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The 2024 Filmfest DC


The Truth About Jessica, directed by Matt Winn, produced by Bright Pictures, Relevate Ventures, and Yes Repeat No


April 18, 2023 to April 28, 2023


From April 18 to 28, discover the Washington, DC International Film Festival, celebrating cinematic art, including several new French films.

Every year, the Washington, DC International Film Festival features many new and exciting films from across the globe, including from local filmmakers. This year, the festival returns with a fervor that reflects a collective love for films. The heart of the festival has always been driven by its attendees’ vibrant energy, each of whom has a unique perspective and a shared passion for films. The DC Filmfest celebrates the spirit of community and connection with this year’s edition. Each film has been selected for its artistic merit and its power to transport, enlighten, entertain, and remind the audience of the profound way artworks can impact our lives and the world.

Opening Film

Widow Clicquot, Thomas Napper, France/UK, 2023, 90 minutes

Thursday, April 18 7:00pm

Embassy of France| $45

Set in France during the Napoleonic Wars, Widow Clicquot tells the true story of Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin (1777–1866), the “Grande Dame of Champagne,” who, at the age of 20, became Madame Clicquot after marrying the scion of a winemaking family. Although their marriage was arranged, a timeless love blossomed between Barbe-Nicole (Haley Bennett) and her poetic, unconventional, and erratic husband, François (Tom Sturridge). In the weeds after her spouse’s untimely death, and a mother to daughter Clémentine, Barbe-Nicole was still enamored and enthralled with François’ avant-garde experiments. Dubbed “Veuve” (the French word for widow) at age 27, she resolved to protect her family’s legacy and boldly challenge the men—as well as the state—set on stripping her of her vineyards.

Determined to advance her husband’s theories, Barbe-Nicole wagered on the next harvest and her own blend of sparkling wine. Challenged by the unpredictability of the seasons, the aggressive competitor Monsieur Moët, and the Napoleonic Code of 1804 barring women from running businesses, the elegant and luminous widow was to succeed or lose everything. Director Thomas Napper entwines a sparkling story of flourishing female entrepreneurship with an account of doomed lovers whose legacy reverberates in the bubbles. The film is a toast to the perseverance of resolute women and to Veuve Clicquot.

Closing Film

The Trouble with Jessica, Matt Winn, UK, 2023, 90 minutes

Sunday, April 28 | 4:00pm

Landmark’s E Street Cinema, followed by a reception at Penn Social | $25

In this uproarious, clever comedy, Sarah and Tom, a financially strained couple, face unexpected chaos when an uninvited guest, Jessica, mysteriously passes away during their dinner party. Faced with the daunting task of concealing Jessica’s untimely demise, Sarah and Tom, along with friends Richard and Beth, embark on a hilarious scheme to maintain the illusion of normalcy.

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast, including Shirley Henderson, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams, and Indira Varma, the film delivers sharp wit and humor. Matt Winn’s direction keeps the pace brisk throughout the tight runtime, and the screenplay, co-written by Winn, is filled with plot twists and witty dialogue. The Trouble with Jessica explores the absurd lengths people will go to protect themselves and maintain appearances amidst financial turmoil. It’s an entertaining examination of desperation and moral compromise in contemporary society that will keep audiences laughing from start to finish.

To learn more about the lineup of 62 featured films at Filmfest DC, click here.

In partnership with

Filmfest D.C. 2024

Filmfest DC showcases new films from around the globe – from premieres, comedies, thrillers, dramas, to social justice documentaries, as well as new films by Washington filmmakers, it seeks to bring people together to celebrate the power of cinema.

Learn more

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