Founded in 2003, the DC Shorts Film Festival was created by DC-based filmmaker, Jon Gann, in response to the dozens of festivals where the focus wasn’t on the filmmakers and their craft. A few years later, the DC Film Alliance, a non-profit arts organization, was created to present the DC Shorts Film Festival, and offer other programs and resources for Washington, D.C.-based filmmakers.
The 2018 DC Shorts Film Festival showcases one of the largest collections of short films in the United States. The organization’s programming team has selected over 130 unique films from across the globe. This year’s film festival takes place September 6 – 16 at multiple venues. The LGBTQ showcase will take place one-time only on Wednesday, September 12.
“I think the thing to realize is that we are a film festival with so much more. There are Q&As after the showcases, there are educational seminars, there are parties, and it all creates a lot of fun,” says Director of Programming Joe Bilancio.
We spoke with Bilancio about this year’s events, programming, and the Cinema 10% showcase.
Who are the people involved with making the festival happen?
We are an organization of four part-time people who just love what we do. We love to present an opportunity for a bunch of people to have a great evening watching short films. Besides my position, we have an Executive Director, an Assistant Programming Director, a development person, and a public relations person.
What can people expect from this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival?
Each year the filmmakers and the films themselves sort of create the mood of that year. We are always going to have films, and educational seminars and parties, but it’s the visiting filmmakers and the tomes of the films that create the mood. Sometimes you have filmmakers who are very outgoing and interact with the audiences and it’s great We do many of the same things each year, yet the people make it all different. The showcases are a mix of films, genres, and styles. We do an animation, a documentary, a U.S. narrative, and an international narrative to give audiences a great overview of a short film.
In your opinion, why should community members attend the Cinema 10% LGBTQ shorts?
The LGBTQ program is always one of the most sought out programs and that is wonderful for us. It’s also great to see the program being attended by allies as well as the LBTQ community. It’s a dynamic program that really will educate, entertain, and inform. If you want to see a series of LGBTQ films then Wednesday is your day.
Tell us about the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition.
It takes place on Friday, September 14. Six finalists—out of an initial pool of over 70—will have the screenplays read live and one lucky Screenwriter will win $2,000 to help make the film. It’s a crazy fun day as it’s cast in the morning, they rehearse in the day, and then perform at night.
Cinema 10%, the best of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films takes place on September 12 at 7:15pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://dcshorts.com/.