About the Festival

The March on Washington Film Festival was founded in 2013 in Washington, DC  to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The inaugural festival attracted over 1,000 attendees to ten events over the span of two weeks at venues across Washington DC. 

The flagship festival is held every year in Washington, DC and serves as a national platform to tell, celebrate, and increase awareness of the untold events and heroes, known and unsung, of the Civil Rights Movement. The Festival uses film screenings as a platform for panel discussions featuring filmmakers, academics, and activists and brings together an audience that is diverse in age, class, and ethnicity. 

Over the years, the Festival has proven to be a successful civil rights legacy project: connecting with tens of thousands of attendees, attracting celebrities like Diahann Carroll, 9th Wonder, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and prominently highlighting Civil Rights legends like Dorie Ladner, Judge Damon Keith, and many more.  


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Our Vision

The March on Washington Film Festival finds, encourages, and brings to life stories of both icons and foot soldiers from the Civil Rights Movement. We educate, inspire and motivate people to have a better understanding of our history.

It’s critical that these stories of everyday activism are captured before they are lost in the annals of history and that they are taught accurately to the next generation. When we educate and make people aware of our shared history, and teach that each person can have an impact on bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice, we realize how similar we are to one another, and we empower each other to build stronger and cohesive communities. We bridge the persistent divide between generations and different lived experiences, and create sustainable change as lessons are passed down to inspire tomorrow’s foot soldiers.



Our world, as beautiful as it can be, continues to need repair; each of us does our part, but it seems never enough. One necessary condition for healing is truth so that all of us operate from a shared and understood set of facts on how we got to where we are, and what needs to change. 

The March on Washington Film festival, the product of so many creative and passionate minds and hearts, is a national platform for this conversation; to better tell our stories, to honor those who have paved the way, and to better understand how our story connects to our future.

Thank you for your participation. 

Thank you for your story, your contribution, your criticism, and your encouragement. 

- Robert Raben

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History is the framing of facts to suit the purpose of the teller; in this country, particularly around our Civil Rights Movements, those facts are manipulated. Justice and equality require telling the truth. The March on Washington Film Festival exists to do this, especially about the foot-soldiers and unsung heroes that make us free with their courage.

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