Booing at Meeting About I-66 Tolling — VDOT representatives were booed by residents at a meeting about the plan to convert I-66 to high occupancy toll lanes inside the Beltway. VDOT wants to have the tolling in place by 2017. In addition to residents, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is skeptical of the plan, worried that it may discourage travel at Dulles International Airport. [InsideNova, WTOP]
Opera Troupe Leaving Arlington — Forced to find a new home due to the closure of Artisphere in Rosslyn, the opera troupe UrbanArias will perform at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE in D.C. during its 2015-2016 season. [InsideNova]
Barbie Doll Convention Held in Crystal City — More than 1,000 collectors descended on Crystal City for the 2015 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention last week. The event included auditions for a Barbie-themed Broadway production. [Daily Mail]
Marine Completes Hand-Cycle Journey to Arlington — Double amputee Marine veteran Toran Gaal completed his cross-country ride to Arlington National Cemetery this past weekend. Gaal made the more than 3,000 mile journey, which raised money for other wounded Marines, on a hand-cycle. [NBC Washington, Stars and Stripes]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
County Offices Closed for Labor Day — Arlington County government offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Pools and ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will proceed as normal, but mulch delivery will be suspended. Parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]
Last Outdoor Films of the Season — Rosslyn will be hosting its last outdoor film of the summer tonight. “Horrible Bosses” is slated to run from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, meanwhile, gets the honor of hosting Arlington’s last outdoor film of the summer. “Gravity” will be shown at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike) Saturday starting around 7:30 p.m. [Rosslyn BID, CPRO]
Courthouse: ‘A Hot Spot Getting Hotter’ — Courthouse “is on the cusp of being reinvented” says a county planner. Its walkability, abundance of retail and park proximity have all helped to contribute to its increasing desirability among homebuyers. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Adopts Local Platform — Billed as its “first local platform,” the Arlington County Republican Committee approved a set of five guiding principles Wednesday. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Kenneth Edward Piner
Fishing Without Nets tells the story of a young Somali father who is forced to become a pirate to support his family. The film was shot in Kenya, mostly on the Indian Ocean, and features nonactors playing the role of the pirates. Hodierne, in an interview he gave for Sundance’s website, called the film “action arthouse.”
“I wanted to make a movie that was as realistic as possible, but to also maintain kind of a grand and cinematic quality,” he said. “You could see how tempting it could be to kind of be steered toward this life. It’s obviously a huge risk and a dangerous world to get into, but when your options are so limited it becomes a more hopeful possibility.”
Hodierne graduated from H-B Woodlawn and attended film school at Emerson College in Boston before dropping out after one year, according to his mother, Alicia Shepard. Hodierne said he dropped out because “I’ve already learned all this stuff” — thanks to David Burkman, his teacher at H-B Woodlawn. Burkman is credited as a writer on Fishing With Nets. Also helping out on the film was Raphael Swann, another H-B Woodlawn grad, who was credited as a co-producer.
“[Cutter has] known what he wanted to do since he was 16, maybe even earlier, and he’s done it,” Shepard told ARLnow.com this week. “It was clear he had a talent for this in high school… He has a lucky blend of being an artist and entrepreneur. It’s not enough to just be an artist. He’s a bit of hustler, in a good sense.”
Shepard said she was intimately involved with the short film two years ago, but for the feature film, Hodierne insisted she wait until the premiere to see the final product.
“I was blown away by how ambitious the film is, how beautifully shot it is,” she said. “I have no real credibility as his mother, it was just mind-blowing to see what your child can produce. You know your kid is fairly talented, but wow. And to get the validation as best director. It was emotionally overwhelming for me, I can only imagine it was for him.”
