Still from Sell By // Photo: courtesy of Reel Affirmations

Reel Affirmations Provides Unique Perspectives Through Film

Prepare for a local film festival built on the stepping stones of inclusivity, diversity and acceptance.

This weekend brings the 26th annual Reel Affirmations Film Festival at the historic GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights. The festival is a nonprofit division of the The DC Center For The LGBT Community. This year’s rendition features 26 films from 11 countries on five continents, widening the scope of perspectives attendees will see. Films begin tonight and run through Sunday, October 27.

Films on the docket include: Treacle, Parking, Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life and Seahhorse, to list a few.

Kimberley Bush, the Director of Arts and Cultural Program at the DC Center, says the festival is vital provide diverse films for an equally diverse community, “because seeing ourselves on screen can be very empowering, very uplifting and we as a community need that.”

This film festival represents DC Center’s mission to “uplift, empower, support and celebrate the LGBTQ community.” The film festival offers a variety of different experiences by featuring film directors, authors and contributors from all across the globe.

The lineup features unique narratives, short films, documentaries and more, including different perspectives and outlooks within the LGBTQ community.

In today’s climate, there is not enough representation, which is important for the industry. Bush explained that there isn’t enough inclusivity within other film festivals as their scope on the subject is limited, under representing this community.

“People in the community who may be dealing with identity [need these festivals],” she says. “To ourselves on screen, in a group setting, and maybe even talk to the director, writer, producer of that film brings them more opportunities and affirmation that could enhance them long term.”

Bush says the side effects of the film festival has created a lasting impact on the community surrounding it. Inviting people to enter and walk out of the festival, has created a positive place to see people in your community and an open atmosphere to talk about real and honest epidemics facing the community today.

“Everything changes when they walk into a film screening and when they walk out,” she says. “It’s a totally different light. I see firsthand [at] our community film screenings and art gallery openings, how it’s important and integral to share our stories and share our visions with the community.”

Passes for the festival start at $40, with general admission tickets available for $14. For more information about the festival or the films, visit here.

Gala Hispanic Theatre: 3333 14th St. NW, DC; 202-234-7174; en.galatheatre.org