24th Annual DCIFF
February 21-25, 2024

September 4, 2023


Our 2023 High School Filmmaking Intensive, July 10 to August 4, 2023 was a great success. 

Kudos to the 18 young people who produced short fiction films and one “behind the scenes” documentary. 


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.

Interested in DCIFF Press?
Send us an email to dcindiefilmfest@gmail.com

The Award Winners for the 2023 DCIFF Festival/Forum are:

Best of Fest: JACK HAS A PLAN directed by Bradley Berman (USA / 2022)

Best Feature Film: OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL directed by Ellie Foumbi (USA and Cameroon / 2021)

Best Documentary Feature: FOR VEGAS directed Robin Greenspun (USA / 2022)

Best International Film: THE SMOKE MASTER directed by Andre Sigwalt & Augusto

Soares ( Brazil / 2022)

Best Documentary Short: EAST OF THE RIVER directed by Amin El Siwi & Phil Bouknight (USA / 2022)

Best Narrative Short: PAYMENT IN KIND directed by David Zax (USA / 2022)
Best Narrative Short (runner up): TO BE LIKE YOU directed by Meredith Esquivel (USA / 2022)

Best Animation: OUR PHOTO MOMENTO directed by Samaneh Lashgari (Iran /2022)

Best Animation (runner up): DO SPERM GET KILLED BY COFFEE? directed by Mojiao Zhou (UK/2022)

Best Web Series: DAY JOBS directed by Stevie Wain & Auri Jackson (USA / 2022)

Best Female Feature Director: OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL directed by Ellie Foumbi (USA and Cameroon / 2021)

Best Metro DC: AMOR directed by David Rochkind (USA / 2022)

About DC Independent Film Forum

We passionately support independent film, the Washington, D.C. community and filmmakers worldwide. Since 1999, DCIFF has been nurturing filmmakers and their films, and keeping the independent spirit alive in our nation’s capital. We have showcased cutting edge features, shorts and documentaries on every subject from every country with every budget and subject imaginable.

As a competitive festival, all films are Washington DC premieres and many are U.S. and world premieres. Through screenings, seminars, workshops and discussions with the United States Congress, DCIFF gives independent filmmakers opportunities for their voices to be heard in a way no other festival can provide. Join DCIFF on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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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.

No No Girl
No No Girl

directed by Paul Daisuke Goodman
( USA / 2022 / 117 mins)

Eighty years ago, on the eve of war and incarceration, a Japanese American family buried a secret in their backyard garden. Three generations later, a clue is discovered – unearthing the trauma and truth of their historic past.