What are you doing this weekend?

Doc & a Drink is going to the “Our City Film Festival”.  Our first stop is the opening night party tomorrow (Saturday). It’s open to the public — Join us!

It’s at RFD’s (810 7th St, NW) and everyone knows RFD’s has an excellent beer selection.  Katy and I will be interviewing some of the local documentary filmmakers.  It’s going to be a blast.  It’s only 12.00 and all the money from the festival goes back into the organization.  Buy your tickets online – they will sell out! See you there (8-11pm).

**** Celebrate the opening of the film festival with filmmakers and VIPs.

Enjoy beer specials, great raffle give-aways, and performances by

Grammy nominee, Arts and Humanities Council of Washington grantee

and subject of past OCFF film, Blue Line

Then – this Sunday – is the main event.  The films are all about D.C. The festival is only on Sunday, at The Goethe Institute (812 7th St, NW).  For ticket information and a full schedule check the website:  http://www.yachad-dc.org/Home.shtml

AND – just added — is the closing event with the D.C Cupcake Girls…

Georgetown Cupcakes’ Sophie and Katherine will be special guests,

screening TLC’s Second Season of DC Cupcakes,Our City

hosting a Q&A, and cupcake decorating contest at the finale.

ONLY 10.00 to attend.  Buy tickets here.


5 out of 5 Cheers.

-becky beamer

Silverdocs is NEXT WEEK ….. hollllllla

The D.C area’s best documentary Film Festival and arguably one of the most anticipated events of the year invades Silver Spring next week.

Everyone should take advantage of the access to the hippest – hottest and hard to find docs.  Check out the long – the short and the conferences.

And, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Doc & a Drink will be giving the weekly play by play as official bloggers of the festival.

Bookmark these blogs for the inside scoop:



Inside Scoop of the Week: Many of the evening shows are selling out. Buy your tickets today online!

Highlighted Doc of the Week: MEN WHO SWIM

I’m really looking forward to a doc that features Men Synchronize Swimming.  To learn more check out my blog for SilverDocs.

Cheers and Beers — becky

Doc News > Baseball + Ken Burns

Don’t miss Ken Burn’s follow-up to Baseball (1994 – PBS).   If his name sounds familiar he is responsible for many super popular doc series on PBS including The Civil War, The War and Jazz.

On September  28th & 29th – PBS will Air The Tenth Inning. So, mark your calendars for another All American experience focusing on the 1990’s to today.




Something I learned about Ken Burns on Wiki:

Burns often gives life to still photographs by slowly zooming in on subjects of interest and panning from one subject to another. For example, in a photograph of a baseball team, he might slowly pan across the faces of the players and come to rest on the player the narrator is discussing.

This effect, present in many professional and home software applications, was affectionately named “The Ken Burns Effect” in Apple Inc.‘s iPhoto and iMovie software applications. It also figures in the 6th-generation iPod interface in the cover art of the main menu.

Don’t forget to top off your movie watching with a  Hot Dog and Beer —

becky beamer

Event of the Month – Environmental Film Festival – Living Downstream

FILM:  Living Downstream

FILMMAKER: Chanda Chevannes

REVIEWER: Becky Beamer

Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic feature-length documentary.  This poetic and character-driven film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.

I am so glad that I took the time to attend D.C’s Environmental Film Festival’s Bonus Day on April 25th.   I saw a film that was very special.  My glowing review starts with the first scene –  The opening scene visuals are thoughtful and the narration is extremely well written.  The open also happens to be part of the trailer so I don’t feel like disclosing the narration (below) will be any kind of spoiler …

There was once a village overlooking a river.
The people who lived there were very kind.
These residents, according to parable, began noticing increasing numbers of drowning people caught in the river’s swift current. And so they went to work devising ever more elaborate technologies to resuscitate them.

So preoccupied were these heroic villagers with rescue and treatment that they never thought to look upstream to see who was pushing the victims in.
This film is a walk up that river.  The river of human cancer.

Finally, Doc&aDrink has experienced an intelligent Host-Main Character.  The documentary was filled with beautifully – well composed landscapes and solid science.  Simplicity & Style of the visuals just works.  The B Roll was clean and deliberate.  My favorite scene was the beluga whales.  The scene included beluga dissection in the name of science.  It was raw and interesting.  I’ve never seen anything like it – effective.

For all those who were wondering – the screening was free  and the location was wonderful.  Please keep an eye out for the festival next year.

It was well attended and the audience included Senator John Kerry.


5 out of 5 Cheers.


Field Trip for FEB …. SOLD (the film)

 documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

On February 24th Doc&aDrink “took it to the streets” and attended a screening of SOLD:Fighting the New Global Slave Trade.

WIFV hosted the screening at the Jack Morton Auditorium, The Documentary Center, The George Washington University.  What a fantastic venue!  The auditorium has extra screens for those positioned on the outside of the theater, lots of leg room, and excellent space for a speaker.

From the filmmakers:

Our hope is that SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade will do more than just expose the darkness of slavery today. There are already so many films that document what is wrong with the world, exposing us to image after tragic image, adding to our collective compassion fatigue.

The challenge has been to balance the bleakness with hope. We want people to be outraged by the problem but also to be inspired by these three extraordinary abolitionists. Each of them battles a different virulent variety of slavery, with humor, grace, righteous anger and unflagging determination.

