Arlington, VA

An Arlington resident has produced a new documentary about the mesmerizing world of synchronized skating.

Life in Synchro,” partly filmed at the MedStar Capitals IcePlex in Ballston, will be screened locally at the DC Independent Film Festival on Saturday, March 7. Rosslyn resident Nicole Davies produced the film while fellow American University alum Angela Pinaglia directed it.

The female-dominated sport, in which teams of eight to 20 skaters perform formations and step sequences in-sync to music, is little-known to most people, the filmmakers said. When Pinaglia was doing research for the film, she could not find any previous documentaries or films based on synchronized skating.

We talked with both filmmakers about the documentary and the sport.

How did you get involved in the project? 

Nicole: I have been a synchronized skater since I was nine years old. Angela and I met at American University and we were working together for the school communication summer program. I was always talking about synchronized skating and Angela didn’t really care until about three years ago. Angela saw it for the first time in Arlington. She realized then when she saw it how special it was.

Angela: When you’re in the ice rink you can literally feel a wall of wind as sixteen skaters are skating past you on the ice, so it’s a very immersive experience. I turned to Nicole afterwards and I said this is really cool, [and that] we should do a documentary.

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An Arlington waiter’s short film about life in the local restaurant industry is one of the contenders in a new diversity-focused film competition.

Isa Seyran’s Another Day is Over is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video as part of the All Voices Film Festival — an Amazon Prime short-film competition focusing on U.S. filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The grand prize for the competition is $25,000.

The film looks at the lives of a handful of people connected by late shifts at a local restaurant. It focuses on their private conflicts and family interactions outside of the restaurant, like a young Salvadoran busboy who spurns his native language and culture.

“It is about the hard working mostly undocumented immigrants living in fear in the age of Trump,” Seyran said in an email to ARLnow.

Seyran said the story is hyper-local and celebrates the diversity of Arlington and Washington, D.C.

“I have been working in and around Washington’s restaurants for coming close to two decades now,” Seyran said. “We just wanted to tell a simple, honest and humble story about the people who work long days and long hours. Our film is a love letter to the restaurant industry.”

The film is streaming online until Monday, June 24.

“This film, for me, is simply an attempt to understand the times that we are going through and the society that we live in,” said Seyran.

Photo courtesy George Kolotov

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(Updated on 05/22/19) Rosslyn’s annual outdoor movie festival is returning to Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) starting next month.

“Every Friday this summer in Gateway Park, bring a blanket or low chairs and a group of friends and enjoy a night under the stars with your favorite movies,” the event’s website says. “Movies start at dusk, but the fun starts at 5 p.m. with games and our Pub in the Park. This event is kid and dog friendly.”

During the events attendees can “enjoy some popcorn from Popped Republic and food from local food trucks.” A spokeswoman told ARLnow that attendees can also get 10 percent off their bill at the nearby Continental Pool Lounge or Beer Garden if they mention they’re at the outdoor festival, and will also be able to order a “special, movie-themed cocktail.”

The film schedule is as follows.

  • June 7 — Spider Man: into the Spider-Verse
  • June 14 — Paddington
  • June 21 — Casablanca
  • June 28 — Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
  • July 5 — Crazy Rich Asians
  • July 12 — Incredibles 2

The June 14 and July 12 movies — Paddington and Incredibles 2 — are “special family nights,” according to the website. If there’s a chance of rain, organizers will announce cancellations by 3 p.m. on the event website.

Photo via Rosslyn BID

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Morning Notes

Pentagon Ricin Case Update — “Letters sent to the White House and the Pentagon did not contain a finished form of ricin, law enforcement officials said Wednesday, but did contain a primitive form or precursor… A man was arrested in Logan, Utah, on Wednesday in connection with [the] suspicious letters.” [NBC News, NBC News]

Candidates Call for Speedier Lee Highway Planning — “Indications are pointing to redevelopment of significant portions of the Lee Highway corridor through Arlington beginning to gather steam. But is the Arlington County government going to be left behind as the process grinds on? The two candidates for County Board say the local government needs to get moving on its efforts to lead a comprehensive effort in helping plan the corridor’s future.” [InsideNova]

GMU ‘No Scooter Zone’ Nixed — George Mason University “recognizes the popularity of the scooters, so it is softening the message, [spokesman Buzz] McClain said. ‘I think the ‘no scooter zone’ sign got the attention of a lot of people, a little exclamatory. So we’re gonna tone down the messaging and say, ‘park the scooters over by the bikes,’ and that’s it.'” [NBC Washington]

Bistro 1521 Reviewed — Washington Post food critic Tim Carman gave a mostly positive review to Bistro 1521, the Filipino restaurant on N. Glebe Road in Ballston. [Washington Post]

