‘March On Washington Film Festival’ Kicks Off Sunday


Festival awards gala to pay tribute to late Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and SPLC’s Margaret Huang

The “March on Washington Film Festival,” an annual civil rights legacy project tracing the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, will hold its first-ever all-virtual event from September 20-27. Now in its eighth year, the festival, which was driven online by the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature a series of film screenings, workshops, panel discussions and live performances centered on this year’s theme: “Who Tells The Story?” The winners of the 2020 Students & Emerging Filmmaker Competition, which received 100 submissions from around the globe, will also be announced.

This year’s festival comes after months of sustained protests against police violence and racial injustice across the United States. For this year’s festival, the power of the storyteller and the importance of yesterday’s movement to today’s movement for freedom and justice are inextricably linked.

Film screenings include: The Sit-In, Women in Motion, You Asked for the Facts, and Body & Soul, along with others. There will also be a reimagining of the 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William Buckley and a dramatic reading of Ida B. Wells’ work.

In addition, Congressman John Lewis will receive the March on Washington Lifetime Legacy Award posthumously at the festival’s awards gala with a special tribute and original dance from Alvin Ailey choreographer Jamar Roberts. The festival will also present its “March On” awards to Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Southern Poverty Law Center President Margaret Huang for their trailblazing work to advance civil rights. The evening will be hosted by The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, and presenters include MSNBC’s Joy Reid, RFK Center’s Kerry Kennedy, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. Musical tributes will be performed by country artist Jamey Johnson, blues musician Keb’ Mo’ and jazz harmonicist Frederic Yonnet.

WHO: Select guests, panelists, and speakers at this year’s festival and awards gala will include:

Keith Boykin, Political Commentator, CNN

Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Opinion Columnist, The Washington Post

Benjamin Crump, Civil Rights Attorney

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Hill Harper, Actor, The Good Doctor

Laura Jarret, Anchor, CNN New Day

Kerry Kennedy, President of RFK Human Rights

LaChanze, Tony Award-Winning Actress, The Color Purple

Joy Reid, Host, TheReidOut

Rashad Robinson, President, Color Of Change

Raquel Willis, Communications Director, Ms. Foundation


Sunday, September 20 – Sunday, September 27

Festival awards gala to be held on Monday, September 21 at 7:00 PM ET


The all-virtual Film Festival festival will stream online. Attendees must purchase tickets to receive an access link.


Members of the public can purchase tickets to the Film Festival and the Festival gala here: https://www.marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org/2020-film-festival


For additional information about the Film Festival, including the festival lineup, list of speakers, sponsors, and more, visit the March on Washington Film Festival website or follow us @MoWFilmFest on Twitter and Instagram.

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