Local movie fans already have a busy schedule given the ever-growing list of Oscar contenders and four-star movies in theaters. But they may want to break away from their multiplex to-do list for a couple of one-off events this week.
On Thursday, the Alexandria Film Festival kicks off four days of shorts and feature films. Opening night screenings focus on food and sustainability, including a short about D.C. food trucks ("Capital Food Fight") and "This Dewdrop World," about the way environmental changes mirror the decline of a dying woman.
But it's not all somber. On Saturday, "Ass Backwards" premieres, which looks like a modern-day "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" with Casey Wilson (from "Happy Endings") and June Diane Raphael (she had a recurring role on "New Girl") as failed pageant girls looking to make a comeback. Also on Saturday, there will be a screening of two shorts by Oscar-nominated director Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") followed by a Skype Q&A with the filmmaker.
Tickets are $12; check out the film festival's Web site for more details.
In other film festival news, a favorite at Sundance is getting its area premiere during a local screening at E Street Cinema on Thursday. "Blood Brother" won both the audience award and the grand jury prize among documentaries at the festival earlier this year for the story of an American man who moves to India to work with children stricken with AIDS. Tickets are $15.