March on Washington Film Fest Showcases History, Modern Issues

Festival Will Celebrate Civil Rights Films

What do Langston Hughes' writings on France, civil justice at the Berlin Olympic Games and hip-hop at Harvard have in common?

They're all subjects being tackled by featured films at the March on Washington Film Festival this month. The festival, celebrating its 5th anniversary this summer, is focused on sharing the stories of prominent civil rights leaders both past and present.

This year's festival kicked off Thursday and will hold events around the city until July 22. See the complete schedule here.

The first March on Washington Film Festival was held in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

That inaugural fest focused heavily on historic documentaries, but in recent years the topics of featured films have expanded to tell new stories of ongoing civil rights movements, conflict and triumphs.

This year's film lineup has plenty of variety.

Documentaries rooted in historical events -- such as the life of Winnie Mandela during her husband's imprisonment and protests at San Francisco State and Cornell University during the 1960s -- are featured on the calendar alongside other historic films.


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But you'll also find films exploring more modern topics, such as the role of hip-hop in higher education.

Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance for moderated conversations after the showings.

Though films are the highlight of the festival, other events are scheduled throughout the festival as well, including live music, cooking demonstrations and panel discussions.

In addition to the featured films, the festival will also feature the selected finalists in a short film competition for student and young filmmakers.

Tickets are still available online, although some of the films are free for those who make reservations.

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