This year the DC Independent Film Festival wants you to be better people. Official themes organize each viewing (typically a feature and several shorts) along the lines of “misfits,” “the African diaspora,” “senior moments,” and others. Unofficially, the current running through most of them is doing something about it. California, for example, sticks it to agribusiness in Food Fight (Saturday, 7 p.m.); four sisters rail against a dictator in Code Name: Butterflies (Sunday, noon); and Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson tries to actively become less weird in How to Be (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.). Monday’s Middle Eastern theme (7 p.m.) brings a trio of films about young people whose everyday lives are complicated by the complicated places in which they live. In Grenade, three boys are yanked into reality by a deadly weapon; Demons of Cairo’s street children run from police and the threat of their organs being sold; and in Noor, a young woman’s birthday is cut short by the Israeli curfew. So many films, so many people in the films doing so many things, so much music to wash it all down: The DC Independent Music Festival runs concurrently, sometimes even with similar themes.
THE DC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL RUNS to SUNDAY, MARCH 15, AT THE PHOENIX THEATRES AT UNION STATION, COLUMBUS CIRCLE AT MASSACHUSSETTS AVENUE AND FIRST STREET NE $11. (202) 393-4266. CHECK DCIFF.ORG FOR A FULL SCHEDULE OF BOTH FILMS AND MUSIC.