Screenshot (top) via Sundance.org. Image (bottom) courtesy Cutter Holdierne
Arlington to Update Streetcar Analysis — Arlington County has hired a consulting firm to update its analysis of the transit capacity needed for Columbia Pike and the potential return on investment of the county’s planned Columbia Pike streetcar system. The new analysis, which should be complete by December, will take into account changes in population and employment since the original analysis was done. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Planning Halloween Film Fest — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is planning a Halloween film festival on Saturday, Oct. 19. The festival will feature a kid-friendly Halloween film, followed by something more adult-oriented. The BID is asking the public to vote on which films they would like to see. [Survey Monkey]
Va. Senator Defeats Journalist in Spelling Bee — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was declared the victor in a journalists vs. lawmakers spelling bee at the National Press Club last night. Sen. Kaine won with the spelling of “nonpareil,” against runner-up Rebecca Sinderbrand, of Rosslyn-based Politico. [Twitter]
Preservation Arlington Lauds Residential Redevelopment — Preservation Arlington is lauding the redevelopment of a residential property on the western end of Washington Blvd in Arlington. About 10 years ago, the 1940s-era colonial-style home at 6315 Washington Blvd was renovated, preserving its unique architecture, while two new homes were built on the large tract of land. Thanks to “foresight and good planning,” the project prevented the stately home from becoming “just another in-fill development site.” [Preservation Arlington]
Highest Percentage of Commuters in U.S. — At 76.6 percent of its total workforce, Arlington County has the highest percentage of commuters in the nation. Arlington is even ahead of D.C. (71 percent) and New York City (69.5 percent). Nearly 150,000 people commute into Arlington on a typical weekday, and most don’t pay any county taxes. [Governing]
Taste of Arlington Road Closures — A number of roads in Ballston, including a stretch of Wilson Blvd, will be closed for most of the day on Sunday for the annual Taste of Arlington festival. As a reminder, the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations will be closed throughout the weekend and additional shuttle buses will be provided for festival-goers at the East Falls Church and Clarendon Metro stations. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Outdoor Movies Start Tonight — The annual Rosslyn outdoor summer film festival starts tonight. The theme of this year’s festival is “Summer School” — films that use high school as a backdrop. Tonight’s flick is the 1985 classic The Breakfast Club. This and every other Friday showing through Aug. 30 starts at dusk at Gateway Park. [Rosslyn BID]
Tight Inventory in Home Market — Arlington’s residential housing market is still afflicted by a dearth of inventory. There are more buyers in the market than there are homes to buy. [Sun Gazette]
Photo via @BallstonBID. Disclosure: Ballston BID and Rosslyn BID are ARLnow.com advertisers.
The movies will run on Friday nights from May 17 to August 30, in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). This summer’s festival features 16 well-known high school movies, starting with the 1985 classic The Breakfast Club.
This year’s scheduled is as follows.
- May 17: The Breakfast Club (1985)
- May 24: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
- May 31: Clueless (1995)
- June 7: Risky Business (1983)
- June 14: Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
- June 21: Easy A (2010)
- June 28: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
- July 5: Bring It On (2000)
- July 12: Pretty in Pink (1986)
- July 19: She’s All That (1999)
- July 26: Fame (1980)
- August 2: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
- August 9: Sixteen Candles (1984)
- August 16: High School Musical 3 (2006)
- August 23: American Graffiti (1973)
- August 30: Grease (1978)
While most movie-goers walk or take Metro, parking is available in the nearby Atlantic Parking Garage, next to the Continental on N. Moore Street, for $3.
The theme of last year’s Rosslyn film fest was “Election Night.”
Man Busted for Meth Lab Worked for USA Today — One of the men arrested in connection with a suspected meth lab in a Virginia Square apartment building used to be a journalist who was regularly published in USA Today. Leonard Fischer, 44, was formerly a technology reporter for Gannett News Service. [Jim Romenesko, Kenneth in the 212]
Arlington Unemployment Rate Declines — Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. Arlington’s jobless rate dipped from 3.7 percent in June to 3.5 percent in July, according to newly-released data. The average in Virginia is 6 percent, and the national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. [Sun Gazette]
Outdoor Movie Lineup Announced — Crystal City’s lineup of outdoor movies for 2013 has been announced. The series — with the theme of “Blockbusters” — will kick of with E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial on June 3, 2013 and will wrap up with Jurassic Park on Aug. 26, 2013. The lineup was chosen via online vote by members of the public. [Crystal City]
Building Boom in D.C., Arlington — In 2011, an otherwise slow year for residential construction, Arlington and the District of Columbia captured a disproportionately large portion of local building projects. According to the Washington Post: “… while the District and Arlington County have historically accounted for only about 8 percent of the region’s residential building permits over the past two decades, these two jurisdictions accounted for 36 percent of the building activity in 2011.” [Washington Post]
Moran Horse Slaughter Ban Passes Committee — A bill championed by Rep. Jim Moran (D), which would effectively ban the slaughter of horses for food, has passed the House Appropriations Committee. Moran tried to insert language banning horse slaughter in an agriculture bill last year, but the provision was ultimately removed. [Office of Rep. Jim Moran]
Mid-Week Movie at Westover Library — Looking for a way to beat the heat today? The Westover branch library (1644 N. McKinley Road) will be screening the film Pride as part of its summer mid-week movie series. The series features movies with “sporting themes,” in honor of the Summer Olympics. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Rosslyn Outdoor Movies Start Tonight — The season of weekly, political-themed outdoor movies in Rosslyn starts tonight with the 1999 Matthew Broderick/Reese Witherspoon flick “Election.” The movie is scheduled to start at dusk.