Tonight: Family Film Showing in Clarendon — “Join Market Common Clarendon each Thursday in October starting at 6:30 p.m. for a FREE family-friendly movie on The Loop! Pre-movie fun begins at 4:30 with face painting and balloon twisting and free popcorn and candy from 6-8 p.m.” [ARLnow Events]

Teachers Endorse Kanninen, de Ferranti — The Arlington Education Association PAC has endorsed Democratic candidate Matt de Ferranti for Arlington County Board and incumbent Barbara Kanninen for School Board. The PAC represents Arlington teachers. [Twitter, Twitter, Arlington Education Association]

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kickoff — “Project PEACE is hosting Kate Ranta, a local domestic and gun violence survivor… for a community conversation about sex, violence and the Arlington community. The event takes place [on] Thursday, October 4 [at] 6:30 p.m., at the Walter Reed Community Center.” [Press Release]

Arlington’s Pros and Cons Compared to Tysons — “‘Arlington has old office spaces with bad floor plans,’ said [GMU Professor Stephen] Fuller. ‘That’s sending people out to Tysons, which has newer office space… [But] when Amazon was looking at Northern Virginia, they were looking at Crystal City, not Tysons. Tysons just doesn’t offer lifestyle that they’re looking for.'” [Tysons Reporter]

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Morning Notes

Judge Dismisses Dewey Horse Punch Case — A man who was accused of punching a police horse in Dewey Beach is now trying to clear his name after the case was dismissed. Surveillance video reportedly exonerated the man, who might not actually be from Arlington as originally reported. [Cape Gazette]

Rosslyn Transportation Meeting Tonight — “Join Arlington County and the Rosslyn BID to provide feedback at this public meeting that will focus on the Core of Rosslyn Transportation Study. This study will examine the feasibility and potential impacts of permanent changes to the street network in the core of Rosslyn, with the goals of improving safety and accessibility for all users, including those walking, biking, using transit and driving.” [Rosslyn]

Another Commute Alternative: Running — As Metro continues on a downward ridership spiral, some are finding running to be an attractive commuting alternative, providing exercise and fresh air while eliminating costs and unpredictable delays. [Runners World]

Angels of the Battlefield Gala Tonight — The Armed Services YMCA will present its annual Angels of the Battlefield awards tonight during a gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City. Among the 2018 recipients of the prestigious awards are Senior Airman Linda Wilson, who helped save lives during the Las Vegas mass shooting last year. [ASYMCA, Air Force Times]

New Film Fest Coming to Clarendon — “Georgetown’s Halcyon and Arlington’s Clarendon Ballroom will be the venues for a new film festival – Flicks4Change — that links the entertainment world with charitable activism. The film festival first started in Los Angeles, expanded to Australia and now comes to the DC area.” [Georgetown Dish]

Nearby: Pete’s Apizza Closes in Md. — Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza has closed its Silver Spring location. The D.C. and Clarendon locations remain open. [Bethesda Beat]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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The Found Footage Festival is coming to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) with a new “After Dark” show.

The festival is a touring showcase of VHS footage, from the strange to the hilarious. Many are found in garage sales, thrift stores and dumpsters across North America, then curated by The Onion and The Colbert Report veterans Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher.

The After Dark show compiles 25 years of footage collections into a show that includes live commentary and where-are-they-now updates.

The show at the Drafthouse is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14.

Highlights of “After Dark” include:

  • The intro video for a hunky tag team wrestling duo from Memphis called The Fabulous One
  • A fitness program featuring Angela Lansbury in a bubble bath
  • The foul-mouthed outtakes of Winnebago pitch man Jack Rebney
  • A young Arnold Schwarzenegger seductively feeding a woman a carrot in a 1984 travel video for Rio de Janeiro

Photo via Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse

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Rosslyn’s annual outdoor film festival is returning to Gateway Park this June.

All of the screenings will begin at dusk, but moviegoers can attend events at 5 p.m. each screening evening and buy beer, wine, or sangria at a mobile pub. Local food trucks and popcorn will also be available for purchase.

The events at the park, at 1300 Lee Highway, are both kid and pet friendly. There will be kids activities before the movie begins on June 29, July 13, and August 17.

The festival, sponsored by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, will be screening the following dozen movies over the summer, every Friday from June 8-August 24.

  • June 8 – Legally Blonde
  • June 15 – Wonder
  • June 22 – The Fifth Element
  • June 29 – Ratatouille
  • July 6 – Bridesmaids
  • July 13 – Coco
  • July 20 – Amelie
  • July 27 – La La Land
  • August 3 – Argo
  • August 10 – Lethal Weapon
  • August 17 – The Lion King
  • August 24 – Four Weddings and a Funeral

Events will be cancelled if there is a chance of rain, with a Rosslyn website update by 3 p.m that day.

