From ``Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'' in the '30s to ``Advise and Consent'' and ``All the President's Men,'' Washington has been the focus of slews of Hollywood films. Now Hollywood is fast becoming a focus of Washington, which is about to unleash its third international film festival on the heels of successfully lobbying dozens of filmmakers to shoot nearly 50 films on location here.
So D.C., as everyone who lives in Washington calls it, is fast becoming a film city. Filmfest DC's Third Annual International Film Festival will run here April 26-May 7.
The more than 50 feature films and 25 shorts in the festival will be screened around town. In addition to American movies, the festival will spotlight feature films by directors from 13 countries.
Several films will be making their United States debuts, among them: the British film ``Looking for Langston,'' directed by Julian Isaac; ``Camp Thiaroye''; and ``Eh! Maestro.''
Filmfest DC will also include special programs on films from the Pacific Rim, the National Film Board of Canada, and landmark French films.
The French film ``La Lectrice,'' starring the actress Miou-Miou, will kick off the festival, which will close with a new print of director William Wyler's classic ``Wuthering Heights,'' the 1939 Samuel Goldwyn production starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.
There will be no other US films in the festival, says its co-founder and artistic director, Marcia Zalbowitz, because ``the American films we wanted to present [as views of American culture] were just not available to be shown at this time..., but the festival is successful in presenting a very broad view of world culture.''