Anti-Harassment Ads at Metro Stations — WMATA has placed anti-sexual harassment public service announcements in 28 Metro stations. In Arlington, the ads can be found in the Ballston and Clarendon Metro stations. [Stop Street Harassment]
Opening of Refurbished Affordable Apartments — Community members, local elected officials and affordable housing advocates gathered Wednesday to celebrate the preservation and renovation of Buckingham Village 3 — now renamed “Buckingham Gardens” — as committed affordable rental housing. Ninety-two apartments have been renovated and a new community center has been built as part of the project. [Arlington Mercury]
Margot MacDonald to Play Encore –– Arlington’s own singer/songwriter Margot MacDonald will be performing at Encore Stage, a local youth-oriented theater. The performance will take place this Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Road). “Join us for an evening of Margot’s own eclectic rock and favorite covers,” Encore says on its website. “Recommended for ages 10 and up.” [Encore Stage & Studio]
H-B Woodlawn grad Cutter Hodierne has emerged the big winner in the short film category at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
Out of more than 7,500 submissions and some 64 short films screened at the festival, Hodierne’s Fishing Without Nets has earned the top jury prize for Short Filmmaking. The jury, which included Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge, said Fishing Without Nets provided a unique perspective on the issue of Somali piracy.
“By approaching a story of epic scope with an intimate perspective, this visually stunning film creates a rare, inside point of view that humanizes a global story,” the jury said. The jury award was announced last night. Hodierne will be formally honored at Sundance’s Awards Ceremony, hosted by actress Parker Posey, on Sunday.
Fishing Without Nets was written, directed, produced and edited by Hodierne. Filmed in Kenya, the 17-minutes film is a fictional story about Somali pirates, told from the perspective of the pirates.
Hodierne is now working on a feature-length version of the film.
When Cutter Hodierne got the call, at 11:00 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, he assumed it was a prank.
The voice on the other end congratulated him for his short film, Fishing Without Nets, being selected to the Sundance Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. After the caller repeatedly assured Hodierne that he wasn’t being pranked — “that’s what everybody I call says” — the realization set in: this 24-year-old H-B Woodlawn grad and college dropout was mere weeks away from presenting his film at the festival that had helped the careers of indie film icons like Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Soderbergh.
“This is just a big dream since I picked up a camera for the first time,” said Hodierne, 24, in a phone interview.
Fishing Without Nets was written, directed, produced and edited by Hodierne. It is a fictional story about Somali pirates, told from the perspective of the pirates. Filmed in Kenya, utilizing amateur Somali actors, the short is a testament to Hodierne’s perseverance and resourcefulness.
Together with producing partners Raphael Swann (another H-B Woodlawn grad), John Hibey (also a co-writer), Harold Otieno and Abubakr Mire, Hodierne managed to overcome challenge after challenge over the course of three months to complete the filming of the 17-minute film.
“Most of the guys cast as pirates were just local Somali guys living in Kenya who looked the part,” Hodierne said.
Then there was the matter of obtaining guns from the police for the filming. The Kenyan government, which has strict gun laws on its books, was not easily persuaded that Hodierne and his small crew were trustworthy enough to be given (real) automatic weapons.
“People are very suspicious of anybody trying to rent a bunch of guns from the police,” he said with a laugh. Eventually, Hodierne got his way — and his guns.
Then Hodierne found himself in a real-life life-and-death situation. He and his producing partners were robbed at gunpoint by a group of men. After giving the armed men everything they had, Hodierne and company were marched out to the ocean.
