Launch of the DC/DOX Festival with free documentaries

Wednesday’s free DC/DOX Documentary Film Festival will feature documentaries on music, technology, society and politics.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews New DC/DOX Festival (Part 1)

A brand new documentary film festival kicks off Wednesday night in The District.

The DC/DOX festival will be held at the Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema on V Street Northwest.

“DC/DOX is a brand new launch event. We’re really looking to ensure a platform here in Washington, DC, for documentary in a broad sense and to reflect on the very wide range and depth of this genre,” co-founder Sky Sitney told WTOP. “We’re kicking things off this June 15 with a kick-off event, which signals a major festival to come this time next year.”

The one-night-only event includes six feature films and a short documentary.

The short is the timely Watergate documentary “The Martha Mitchell Effect.”

“We are coming to … the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in,” Sitney said. “Many know Martha as the wife of Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell. … Martha was a bold, strong, eccentric and iconoclastic speaker. Many will remember her speaking out against the dirty tricks of the administration. She was what we would today call “gaslit” for what she said.

As for feature films, don’t miss the heartbreaking childbirth documentary “Aftershock.”

“This movie is just amazing,” Sitney said. “This is a very important film that looks at the crisis in maternal health and, frankly, its disproportionate impact on families of color, closely following two families where there was a preventable death of two young women in layers…. It follows their two bereaved partners… who become reluctant activists.

You can also see the documentary on free expression journalism “Endangered”.

“This is the chronicle of a year in the life of four journalists in presumed democratic countries where press freedom is historically a given: Mexico, Brazil and perhaps surprisingly the United States”, Sitney said. “It’s about seeing how the press is rapidly deteriorating, misinformation is proliferating, and the brazen repression by world leaders.”

Music fans will enjoy “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song.”

“Often when we see a musical documentary, especially for someone as iconic as Leonard Cohen, it’s a glimpse into his entire life…but it really focuses on the remarkable trajectory of his most iconic ‘Hallelujah’. iconoclast,” Sitney said. “It’s a song that had many different chapters and was covered by many different artists, including Jeff Buckley.”

Music fans will also enjoy the international heavy metal documentary ‘Sirens’.

“This follows on from the first all-female heavy metal band in the Middle East…in Beirut,” Sitney said. “This movie is such a loving look at the friendships, the love, the incredible raw and pure talent of these women who make up this fantastic band called Slave to Sirens, and what it’s like to be a woman at this time and place largely misunderstood by society.”

You can also see the powerful criminal justice documentary “Riotsville, USA”.

“This film is constructed almost entirely from archival material…exhuming the government’s racist crackdown on black Americans in the late 1960s by viewing footage taken as National Guardsmen were being trained in fake constructed cities known as the name of Riotsvilles, often on military bases, and the participants, extras, played the role of rioters,” Sitney said.

Finally, discover the documentary on high-tech robotics “Sophia”.

“AI, artificial intelligence, through the lens of a specific robot, which is perhaps the most recognized humanoid robot, Sophia,” Sitney said. “It follows inventor, David Hanson, who is on a quest to bring consciousness and compassion to Sophia, to see if it’s still possible. … The future of AI, if we can create empathy, what it means to be human.

Tickets are free, but we encourage you to reserve them online in advance.

“We are thrilled to be able to present this extraordinary lineup of documentary films here in the nation’s capital,” said Sitney. “We have filmmakers or film subjects moderated by some of our key reporters in the region. This is an opportunity to draw the curtain behind the process of making these films. … We hope you will all join us for this launch.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews New DC/DOX Festival (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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