Independent film festivals make cameos in the District

Moviegoers have been paying closer attention to independent and foreign films recently. Those who have joined the indie-followers should check out several local film festivals for a less mainstream viewing experience. Sundance Film Series Present to Oct. 31 In a first ever event, Loews and the Sundance Film Channel have joined forces to give moviegoers an opportunity to see independent films. The festival is an extension of the overall Sundance mission to support the work of independent moviemakers, whose pieces would normally not make it to the nearest multiplex.

This particular series' mission is to bring the hidden movie treasures to the front and center. The series began Aug. 29 and will continue through the end of October with a new film every three weeks. All screenings will be held at the Loews Cineplex Georgetown theater.

Films include "The Other Side of the Bed," a provocative Spanish film dealing with swinger couples in Madrid; "In this World," which details the hardships of Afghan refugees; "Dopamine," which questions whether love is based on chemicals or chemistry; and " Die Mommy Die," a comedic murder mystery set in Hollywood.

"In This World" begins Sept. 19, "Dopamine" on Oct. 10 and "Die Mommy Die" on Oct. 31.

Though these films have won awards, none have received the recognition they deserve. The series is only appearing in 15 cities across the United States, so take advantage of D.C. and watch something new, enticing, and worth the money you pay for it.

For more information visit www.sundancefilm.com/filmseries.

-KRISTY POWERS Latin American Film Festival 2003 Sept. 18 to 28

In an attempt to further American recognition of the Latin American film industry, the Cultural Foundation of the Americas, the American Film Institute and the Association of Ibero-American Cultural Attach?s have sponsored the festival to be held in D.C.

The festival will showcase films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The AFI Theater at the Kennedy Center and, for the first time this year, the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md. will show screenings of the films. For more information and a complete schedule of film screenings call (202) 458-3378 or visit www.oas.org/filmfestival/2003.

-EMILY ZEMLER New Visions of Africa: African Film Fest 2003 Sept. 25 to Oct. 2 Independent Visions Cinema will unite with Africa Film Fest New York for the second year in a row to present a week-long celebration of African films at the end of September. The festival will open with a reception and the film "Madame Broulette."

The purpose of the festival is to increase the understanding of African culture in the United States and to generate an American audience for the films. The festival will represent Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso and South Africa. France and Germany jointly produced many of the films.

Visions will host numerous question and answer sessions with filmmakers, as well as discussion groups for the films. This is an excellent opportunity to experience films that otherwise would probably never be screened in the United States.

For more information and a complete schedule of events visit www.visionsdc.com.

- E.Z.

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