Heritage Film Fest Continues Tradition and Honors Local Supporters
You would think that everybody would want to be in the movies or at least around the
Perhaps in the mid-1990s, The Heritage Film Festival was slightly ahead of its time in
Prince George’s because when Executive Director O.F. Makarah launched the series in
2005, she faced so many obstacles there may have been many occasions she wondered if it
would ever catch on.
But she never quit hosting the festival and clearing the way so that independent film would
continue to grow and be recognized. For more than 13 years, the Heritage Film Festival has
been leading the way in bringing attention to film and local talent in the industry.
Each year since 1995, the Heritage Film Festival has showcased creative media by
independent filmmakers. The 13th Annual Heritage Film Festival featured film screenings
by novice and experienced filmmakers, according to its website.
At the 13 th Annual Heritage Film Festival, Makarah honored two people who maintained
their support and encouragement over the years: Ethel Lewis and George Kochell.
“It was a complete and pleasant surprise,” Lewis said of being recognized. Makarah kept
the honor a secret until just before the occasion as she realized Lewis modestly may not
have allowed it had she known.
“It wasn’t easy for her to get this far,” Lewis says of the journey. “I let her know that it’s
going to happen. It will come together. Just give it time.”
Now, as dozens of young filmmakers share and learn through the festival the event is well
on its way toward becoming an institution. The festival takes in short film and video
projects and filmmakers can submit as many projects as they like. Heritage also awards
young filmmakers each year through its “Outstanding Student Filmmakers Awards.” Learn
more about the festival here.