DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenwriting Competition

rotating reel

Film & Chef Pairings

This year, we are excited to partner with Whole Foods Markets and The Coterie to show an incredible collection of food-themed films from around the globe. Selected films have also been paired with local chefs who have prepared small plates for audience members. Look through this program for screening showtimes.

THE COTERIE enables diners to make free online reservations and seamless payment at the most innovative restaurants. The Coterie uses proprietary technology to offer diners “insider” tastings and seamless payment through a dynamic pricing structure. Sign up for the service free at THECOTERIEDC.COM

Imagine an old-fashioned corner grocery store, organic farmers market, custom cuts butcher, gourmet specialty shop, European bakery, fresh fish market and vitamin store all rolled into one! WHOLE FOODS MARKETS has your favorite all-natural products and some of their very own special items too. Their catering department can help you plan a casual picnic, a housewarming party or a very special holiday supper. Whole Foods Markets’ concierges can help you find products to suit your dietary needs. Find your nearest store at WHOLEFOODSMARKET.COM


Film: Liberty Road

Buy a Ticket

Thursday, September 6 @ 6:30PM @ US Navy Memorial

Random acts of kindness can overcome the worst random act of violence in a crab shack.


Peter Smith, PS7
777 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Many chefs’ menus change regularly, reflecting the bounty the season, but Peter Smith, his motivation is much more personal: he simply can’t stand to be bored. PS7, in downtown DC, is his laboratory for exuberantly creative American Cultural Cuisine. Smith’s “Pop-up” nights summon childhood memories with whimsical meals paying tribute to his heritage. PS7’s exceptional aged meats are introducing a new generation to the time-honored art of charcuterie.  Smith’s innovation of using the botanical by-product of gin in dishes was named one of the “50 Great Restaurant Ideas” by Restaurant Business Magazine while his signature Half-Smokes won “People’s Choice” for Best Half-Smoke in DC. PS7’s collaborative cocktail menu led it to be named one of the “Top 100 American Cocktail Bars” by Food & Wine Magazine.

Dish: Liberty Road Crab Cake

The storyline in Liberty Road takes place at a crab house so making a dish with crab was a no brainier. Sam, the main character in Liberty Road, is under a lot of pressure in different aspects of his life, which correlates to the cooking process of crabs that are put in heat under a lot of pressure. Sam gets, poked, picked, and basically put through the ringer, but with a little bit of help at the end of the film, like the finished product of this dish, everything turns out well.

View recipe

Film: Murder Mouth

Buy a Ticket

Thursday, September 6 @ 7:00PM @ E Street Cinema

Madeline decides that unless she can kill it, she can’t eat it


Ed Witt, 701
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC 20004

Binghamton, New York native Ed Witt is quickly establishing himself as one of the foremost champions of small, family farms. Raised on frozen vegetables and crock-pot dinners, Witt is now deeply committed to sourcing ingredients and places extraordinary value on determining the provenance and methods by which his meat, fish, poultry and produce are brought to market.  A former resident of the Washington area by way of Damascus High School and later the University of Maryland, Witt brings his meticulous approach and attention to detail to back to Washington at 701 Restaurant, where the menu reflects an inventive approach to contemporary continental cuisine. Since joining the restaurant in June 2010, Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post’s food critic praised Witt’s cuisine with ** ½ stars (out of four) in November 2010.  In 2012, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washingtonian named him for “Rising Culinary Star”.

Dish: Lamb Tartare on Crostini

Modern day carnivores have become so disconnected from their food that they are unable to identify it without the labels from the grocery store.  Like Maddie the protagonist, Ed Witt has made a conscious effort to reconnect with what he is cooking.   Witt has slaughtered his own pigs and prepared “snout-to-tail” menus as regular participant in Cochon 555, a competition with the goal to raise awareness about whole animal utilization and sustainable agriculture.

View recipe

Film: Look to the Cookie

Buy a Ticket

Thursday, September 6 @ 9:00PM @ US Navy Memorial

Glaser’s Bake Shop has created mouth-watering delicacies the same way for 110 years.


Whole Foods Market
1440 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Dish: Black & White Cookie

Tale from Jon Gann, Festival Director: While I was in film school, I would pass by Glaser’s Bakery every morning on my way to the subway, and grab a freshly-made black and white cookie. There is something so quintessentially New York about that cookie, and combined with a Snapple (then a NY-regional beverage), it was my breakfast of champions. When I first watched “Look to the Cookie,” I recognized Glaser’s 100 year-old woodwork immediately. The famed bakery has been seen in countless TV shows and films — Woody Allen has shot a few projects in the shop.

View recipe

Film: The Man at the Counter

Buy a Ticket

Friday, September 7 @ 7:00PM @ E Street Cinema

A young barista is forced to deal with some of life’s most basic questions


Vigilante Coffee

Vigilante Coffee Company is a Washington, DC based Micro-roaster of direct source and organic coffees. Providing fresh, locally roasted coffee since 2011, VCC is committed to advancing the specialty coffee industry one bean at at a time.

Dish: Hawaiian Kona Coffee

The coffee provided by Vigilante Coffee Company is a Kona Mokka. Mokka which is native to the Island of Maui, is known for being vastly different from other coffee known to Hawaii and around the world.  It is deemed, “the Champange of coffee”.  Vigilante Coffee is the only roaster of Maui Mokka within Washington D.C.  We hope that you enjoy this extremely rare and exotic coffee.

Film: The Capital Buzz

Buy a Ticket

Saturday, September 8 @ 4:00PM @ US Navy Memorial

Out of sight of local authorities and neighbors, amateur beekeepers are setting out to propagate bees all across Washington, D.C.


Mark Timms
308 Watkins Lane, St Michaels, Maryland, 21663

Chef Timms was born and raised in Sheffield, U.K. He came to the United States in 1990 to work as a trainee chef in Houston, TX. He has worked in restaurants and resorts in Washington, D.C., Stowe, VT, Scottsdale, AZ, Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA. He has three children and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Dish: Apricot, Tangerine and Honey Bread

View recipe

Film: Tastes Like Chicken?

Buy a Ticket

Saturday, September 8 @ 6:30PM @ US Navy Memorial

A single chicken believes a different life is possible — and she’s willing to take the risks to achieve it.


Jacob Hunter, Matchbox
713 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Chef Jacob Hunter of Matchbox is no exception. His arms are occupied with a colorful array of food-related tattoos giving physical testament to his complete and utter passion for cooking. Raised in Atlanta, Jacob worked early in the restaurant business as a busboy and server. It only felt right that culinary school at the Art Institute of Atlanta was his next destination. His distinct but varied passion for food is highlighted by two opposing tattoos: a bowl with chopsticks and another of utensils. It’s East meets West. Food, regardless of its origin, has a truly uniting quality. BBQ, Italian and Asian are among his favorite foods to cook. It is in the chaotic confounds of the kitchen where Jacob finds his sanctuary.

Dish: Cornbread with Organic Honey and Homemade Whipped Butter

After watching Tastes Like Chicken, Jacob Hunter decided he wanted to prepare a dish that any ideal chicken would have enjoyed.  Hunter also wanted to pay homage to the utopian farm pictured in the beginning of the film; so, he dreamt up a recipe whose ingredients could all be found in this one humble home. Using the main ingredients in chicken feed, corn and grain, he settled upon a corn bread recipe; and, as a proponent of local sourcing, he sweetened the deal with Virginia honey and butter.

View recipe

Film: Murgi Keno Mutant (Attack of the Killer Mutant Chickens)

Buy a Ticket

Saturday, September 8 @ 7:00PM @ E Street Cinema

A team of kung-fu fighting chefs must hunt mutant birds in order to keep chicken on their menu.


Julia Ebell, Rasika West End
1190 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20037

Julia Ebell had been bartending for 3 years before she realized there was more to it than kamikaze shots. She was lucky enough to get a job at the Gibson, where an interest in cocktails turned into a passion and a career. She is now head bartender at Rasika West End.

Dish: Akvavit

Despite the playful animation of the film, Attack of the Killer Mutant Chickens still packs a punch.  The challenge for Julia Ebell was to create a similar phenomenon but in a glass.  Ebell extracted the brilliant green color used to highlight the chicken’s mutation as the foundation of her drink.  Then she drew upon the setting of the film and combined spicy peppers with sweet syrup and fruit to capture the dynamic flavors of Bangladesh.

View recipe

Film: The Order

Buy a Ticket

Saturday, September 8 @ 11:30PM @ US Navy Memorial

A man orders a meal expecting flawless service, but his condescending and absurd demands push a waitress to a critical point.


Nick Stefanelli, Bibiana
12th & H St. NW, Washington, DC 20005

Nicholas Stefanelli is a young chef who understands the Italian tradition of putting together a meal, blending Italy’s culinary heritage with new ideas to create a signature style. Nick trained locally at the L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md., and apprenticed in kitchens up and down the east coast before drawing raves as the executive chef at Bibiana, one of the top Italian restaurants in the D.C. region. His work under fellow Coterie Chef Fabio Trabbochi as chef de cuisine at Fiamma in New York City led to a three-star rating from The New York Times, and his twelve-course tasting menus at Laboratorio del Galileo in Washington, D.C. are still admired in D.C. circles.

Dish: Pork Sandwich on Potato Roll

The Order is an atypical commentary on the service industry.  On the most visceral level, the viewer sympathizes with the waitress for the majority of the film, but the truth is murkier. Nick Stefanelli creates a pork sandwich on a potato roll mirroring the tenderloin and mashed potatoes served.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Copyright 2012 DC Shorts/DC Film Alliance

Rimons twitter widget by Rimon Habib