Celebrating Visual Stories: The Return of Docs In Progress’ Community Stories Film Festival [March 15-17]

Local and international filmmakers will take center stage this month at the Community Stories Film Festival hosted by Silver Spring nonprofit Docs In Progress.

Now in its 14th year, Community Stories showcases the creativity of independent documentary filmmakers, bringing together filmmakers, film enthusiasts, and community members for a three-day event filled with screenings, filmmaker Q&As, and engaging conversations. This year’s festival will be held in person at Docs In Progress, located at 8560 Second Ave. in downtown Silver Spring, from March 15 to 17.

The festival’s opening night will feature two compelling films: “Outside Line” by director/producer Jack Gordon, which follows D.C. native Rajah Caruth, one of the few Black drivers in NASCAR, on his journey from virtual racing to the pinnacle of the sport; and “Room to Breathe” by director Dave Haft and producer Mary Awosika, a poignant exploration of a newlywed couple navigating pandemic parenting and virtual schooling challenges.

As the festival draws to a close, the poignant film “The Etilaat Roz” by director Abbas Rezaie and producer Zaki Daryabi will be screened at AFI Silver. The film delves into the gripping narrative of ‘Etilaat Roz,’ the prominent Kabul newspaper, as its staff faces a critical decision following the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan. The audience is immersed in the turmoil faced by the staff, torn between continuing their journalistic endeavors amidst threats of torture and death or joining the mass exodus from the country, captured through the lens of staff member Abbas Rezaie.

For those looking to immerse themselves fully in the festival experience, All-Access passes priced at $15-$20 are available for purchase on the Docs In Progress website. While the pass grants entry to most festival events, it excludes the closing film screening on Sunday, March 17th at AFI Silver. However, attendees can opt to include the closing film by selecting it during the ticket purchase process.

Graphic Courtesy of Docs In Progress

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