke Master" is his first feature film.

City of Love
City of Love

directed by Èric Boadella
(USA / 2023 / 1:27 mins)

Spencer, a troubled rideshare driver in Los Angeles, goes to dangerous lengths to reconnect with the world he lost after spending 20 years in jail.

Location: Landmark's E Street Cinema
Times: Sunday, March 4th - 7:10pm

(March 4) -$13 (+Eventbrite fee) HERE or AT THE DOOR

About the Director

Èric Boadella is an award-winning Spanish filmmaker with a rather unique background: Electronic Engineering and punk rock. His first feature film, Toastmaster (2014), won Best Director and Best Script at the 17th Malaga Spanish Film Festival, where it was acquired by Canal+. Èric is one of the seven directors selected for the 2018-2019 FOX TV Directors Lab and he just directed his second feature film, City of Love (2022). He is also the in-house Music Video Director at Frontiers Records and a Branded Content Director at Pluck Studios.