The film was just well done.  Not too long and not too short – just the right time.  This doc boast good videography –  mixed with interesting interviews – and stock footage.  But – the most impressive thing about this documentary is the characters involved.  I was drawn to the stories of the victims and lifted-up by the volunteers who are risking their own life for child victims of the slave trade. Yes, the topic was serious but I wasn’t sad when I left my seat in the auditorium.  Instead – I was uplifted and moved towards actions.  AND that’s the point.

For more information about the film and how you can help :  http://soldthefilm.com/

4 out of 5 Cheers.



Now is your chance to catch up on all the Oscar Nominated Documentaries for FREE!  Did I mention the shows are free?  The National Archives is going to show 82nd Academy Award Nominated Films from March 3-7, 2010.

Highlight ? THE SHORTS: Documentary Short Subject Nominees, Sunday, March 7, noon

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit à la Berlin

Total Running Time: 199 minutes (with a brief intermission).

Details: Seating for all screenings will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations will be accepted. Free tickets will be distributed at the National Archives Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue beginning 60 minutes prior to the start time. You must be present to receive a ticket. Theater doors will open 30 minutes prior to start time. The saving of seats is strictly prohibited.

The William G. McGowan Theater is located in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. The public should use the Special Event entrance on Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. To verify the date and times of the programs, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at: (202) 357-5000.

For more information:  http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2010/nr10-58.html

5 out of 5 Cheers!


Event > the GV Expo 2009 – Washington D.C

Government Expo  documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

I had the opportunity to go as “press” to the GV Expo 2009 today as an official “press” representative.  It took place at the DC Convention Center. Today  was  the last day in its 3 day run.  The Expo was worth my time so I want to urge all DC/VA/MD locals to sign up and join me next year.  The exhibit area was even FREE to the general public.

Government Expo  documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

Here are the highlights …….

The Convention and Expo staff were extremely friendly and helpful.   The area was clean and spacious.  I usually feel cramped by a crowd environment but this set up was refreshing.

I went to 3 seminars aimed towards a range of  the advanced FCP and the novice podcaster.

1. From Expert to Master : Advanced Techniques for FCp – I really liked this seminar.  I never felt bored or tired.  The speaker had a clear voice and moved at a speedy pace.  I learned plenty of new tricks and learned Government Expo  documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drinkabout featured that I don’t use regularly.  This seminar was not for the beginner for sure as the speaker pushed through beginner issues.

2. Creating a Graphic Identity for your Web Video – I didn’t stay for the entire hour.  The topic wasn’t extremely helpful to me but it was for those making marketing or branding products.  However, the instructor was extremely knowledgeable and helpful to the crowd (of only about 15 people).

3. Make Video Searchable on the Web – This seminar highlights the Adobe Premiere Pro option for “Speech Translation” available on CS4.   I found this seminar extremely interesting.  I like that the speaker was to the point and extremely knowledgeable.  She completed the demonstration in 30 minutes which left about 30 minutes for questions ranging form AE to FCP to PP.  She provided her notes to the class and her website with additional information : www.videotrainers.com .

I missed a few seminars on other days that I am sure I would have enjoyed like : Creating Great Titles in FCP, DC Podcast Alliance Meeting, Trouble Shooting FCP.

The exhibit area was packed with vendors.  There were products, organizations and companies for individuals and large companies.  I walked away with many booklets and magazines.

I am super excited about the new Panasonic 3D HD technology and the GY-HM100 JVC camera.  It is also nice to see that the DC film and television community is getting more active with both WIFV and the DC Film Alliance having a strong presence at the Expo.

Noticeably missing from the Expo was Sony although BOTH AVID and FCP were represented.  And the studentfilmmakers.com booth was also missing.

There was even a “give away” raffle at the end of the day.  Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything.

5 out 5 Cheers


Doc News >>> Feature Doc Oscar Nominations

FYI for the documentary crowd : The Academy has announced this years nominees for the “Best Feature Doc” for the 82nd Annual Oscars.


The list includes The Cove, Burma VJ, and Food,Inc.  All docs that I wanted to see but haven’t yet…..

I guess it is no surprise by Doc&aDrink’s lack of “5 out of 5 Cheers” we have not seen any of the nominees.  That’s Right – not one!  I guess we have a lot of viewing to do …… stay tuned.


Easton,MD and the Chesapeake Film Festival

Over the weekend Katy and I took a little trip to the Chesapeake Film Festival.  The festival was located in the quaint little town of Easton ,MD which is about 1 hour and 45 min from Washington D.C proper.   We were discouraged by the length of the journey but stayed true to the plan.  We even  braved a forest fire on Rt.50.

easton  documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

The town was the best part of the festival.  It was small and had an old town feel.  You could easily walk between all of the major event locations and in between each location pass boutique stores, people enjoying the weather, and coffee shops. We stopped to watch Kimjongilia at the historic, deco-style, Avalon theater. So cute.

I would recommend a day trip to Easton for all.  And, don’t forget to enjoy some crab and pick up a pumpkin while you’re at it.

DC Shorts Film Festival – GO NOW!

Katy and I enjoyed the opening day of the DC Shorts Film Festival last Friday.   I am sure Katy will agree that the atmosphere was collaborative and creative.   I urge anyone and everyone to mark their calendars for the Documentary Compilation of Shorts this Thur. Sept at 4:30pm.  If you can’t make that time –  the winners showcase will be later that night. (Tickets selling like Hotcakes!).  Also, if you are on a budget or can take an hour for lunch they have several FREE shows for all to enjoy as well!

For more information: http://dcshorts.com/

5 out of 5 Cheers

— becks

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