Filmfest DC, which made an impressive debut last spring by introducing Washington audiences to such films as "Tampopo" and "My Life as a Dog," has set the dates of its second season. Executive Director Tony Gittens and Artistic Director Marcia Zalbowitz (who are also Filmfest DC's founders) said that this year's series will run from April 20 to May 1.
According to Zalbowitz, each year the international film festival will highlight the cinema of one country. This year's program, she said, will feature a tribute to Swedish film. Both contemporary and older films will be screened, among them Ingmar Bergman's short memorial film to his mother entitled "Karin's Face," an 11-minute short titled "Perception" by Daniel Bergman (son of Ingmar), Kjell Gade's "Hip, Hip, Hooray" and Bo Widenberg's first feature, "Raven's End."
Another tribute in this year's Filmfest DC, which last year screened 40 films from 20 countries, will be to American silent-comedy pioneer Hal Roach. It will include the presentation of a feature film and a selection of shorts chosen by Roach, 95, who will be on hand for the festivities.
The festival will also showcase a program of six films from the Soviet Union, some which have previously been withheld from exhibition. Examples of contemporary Soviet cinema and a program of Soviet animation featuring the work of Yuri Norstein, considered one of the world's greatest animators, will be shown as well.
Another Filmfest DC coup will be the screening of the Munich Film Museum's reconstruction of F.W. Murnau's silent horror classic "Nosferatu."
The schedule also features a program of films from Africa, including "The Choice" by Idressa Ouedrogo of Burkina Faso and "Yellow Fever Taxi Man" by Cameroon director Jean-Marie Teno; a documentary feature on the homeless in Washington, D.C., by local filmmaker Ginny Durrin and the first full-length feature by another Washington director, Robert Gardner, entitled "King James Version"; British artist David Hockney's first documentary film, made with the help of Philip Haase, entitled "A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China ..."; and a sampling of films from Canada, including "The Man Who Planted Trees" by the animator Frederic Bach.