2023 Smithsonian Mother Tongue Film Festival

Events, News from the Field

In celebration of International Mother Language Day, eighth annual Smithsonian Mother Tongue Film Festival will be held from February 23-26, 2023. The festival returns in person to the National Mall in Washington, DC. The festival, hosted by the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative will feature 27 films in 23 languages from regions across the globe. The Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives.

“This year’s theme, ‘Coming Home,’ will focus on ideas of home, asking viewers to consider what makes a home, why people remain rooted there and what it takes to return home after a long time away,” said Amalia Córdova, festival co-director and museum curator of world cultures at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

“We are delighted to come back to being in person and to share an incredible array of large and small films from around the world that explore the many dimensions of home,” said Joshua Bell, curator of globalization at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and festival co-director.

A schedule of screenings and events and registration information can be found on the festival website. All screenings and events are free.

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