Washington, DC is on the map in the international film and theater world. Groups, clubs and societies have been formed in recent years to support the cinematic interests of Washingtonians. We had the opportunity to speak with members of The World Bank / IMF Theater and Film Society to discuss their involvement with DCIFF and the independent film industry.
What is the The World Bank / IMF Theater and Film Society?
Society Members: We were founded by a World Bank staff member about 3 years ago, and recently revamped the group after a diversity event to try to get people interested in joining. We currently have around 100 members from all different cultures and backgrounds that are interested in film and theater. We try to meet a couple times a year in addition to attending plays, screenings and participating in local film events. We always take opportunities to watch films such as reviewing submissions for the DCIFF.
What is your interest in films?
Society Members: Some of our members have experience producing, directing and acting, and then others just like watching films and going to the theater. It’s wonderful to have such people from so many different international backgrounds, but all with a like-minded interest in learning about other cultures through film and theater. We love sharing within the community.
How does the DCIFF group reviewing process work?
Society Members: Once we review the films, we like to meet and discuss what we learned, our personal thoughts about the film and our overall ratings over wine, cheese and chocolate.
What was the reviewers’ overall impression of the films?
Society Members: ‘Where is the love?!’ [laughs]. Most of these films are very dark. They’re filled with death, torture and horror. Although they could be hard to stomach at times, it was interesting to see how you could end up giving the film a high rating based on an intriguing storyline and technical application. The dramatic storylines did make it hard to judge fairly at times. Maybe next year we’ll see more romance and comedies!
Was there anything else that caught your attention about the films?
Society Members: It was interesting to watch foreign films coming from different cultural backgrounds because there were several mistranslations or simply inaccurate elements to some of the stories that took place in some of our native countries. On one hand, it was distracting and frustrating to see the inaccuracy, but it was also fascinating to think about why the filmmaker would include it in the first place. It just got us thinking whether the director did it on purpose or is even aware of the mishap at all. We love that our group is made up of such diverse members. It’s very fascinating to hear the reviews from different cultural opinions. The perspective was completely different and refreshing to hear.
Would you participate in the DCIFF reviewing process again?
Society Members: Definitely! We love having the opportunity to watch movies from around the world and discuss it with our fellow film lovers. The topics are often related to what we do for work with a special interest in international development and communities. It’s really a great way to have a work-life balance that brings us together through a common and fun interest.