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Alexandria Film Festival Opens This Week

Festival includes more than 40 feature-length films, documentaries, animations and shorts as well as a world premiere. Many of the films' directors will be attending and available for discussion.

The Alexandria Film Festival is gracing several silver screens this week across the city with an overarching event theme of “sustainability.”

“A number of the films, but not all, have a sub-theme of sustainability, which more often then not means environmental, but can also mean just about everything we do that has an impact on the environment and the economy,” said festival Chairwoman Patti North. “We often don’t consider our behavior and what nurtures sustainability.”

North and her team of volunteers curate the films for the festival, which is partly funded by the city of Alexandria.

The festival presents feature-length films, documentaries, animations and shorts by emerging and established filmmakers, showcasing many films to audiences who might not otherwise be able to see them. Many of the films’ directors or staff will be attending the festival and available for conversation.

The screenings begin Friday with an all-day, free event at the Charles Beatley Library, located at 5005 Duke St. The Friday Beatley events include some films suitable for children.

Saturday’s schedule also includes showings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, located at 600 Dulany St.

Saturday’s events wrap up with an 8 p.m. screening aboard the recreated 19th Century Victorian riverboat the Cherry Blossom. The audience will view aboard the heated boat “Where the Yellowstone Goes,” a documentary about the river, followed by a discussion with director Hunter Weeks. Beer, food and wine are included in the ticket price of $15 through the website or $20 at the door.

Saturday's noon showings at the PTO include “Uprising,” a world premier at the Alexandria Film Festival and produced by an Academy Award-winning team. "Uprising" tells the inside story of the Egyptian revolution from the perspective of its principal leaders and organizers, including four Nobel Peace Prize nominees. Filmmaker Fredrik Stanton and cinematographer Samar Ezeldin will attend that event.

The Beatley library is also showing three films on Saturday.

On Sunday, screenings will be held at the PTO and Beatley. One of Sunday’s showings is “Nextnik” by director Mike Kravinsky, who shot scenes locally in the Washington metro area.

North, the festival organizer, also highlighted other films, including “Mariachi Gringo,” about a small-town man who runs away to Mexico to become a mariachi singer, and “We’re Not Broke,” which tells the story of how U.S. corporations dodge billions of dollars in income taxes. Review a list of films at the Alexandria Film Festival.

Patrons are asked to order their tickets online through the Alexandria Film Festival website, and fees are charged for blocks of films. They are generally $12 for advance purchase and $15 at the door.

Review the film schedule here.

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