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If you’re starting to feel like everything everywhere is happening all at once, you’re not wrong and you’re not alone. Hopefully you’re making the most of it while taking care of yourself, checking out new things, and visiting new haunts. As you get ready for the week, here are some recent arts-related headlines and news stories you shouldn’t miss.
Drop It Low: In the spirit of connecting individuals through art, AFI Silver has announced a special, discounted film series to showcase work from today’s acclaimed Ukrainian filmmakers. Running May 4 through 12, Ukraine on Screen will feature more than a dozen films in an effort to keep and raise awareness on Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country while also promoting understanding of Ukrainian culture and recent history. The selected films—including Maryna Er Gorbach’s 2022 Sundance prize winner Klondike, Natalya Vorozhbit’s Bad Roads (the country’s 2021 Academy Award selection), and Kateryna Gornostai’s recently released coming-of-age love story Stop-Zemlia—range in subject matter, but all demonstrate a“ filmic artistry born of a resilience shared by both the filmmakers and the Ukrainian citizens whose real-life stories and experiences are documented and depicted on screen,” according to AFI’s Ukraine on Screen press release. Via screenings of the 2016 award-winning documentary Mariupolis, the series will pay tribute to Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius, who was killed on April 2 while filming in Ukraine
AFI’s former programming assistant Darya Levchenko, who’s currently in Ukraine working for Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, helped plan the series. And in an effort to reach the widest possible audience, AFI has reduced ticket prices to $8 per screening (member passes will also be accepted). Some of the screenings, such as the ones for Euromaidan. Rough Cut, will double as fundraisers—all the proceeds from Euromaidan will be donated to the Docudays UA fund for Ukrainian filmmakers.
Poetic Justice: Alabama-born poet KaNikki Jakarta has been named the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association’s first-ever poet in residence. Headquartered at Athenaeum Gallery, the association is dedicated to uplifting artists in the NoVa area. As its first poet in residence, Jakarta will spend the next year creating avenues for local poets to share their craft, including workshops, slams, and literary panels. Jakarta has three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir to her name. She made history in 2019 when she was named Alexandria’s poet laureate, becoming the first Black poet to hold the title. —Ella Feldman
Bookworms: After two years of virtual gatherings—as is becoming a customary intro sentence—Eastern Market’s Literary Hill BookFest is returning to the actual market for an actual in person festival on Sunday, May 1. The day-long event boasts more than 50 authors, poets, booksellers, publishers, literacy groups, and more in attendance. Some big, and local, names to be on the lookout for include poet and D.C. Hall of Fame inductee E. Ethelbert Miller, National Book Critics Circle award winner Ariel Sabar, former Washington Post columnist and NPR host Bonny Wolf, and two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Cheryl Head. Panel discussions, a children’s corner, and a community-penned poem are some of the other highlights. Poetry fans should stick around—following the free event, an open mic with established and aspiring poets, will take place.
Welcome to the Byrdhouse: Local pop rockers Broke Royals have signed with Byrdland Records—yes, that’s a new label from the team behind Songbyrd Music House. Stay tuned for more on that…
$trip Love Tour: After back to back weekends at Coachella, Karol G is taking herself on a 30-city tour of North America, with a stop planned at D.C.’s Capital One Arena for Sept. 14. Tickets to the pop star’s performance go on sale Friday, April 29, at noon, but the presale begins at noon tomorrow, April 26, via karolgmusic.com; use code: AMOR.
Screen Time: D.C.’s longest running film festival is still running. FilmFest DC is in its 36th year, and is back in person after two pandemic years pushed the festival to be purely virtual. With 65 films from around the world, FilmFest DC kicked off April 21 and runs through May 1, so head down to E Street Cinema—or the festival’s other four participating locations—to catch a flick this week. The festival wraps up on Sunday with Fantasies, a French rom-com in which six couples unearth the hidden aspects of their desires. —Ella Feldman