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On the surface, it may not seem ironic that the National Museum of Women in the Arts will initiate its first film festival this week at its stately home on New York Avenue. Yet, while the museum website describes the building as a “former masonic lodge” it omits the fact that it also was once a “former pornographic theater.”

With those details in the past (the stately Warner Theatre downtown also once served as an adult arcade), the NMWA celebrates its 20th Anniversary by inaugurating its first annual Festival of Women’s Film and Media Arts this week. The festival blends the works of established filmmakers with works from women new to film. Selections include shorts as well as feature films. Subjects include a documentary on the antarctic, films about Burmese refugees (billed as an “upbeat” picture) and Latina drag queens in Boston.

The festival also features media installations including visual portrayals of the U.S.-Mexican border as well as vagina dentata (the folklore most vividly captured as the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi).

The Tuesday night Opening Reception ($25) features house and electro music by DJ Junebullet of the First Ladies Collective. Free vodka cocktails and beer are also provided.

Tickets for most films are $10, with special events starting at $15.
(side note: we have some choice pieces added to our calendar, so keep your eye out)

For more information, visit: www.nmwa.org/filmfest/

National Museum of Women in the Arts
Festival of Women’s Film and Media Arts
1250 New York Avenue, N.W. (Metro Center Metro Stop)