There’s going to be plenty of Christmas cheer to go around in Arlington this weekend. A sleigh-ful of holiday events are planned around the county. Among them:
- Winter Wonderland in Clarendon — This event will feature family-friendly holiday activities and entertainment, including strolling carolers, professional ice sculptors and free photos with Santa. Mix 107.3 FM will be broadcasting live and the Marine Corps will be collecting toys and cash for their Toys for Tots campaign.
- Saturday, 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd)
- The Gift of Art Reception — Support local artists and buy a unique, artful gift at this holiday showcase event.
- Saturday, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Arlington Arts Gallery (5179 Lee Highway)
- Shirlington SantaCon — This daytime bar crawl encourages participants to come dressed as Mr. or Mrs. Claus as they go from bar to bar in Shirlington Village. The $15 registration fee will benefit the charity Dreams for Kids.
- Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Shirlington Village (2700 S. Quincy Street)
- Good Sports Holiday Party — Good Sports of Arlington will be holding its 6th Annual Holiday Party to benefit its Scholarship Fund for Arlington students. This year’s event will feature a raffle with prizes such as Capitals tickets, Presidents Club seats to a Nationals game, and a weekend getaway to Virginia’s brewery and vineyard area outside Charlottesville.
- Saturday, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Crystal City Sports Pub (529 S. 23rd Street)
- National Chamber Ensemble Holiday Concert — The National Chamber Ensemble and talented young guest musicians play seasonal favorites as well as a traditional carol sing-along. Tickets are $28 for adults and $15 for students.
- Sunday, 4:30 p.m., Artisphere Spectrum Theatre (1101 Wilson Blvd)
- Holiday Concerts and Sing Along — The award-winning, all-female Potomac Harmony Chorus will present its annual Holiday Concert and Sing-Along. Admission is free, but donations will be collected on behalf of Doorways for Women and Families.
- Sunday, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., NRECA Conference Center (4301 Wilson Blvd)
- Christmas Movie Festival — Christmas-themed movie classics are shown at the big screen at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. The lineup includes: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Scrooged, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
- Sunday, 12:00 to 9:00 p.m., Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
A film made by a group of students from Yorktown High School and the Arlington Career Center was nominated for an award at a local film festival over the weekend.
The film, “Not Yet,” examines an important decision some high school students face: whether to apply to college or stay home and help one’s family.
It was nominated for a Best Student Film award at the 72 Hour Film Festival in Frederick, Md. The festival challenges filmmakers to write, record and edit an original film in only 72 hours.
Directed by students Jeremy Cannon and Charlotte Pence, and starring Maddie Richhart, Steven Duffy, Nick McNulty and Ariel Cadby-Spicer, the film was shot in an Arlington home and at Yorktown High School and Tuckahoe Park.
In the end, “Not Yet” was a runner-up; a film by a group of college students won the award.
The final screening of this year’s Crystal City outdoor summer film festival took place last night, but not before the theme for next year’s festival was revealed.
The festival, which is coming up on its sixth year, will host an entire summer of romantic comedies in 2012. Dubbed ‘Crystal Screen: Date Night Crystal City,’ the movie series will again start in June and wrap up at the end of August.
Films set to be shown under the stars next year include: Sex and the City, The Wedding Singer, Sweet Home Alabama, Hitch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sleepless in Seattle, The Proposal, Bridget Jones’s Diary, You’ve Got Mail, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Love Actually, Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally.
“The audience has selected a great line up of movies, and I know that everyone is looking forward to a romantic night under the stars in Crystal City,” Crystal City BID President Angela Fox said in a statement. The past two ‘Crystal Screen’ themes were ‘By the Numbers’ — movies with numbers in the title — and ‘Star Trek’ — an entire summer of Star Trek films.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will host its first outdoor movie. The inspirational football flick The Blind Side will be screened at the new, grassy public square at the Penrose Square development, starting at 8:00 p.m. Giant is co-sponsoring the family-friendly movie night.
CPRO Executive Director Takis Karantonis says the screening is a trial of sorts — a one-time event that will hopefully lead to a full-fledged outdoor summer film festival on the Pike next year.
“We are trying to find ways to use the public spaces” along the Pike, Karantonis said. “We can’t put pressure to create new public spaces if we don’t use the ones we have.”