Photo courtesy of the Rosslyn BID

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An Arlington filmmaker is back on the film circuit, this time showcasing a film tackling end-of-life care issues.

The movie, “Nothing to Do,” centers on a radio D.J. who has take care of his dying father. Director Mike Kravinsky was inspired in part by taking care of his own father during his final weeks.

“It was frightening and challenging, but unbelievably rewarding, to be there for my dad at the end,” Kravinsky said. “Even though this very sad thing is happening, life goes on.”

To prepare for filming, Kravinsky interviewed doctors and funeral directors about a family’s experience at the end of a parent’s life, including the inevitable and emotional fighting that was a reoccurring scene in the movie.

Some scenes were shot in Kravinsky’s bedroom, but also at Clarendon’s Goody’s pizzeria and Columbia Pike’s Twisted Vines wine bar.

Filmmaking was a career change for Kravinsky, a Lyon Village resident who worked for ABC News in D.C. as an editor for 30 years before accepting a buyout in 2010.

“In the back of my mind I always had this thing, like ‘film making is so cool,'” said Kravinsky. “I just gave this a shot and it’s been really gratifying, really rewarding for me.”

The film will be screened this Friday and Sunday (March 2 and March 4) at the Durango Independent Film Festival in Colo., and it was just screened at the Beaufort International Film Festival in Beaufort, S.C., where it was nominated for best actor/director.

Kravinsky said more film festivals have been interested in “Nothing to Do” than his previous film “Geographically Desirable” which came out in 2015.

“Nothing to Do” won the Special Jury Award at Virginia’s Alexandria Film Festival. It was also a finalist at the Cinequest Screenplay Competition in San Jose, Calif., and an honorable mention at the TrackingB Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles.

Kravinsky said he hopes he can bring the film back to the D.C. area and is currently applying for different screenings nearby.

Photos courtesy of Mike Kravinsky

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The Rosebud Film Festival, which honors the “innovative, unusual, experimental, and deeply personal” in film, will run Friday (January 26) through Sunday (January 28).

The festival, put on by Arlington Independent Media, will screen 34 films across three different showings — Friday at 7:15 p.m. and Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for one film screening block cost $15, or viewers can pay $40 for the whole weekend. The screenings will be held at the Miracle Theater in Washington, D.C. (535 8th Street SE).

On Sunday, AIM will host two free panel discussions, entitled “Student Filmmaking: From the Classroom to the Real World!” at 12 p.m. and “What Critics Look For?” at 2 p.m. An awards ceremony at the Clarendon Ballroom will follow that day, with the top five films set to each receive a $1,000 cash prize.

This year was a bit different for the festival as it expanded accepted entries from the world. Before, it only accepted films from people living in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

As a result, festival director Kevin Sampson said the submissions nearly doubled. Some of the themes in this year’s films include politics, identity, gender and sexuality.

One film titled “A Name that I Admire” follows a seventh-generation dairy farmer in Virginia as he decides who to vote for in 2016 election. An animated film also reflects on today’s politics in a project titled “Trump’s Got No Tact.”

Another film “Spectrum” is a documentary focusing on the social, political and spiritual world of 10 transgender people living in Israel.

Sampson said one of the best things about Rosebud is that it’s different from other mainstream festivals and movie viewings.

“Coming out to Rosebud you really get to hear from these artists that are speaking from their hearts,” he said. “I think if people want to be entertained as well as challenged that Rosebud is the perfect fit in terms as a festival to come out to and check out.”

Photo via Rosebud Film Festival

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The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is expanding its Christmas Movie Festival for the first time this year.

The festival usually takes place on one day, but instead will last for three weeks, starting on Friday, November 24 with showings of Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life. It wraps up on December 13 with Gremlins.

Paying for one $10 ticket will get attendees unlimited admission to all the scheduled festival movies across all three weeks, depending on space.

Dates for each movie screening are as follows:

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

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Celebrate the transformative power of film with the Washington West Film Festival, an annual showcase of the best new films and talented filmmakers from around the globe.

Create your own fest experience — reserve your favorites from over 40 films we’ll be screening in Reston and Arlington from October 25-30, with a limited time offer to the ARLnow community, a 30% discount off our popular The Fest Experience.

And the best part is you can feel good about Fest-binging. 100% of our net box office proceeds go to our charity partner each year that works to help alleviate childhood hunger, illness and poor education.

Purchase Today’s Deal Now
Discount Code: ARLnowDeal17 has been applied for you

WHEN: October 25-30, 2017

WHERE: Multiple locations in Arlington and Reston

WHAT: Enjoy the best a film festival has to offer. By purchasing this pass, you will have the opportunity to explore the variety of film options and styles showcased at the festival — a documentary film, a narrative film, two shorts programs and the Pavilion party.

Story Can Change The World. Learn more about the Washington West Film Festival

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