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Southeast Resident Brings Film Festival to Georgetown

Filmmaker Anthony Greene Showcases Newcomers

Stacy M. Brown | 10/9/2013, 3 p.m.

Moving up the Hollywood A-list of filmmakers matters very little to Anthony Greene. One conversation with the native Washingtonian and its easy to understand why such accolades take a back seat to simply creating good movies and providing opportunities to others who aspire to make a living in the industry.

“It’s about catering to people on a global level, so I say all of the time that I’m not moving to Hollywood,” said Greene, who hails from Southeast.

“I’ll visit, but we have cell phones, the Internet and an ever evolving distribution model. So, for those who want to get into this business, just go ahead and make a movie because there is nothing like the experience of it and the learning curve is tremendous,” he said.

A graduate of Potomac High School in Oxon Hill, Md., Greene, 36, received the distinguished “Filmmaker of the Month” award in September from the District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture and Television Development in Southeast.

On Friday, Oct. 11, he will help open the fourth annual Reel Independent Film Extravaganza at West End Cinemas in Georgetown.

Greene, one of the organizers of the festival, said the event is created by filmmakers for filmmakers and strives to present the best of independent films in a variety of categories from around the world. Greene said he wants to present the festival in an environment designed to provide unique opportunities for participants to interact with one another while networking with professionals.

“The fourth year of the festival is a pivotal year for us,” Greene said.

“It’s the year where we can honestly gauge the presentation and effectiveness of our festival with the knowledge of lessons learned from previous mistakes and shortcomings. It is important to showcase the highest quality of independent films to our audience,” he said.

The opening night of the festival, which runs through Thursday, Oct. 17, will begin at 7 p.m., with the screening of, “Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi,” a film about Somalia’s first female gynecologist. The story counts as a drama surrounding Dr. Hawa Abdi’s one-room clinic where she helps countless women in a hostile environment.

Other films that will be featured include, “The New Public,” “O Divin Bovin,” “The Ninety Nines,” “Charm City Rumpus,” “The Nextnik,” “The Road Led Here,” “Family Shorts,” and “The Ballad of Hugh.”

“As a teacher, I’ve always been interested in stories about young adults, and most of the work I do is generally related to kids programming in some way,” said James O’Brien, a former DJ and basketball player, who founded a small, art-focused school in New York. O’Brien’s also the filmmaker behind, “The New Public,” which airs this month on PBS and tells the story about the various problems in public schools throughout the country.

“The film is really about the importance of community collaboration and creating empathy between stakeholders so they can work together to create change in our urban education system and define success together,” O’Brien said.

A number of other films will also be featured, including the silent, but dark comedy, “Nervous Person,” and “The Hipster Paradox,” a satire of the phony nature of the hipster culture.