We celebrate the best storytellers and emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Celebrating Story

We are committed to giving great exposure to filmmakers from around the world. We're passionate about excellent and unique stories: films which provoke us to dream, make us laugh at ourselves, inspire us to see the potential of what could be, and ultimately paint a picture of the raw human condition. Every genre is welcome - from romance to suspense and animation to documentary. We believe story can revolutionize and are determined to expose the gifted and many voices of storytellers worldwide. We strive to elevate rising independent filmmakers and also, at our Closing Night Gala each year, honor an accomplished director, screenwriter, or actor whose work has greatly influenced both filmmakers and audiences, as an example of the extent even just one storyteller can have in our world. In 2010, filmmaker and philanthropist, David Darg, received our first Excellence in Film and Storytelling Award for his documentary, Sun City Picture House. Congratulations, David - keep telling stories.

Exclusive Benefits

VIP Treatment

The Hyatt Regency

Filmmakers will receive one complimentary night and additional nights at a highly discounted rate at the Hyatt Regency in Reston Town Center. Conde Nast Traveler Magazine named this Four-Diamond Reston hotel a Readers Choice Top 100 Hotel in the United States. 

Experience Story

Celebrate Film

In the spirit of community, we want to give filmmakers the opportunity to experience their own stories on the big screen, and the stories of their fellow artists. Complimentary tickets will be given to filmmakers for any and all screenings they wish to attend.

Awards and Recognition

Jury Selection

Our jury will honor films in the following categories: Documentary, Narrative, and Short Film. Our audiences will also vote for their favorite films, which we will screen on the final day of the festival for an encore performance!

  • "My film has been in over 100 festivals but Washington West was a highlight, a fantastic, unique experience. I had a great time, loved the focus on filmmakers, and am proud to have been part of the first festival. I so admire the unique mission they are committed to."

    - 2010 Academy Award nominee, Gregg Helvey (2009 Student Academy Award winner)

  • “I attended 10 festivals in 2011 where my film screened, and Washington West was my best experience. It amazed me what they've accomplished already."

    - Award Winning Director, Seth Stark