IF YOU ENJOYED "Y Tu Mama Tambien," "City of God" or last year's "Carandiru," you'll want to catch the latest migration of films from south of the Rio Grande at the 16th annual Washington Latin American Film Festival, which begins Wednesday and includes 25 films from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico and 10 other countries. Be sure to catch "Whisky," a bittersweet comedy by Uruguayan filmmaking duo Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll (it won two awards at Cannes); "My Uncle Killed a Guy," a new adventure from Brazilian director Jorge Furtado; and "Bad Blood," a gritty and violent tale of crime and drugs in Santiago (think "Trainspotting" meets "City of God") that is Chilean filmmaker Leon Errazuriz's directorial debut. The festival is sponsored by the American Film Institute, the Association of Ibero-American Cultural Attaches and the Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center.
-- Pablo Izmirlian
At the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Wednesday through Oct. 3. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/silver.
EVERY YEAR THE National Symphony Orchestra goes on a residency of two to three weeks, offering concerts, workshops and other events throughout one of the 50 states. In 1996, the residency took place in Wyoming, where the music of Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, a Chickasaw Indian composer, came to the orchestra's attention. Wednesday evening, NSO Associate Conductor Emil de Cou will lead members of the orchestra and the Master Chorale of Washington in the world premiere of "Iholba" ("The Vision") with assistant principal flute Thomas Robertello as soloist. The date of the premiere was selected to mark the one-year anniversary of the National Museum of the American Indian.
-- Tim Page
At the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Wednesday night at 6. Admission is free. For more information, call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
THOUGH SHE'S LABELED, packaged and otherwise categorized as Yet Another Neo-Soul Singer, the Oakland, Calif., songstress Goapele Mohlabane isn't just Minnie Riperton redux. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But the ballad of Goapele's life isn't just the same old song: The daughter of an exiled South African political activist father and a New York-bred Jewish mother, Goapele (gwah-puh-LAY) studied music theory at the Berklee College of Music and counts among her early influences Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Sweet Honey in the Rock. That list was later expanded to include the more predictable likes of Nina Simone, Etta James and Prince, who eventually became a Goapele fan. And why not: The woman can flat-out sing, as evidenced by her 2002 debut, "Even Closer," though she's superior live.
-- J. Freedom du Lac
At the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. $27.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
ART LOVERS IN and around Washington know Jim Sanborn as one of our region's leading artists. His sculptures and installations touch on themes from the environment to nuclear war, and are as elegant as they are hard-hitting. But it seems that a bigger, book-loving public has gotten to know at least one of his works, which involves ciphers and cryptography, through its mention in "The Da Vinci Code," by novelist Dan Brown. On Friday afternoon at the Hirshhorn, Sanborn will be talking about some of the enigmas in his work -- including, maybe, in "Kryptos," the mysteriously coded sculpture at CIA headquarters that caught Brown's attention.
-- Blake Gopnik
At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Friday at 12:30 p.m. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu.