Roger Ebert Home

The Foundation for the Augmentation of African Americans in Film Hosts The LightReel Film Festival June 8-10 in Washington, D.C.

The Foundation for the Augmentation of African Americans in Film (FAAAF) will host The LightReel Film Festival (LFF) in Washington, D.C. from Thursday, June 8th, through Saturday, June 10th. The LightReel Film Festival is an annual showcase that began in 2019 for cinematic talent to serve as an opportunity to inform, collaborate, entertain, and educate its audience through the cinematic achievements of a wide and diverse collection of filmmakers from around the world. 

2023 marks the festival's inaugural year in Washington, D.C., and second year in its hybrid format. The 4th Annual LightReel Film Festival (formerly the Lakefront Film Festival) will have a combination of live events and a slate of virtual offerings under its new designation as a celebration of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) filmmaking. LFF boasts a wide variety of national and international films, spotlighting a plethora of narrative and documentary features and shorts.

This year, LFF features films from eight countries and five continents. Its streaming portion consists of more than 30 films including narrative features, documentaries, and shorts written, directed, or starring a person of color. On June 9th, LFF will recognize the twentieth anniversary of the acclaimed Brazilian film "City of God" as one of its live events. In 2003, the independent film was a critical success receiving four Academy Award nominations for its true-life depiction of the streets of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

Also on Friday, LightReel will open its virtual reality (VR) lounge, The VR Experience, where patrons will experience interactive films through the lens of an Oculus headset. Curated by Adrian Rashad Driscoll, The VR Experience will welcome the return of Emmy Award-winning CNN host Van Jones with his "The Messy Truth" in VR series.   

"We are extremely excited that the vision of the LightReel Film Fest is coming to fruition in the Nation's Capital," stated Festival Director Tim Gordon. "This year's event continues our evolution, moving the festival experience forward with a great slate of BIPOC films and groundbreaking VR content. We look forward to engaging audiences and ‘shining our light on attendees!"

The LightReel Film Festival's new home for live events is the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market. The closing night film will be an exclusive showing of MGM’s "Surrounded," directed by Anthony Mandler and written by Andrew Pagana & Justin Thomas and Andrew Pagana. The film stars Letitia Wright, Jamie Bell, Jeffrey Donovan, Brett Gelman and Michael K. Williams.

Tickets and passes for the LightReel Film Festival are on sale now. Individual tickets for online events are priced at $15 each. The Full Fest pass, which allows access to all the online films and the VR Experience, is $75. The entire slate, tickets, and passes for the can be found at

Latest blog posts

Latest reviews

The Beach Boys
Hit Man


comments powered by Disqus