On Feb. 10, just as the omicron wave was receding, DC Independent Film Forum announced a return to theaters and live audiences for their 23rd annual film festival this March. “This year’s DCIFF will set a new standard for film forums by promoting filmgoing as a dynamic, active, communal experience and featuring ample opportunities for debate and discussion,” Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, DCIFF’s executive director, said in the festival’s announcement. The five-day event, complete with buttery popcorn and recliner seats, will screen more than 40 independent feature films, documentaries, shorts, and animated movies from around the world. Highlights include Iman Zawahry’s Americanish; from Hong Kong, Stefanos Tai’s We Don’t Dance for Nothing; Washington-area native Matthew Appleby’s debut feature, Adam and the Water; and the documentary My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan, which opens the fest. The forum will take place at E Street Cinema with screenings and Q&As with filmmakers. Additional events, such as workshops and seminars, will be held throughout the city. March 2 to 6 at E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. $35–$85; individual screenings $11.

For more film recommendations check out our calendar.