We are a group of volunteers working year-round to produce an annual film festival that brings stories of immigrants and refugees to Capital-area audiences.
Now in its eighth year, the Immigration Film Festival (IFF) began as an initiative of the Washington Ethical Society, a nonprofit, humanistic religious congregation. IFF partners with several organizations across the DMV to screen films and support audiences in taking action. All donations are 100% tax free and dedicated exclusively to IFF.
WHAT WE DO
Our goal is to tell the story of global immigration through the art form of film and to humanize the plight of immigrants and refugees by sharing their stories. In doing this, we seek not only to entertain but also to inform our audiences and, in partnership with organizations, provide the means by which our audiences can take action to correct the injustices that can force people to leave their homes and the dislocations that can result from migration.
November 13 – 15 – The Seventh Immigration Film Fest is held completely virtually! 11 films and 4 panels were screened over 3 days.
January 15, 2021 – Special screening of 6 “Student and New Immigrant Voices” films + panel conversation is held to celebrate their accomplishments
September 13 and 14 – In partnership with the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Sixth Immigration Film Festival screened shorts, films and documentaries on the Southern Border.
January – The Immigration Film Festival once again decides to partner with the International Cinema Series and be a part of Films Across Borders: Stories of Women. As our mission is focused on immigration, we screened films whose main themes are about BOTH women and immigration.
January – In partnership with the International Cinema Series, the IFF joins several organizations under the unifying banner of Films Across Borders: Stories of Migration.
October – Thousands of filmgoers attended the screening of 25+ narrative films and feature-length documentaries (as well as shorts) on immigration, immigrants and refugees, shown in 10 venues throughout the Washington-DC Metro Area. After the screenings, filmmakers held Q+A sessions and panel discussions with immigration experts were also organized around some of the issues raised by the films.
February – Contract signed for Saturday night Gala and Screening at George Washington University.
October – Some 1200 filmgoers turned out for screenings of 22 documentaries, dramatic features and shorts representing immigration stories from the US and 18 additional countries. Filmmakers gathered to share their insights and experiences with the audiences. A panel of experts explored many of the myths surrounding immigrants and refugees.
October – The second Immigration Film Festival expands to include movies from all over the world and draws a greater number of filmgoers, some 1600, to 15 feature films and two shorts programs. All films were followed by discussions with film directors, immigration experts and journalists. Local and national media coverage was outstanding.
December – The executive team reflects on successes and missteps to draw up a plan for the third Immigration Film Festival to take place Oct 20 over four days. To build awareness and traffic more films to be screened in downtown DC.
October – First Immigration Film Festival screens 13 films at 12 locations in the DC Metro area. More than 900 people came to see the films.
December – Evaluation study based on 41% of filmgoers providing feedback showed a majority of the respondents endorsed the festival calling it valuable on many levels.
January – Washington Ethical Society (WES) members pass a resolution seeking to further immigration policy change.
March – Sign in front of WES building goes up proclaiming, “WES says YES to a path to citizenship for 11 million”
June – Members agree to launch the first Greater Washington Immigration Film Festival.
Immigration Film Fest – through the power of film – seeks to attract, inform and inspire adults and youth of Greater Washington to support immigrants and refugees.
The USA has a moral and ethical responsibility to treat immigrants and refugees fairly. As citizens of the world’s leading democracy, we must strive to build communities that serve all our people.
IFF showcases outstanding dramatic features and documentaries from around the world. By involving diverse audiences in post-film discussions and working with partner organizations, IFF works to plant the seed for action at the local, state, national and international levels.