The March on Washington Film Festival Goes Virtual in 2020, Keeping Our Stories at the Center

March on Washington Film Festival
March on Washington Film Festival
Graphic: Courtesy of MOWFF

Like many film festivals, the March on Washington Film Festival (MOWFF) is typically held in a physical location (in MOWFF’s case, Washington D.C.) but in 2020, everyone is all about the pivot to virtual.


The 8th annual MOWFF is doing the same this year, hosting more than 20 events over seven days, including documentaries, panel discussions, performances and short films.

This year, the fest’s theme is “Who Tells the Story.” From the official MOWFF website:

The storyteller—the person documenting events—sometimes supersedes the person actually living the experience being described. This year we will explore the question of “Who Tells the Story” in our week-long festival. Through thought-provoking film screenings, panel discussions, and the performing arts, we attempt to capture some of the true heroes and the real yet still untold events of our nation’s Civil Rights Movement—then and now.

The Root is a proud media partner of MOWFF 2020 and our very own Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton will be participating in a panel discussion entitled, “Mightier Than the Sword - History of the Black Press” on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.


Mightier Than the Sword - History of the Black Press 

A roundtable talk by contemporary news purveyors and scholars on over a century of African American newspaper publications and journalists to examples of current media outlets.

Danielle Belton, Editor in Chief, The Root

Frances “Toni” Draper, Publisher and CEO Afro American Newspapers

Farai Chideya, Program Officer, Creativity & Free Expression, Ford Foundation.

Ozier Muhammad, Award-winning Photojournalist, New York Times

Moderator: Frederick T. Joseph, author, media advocate, philanthropist

This is just a snippet of the rich content to look forward to at MOWFF 2020, including films such as Women in Motion (a doc centering the story of Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols), Brother Outsider: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin and The Czar of Black Hollywood (a doc on historic filmmaker Oscar Micheaux).


On Monday, Sept. 21, MOWFF will be holding the 2020 Awards Gala honoring the late Rep. John Lewis with the March on Washington Lifetime Legacy Award.

In the spirit of inclusion in these unprecedented times, MOWFF offers three different pass tiers: the All-Access Pass, Student & Educators Pass and the Pay What You Can Pass. But guess what? MOWFF is currently holding a contest to win two all-access passes to the fest. You can enter between now and Sept. 18! Rules are currently displayed via their Instagram page.


The 2020 March on Washington Film Festival will take place Sept. 20-27. All films will be available to view throughout the entire week of the fest.


For the full lineup and further information, please visit

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.