AT THE height of political tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, perhaps it's more than timely to watch "The Game of Their Lives," British filmmaker Dan Gordon's documentary about the North Korean national soccer team's heroic and historic bid to win the World Cup in 1966.

The cup that year was ultimately won by England, which defeated West Germany, 4-2. But the North Korean team reached the quarterfinals. Along the way, the North Koreans formed a close relationship with the people of Middlesbrough, the English town where they stayed and played during the tournament.

The screenings, sponsored by a host of organizations including the Coalition of Korean-Americans for Peace and Justice (D.C./Baltimore chapter) and the Asia Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, are free of charge at two locations:

* At 7 Sunday at the Korean Central Daily Cultural Center, 512 W. Maple Ave., Vienna.

* At 4 Monday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1 Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Director Gordon and associate producer Nicholas Bonner will attend both screenings. They are the first Westerners permitted by the North Koreans to meet and interview surviving members of the 1966 team. Last October, they hosted a historic reunion between the team and the citizens of Middlesbrough, where the returning players were greeted by 33,000 local fans.

For more information about the movie, visit www.thegameoftheirlives.com/index_2.htm, or call 202-691-4059 (for the D.C. venue) or 703-314-1489 (for the Vienna venue).

INDIE FILM FEST

Writer-director Colin Miller's first feature film, "All Babes Want to Kill Me," is just one of many films at the DC Independent Film Festival, which takes place Saturday through Thursday at the Loews Cineplex Odeon Wisconsin Avenue 6 and AMC's Mazza Gallerie 7.

This is the fourth annual DC Independent Film Festival, which offers more than 100 feature, short, animation and documentary films from the United States and abroad. It also features a film market, seminars and a trade show at the Embassy Suites, 4300 Military Rd. NW. The filmmakers, in most cases, will attend the screenings and lead an audience discussion afterward. Admission for most films is $10.

The film section opens with a series of shorts at 6 p.m. Friday at the Cineplex Odeon, 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The feature section opens at 7 the same night and at the same theater with Tanya Wexler's "Ball in the House," a film noir about a dysfunctional family.

The massive lineup includes New York filmmaker Eric Perlmutter's "Season of Youth," a drama (shown at 7 Wednesday at Mazza Gallerie) about adolescent racism in an affluent suburb of New York City; and "All Babes Want to Kill Me," which screens at 10 Saturday. It's a comedy by local filmmaker Miller about a martial artist who contracts a rare disease that makes beautiful women want to kill him.

The event closes at 7 Thursday at Mazza Gallerie with Amy Hobby's "Coney Island Baby," a drama about an Irishman who returns home after an unsuccessful stint in the United States. There is a closing night gala at 9 Thursday at Maggiano's, 5333 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

The AMC Mazza Gallerie 7 is at 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW. For more information, or to purchase tickets online (which range from five-movie ticket books for $50 to seven-day VIP passes for $300; single tickets have to be bought at the theaters), visit www.dciff.org.

'BERING' DIRECTOR Q&A

Director Nina Gilden Seavey will introduce the 7:25 Friday show of "The Ballad of Bering Strait" at Visions Cinema/ Bistro/Lounge and take questions from the audience afterward. There will also be poster and CD giveaways. The theater is at 1927 Florida Ave. NW. For more information, visit www.visionsdc.com or call 202-667-0090.

-- Desson Howe