We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


You see a lot of crap at film festivals, especially local ones. And though it’s admirable that struggling arts communities should come together in such a way to celebrate creativity and independence, chances are the fests’ initially optimistic audiences will leave feeling grateful that green-lighters exist. In that spirit, I offer a note to those who, courtesy of this year’s 12th annual Rosebud Film and Video Festival, now call themselves filmmakers: Just because you play with a video camera doesn’t mean you’re “experimental.” And if your work has been deemed “deeply personal,” well, that suggests that its contents probably should have been kept to yourself. At any rate, there are a few standouts among this year’s fest of 20 animated films, documentaries, dramas—and those not so easily categorized. Dead Kitty (pictured), an animated short by Rachel Max, is a crudely drawn Dr. Katz-ian effort set to a catchy tribute song with all the sad, twisted beauty of “Smelly Cat.” One Man’s Home Is a Castle is Matt Spangler’s documentary about John Roswell Miller, a Korean War veteran and retired construction worker who started building an honest-to-God castle out in Aldie, Va., in 1986, and is still working to bring it to impenetrable glory. But Best in Show just might go to Wedding Advice: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, a series of interviews with the friends and family of 19-year couple Karen Sosnoski and Fred Zeytoonjian Jr., who made the film to seek counsel on whether they should finally get married. With the addition of commentary from various experts, this project turns out to be an intelligent and fair questioning of this culturally enmeshed tradition that still turns so many stomachs. The Rosebud Film and Video Festival Nominee Showcase begins at noon Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington. $8 (per day). (703) 524-2388. (Tricia Olszewski)