Smithsonian Presents the Mother Tongue Film Festival, “The Healing Power of Storytelling”

Events, News from the Field

The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative will host a monthly film-screening series highlighting the crucial role languages play in daily life. Presented virtually this year, the sixth annual Mother Tongue Film Festival features 45 films in 39 languages from regions across the globe. Through these films and discussions with filmmakers, actors and language practitioners, the festival celebrates the vital relationship between language, culture and the power of storytelling. The festival opens on the United Nations’ International Mother Language Day, Feb. 21, and runs through May.

“The Mother Tongue Film Festival helps people to understand that language matters not just because it is how we express ourselves and understand each other, but because it helps us build and sustain relationships,” said Joshua A. Bell, curator of globalization at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and co-director of the festival.

For more information, please visit the full news release on the Smithsonian website.

There are also Facebook events for the opening ceremony and February feature films. Visit the Mother Tongue website at

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