13th Alexandria Film Festival brings record numbers

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Photo/Cody Mello-Klein
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By Cody Mello-Klein | [email protected]

More than 1,000 cinephiles flocked to the Charles Beatley Library and AMC Hoffman Center 22 for the 13th annual Alexandria Film Festival last weekend.

Between Friday and Sunday, audiences had the opportunity to watch more than 50 films spanning a variety of genres and forms. From a documentary chronicling sexism in Hollywood to a feature film about a young woman trying to ransom the body of James Buchanan, audiences had plenty of options.

This year’s festival brought together local, national and international filmmakers with a record number of participants. The festival kicked off with a free showcase of student films on Friday as part of a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College. The next two days featured special showcases including the Veteran’s showcase, Burke and Herbert Bank Family Showcase and a late-night, mature film noir showcase.

After the last films screened on Sunday, audiences and filmmakers were ushered to an awards ceremony where prizes were given to films in five categories.

“Fruits of Peace,” a documentary from Kevyn Settle that tracked the impact of a single event during the Vietnam War on two families, won the Joe Cantwell Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.

Paul Gray won the Best Foreign Film award for “On the Outside,” a dramatization of stories told by four Scottish women in prison.

Two local filmmakers took home awards: Meredith Bragg won the Best of the Region Award with “Demand Curve,” a short film about a kidnapped economics professor who tries to get in on the ransom, while Alexandria filmmaker Marc Carlini won the AFF Audience Award for his road trip film “She’s in Portland.”

The 2019 AFF Best of Fest award went to “Wake,” Cyrus Mirakhor’s story of a widowed mortician and a life-sized doll named Pedro.

The Times reviewed a number of films from the festival. Find links to those reviews below.

“Raising Buchanan”

“This Changes Everything”

“Daddio”

“She’s in Portland”

“The Spy Behind Home Plate”

“White Right: Meeting the Enemy”

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