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Get off your bottom: The best independent films, a London post-punk band and a tea talk

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Margaret Kahn.

White Lies | Courtesy of wonker, Creative Commons
White Lies | Courtesy of wonker, Creative Commons

Watch: DC Independent Film Festival

The jam-packed week will celebrate 71 international full-length features, documentaries, shorts, animations and films produced by high school students. So many of the films’ subjects look fascinating; it’s hard to choose just one to highlight. My personal favorite looks like it will be ‘Paat,’ a story of life in Iran told through the eyes of a runaway dog. Director Amir Toodehroostra will attend what is to be the U.S. premiere on Friday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. at the Goethe Institute.

Various locations across D.C. Feb. 19 to Feb. 23. Tickets: $12.

Listen: White Lies

Embarrassingly, I first heard the post-punk bank White Lies on an episode of “Gossip Girl.” The London-based trio isn’t too well known yet in the States, but that will likely change as they set off on a cross-country tour for their new album, “Big TV.” Their music is a symphony of torturous synthesizers set to the deep and dramatic lead vocals of Harry McVeigh, reminiscent of the melancholy of The Smiths and the haunting melodies of Joy Division.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25

Drink: Tea Talks with Teaism

Last year, I featured local teahouse Teaism as one of my favorite spots in D.C. for bubble tea. Now, the shop has partnered with Smithsonian to sponsor an ongoing winter talk series, for which they provide assorted tea samples for tasting. Attendees are invited to glimpse the Luce Foundation Center collection of contemporary craft teapots. Stay to hear from Lauren Zook, who will highlight contemporary teapots with ties to art movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Dada, and Terri Merz, who will discuss “Tea and Poetry.”

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, Third Floor, 8th and F Streets. Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m.

Learn: Mayoral Forum

Even if you’re not registered to vote in D.C., it’s important to stay abreast of the issues affecting our short-term home. The D.C. primary election will take place April 1 and even with an incumbent in the race, it’s already a competitive one. Candidates Muriel Bowser, Jack Evans, Mayor Vincent Gray, Reta Jo Lewis, Vincent Orange, and Andy Shallal will be in attendance, giving short remarks on their plans for the city, meeting and greeting and answering audience questions.

Woman’s National Democratic Club, 1526 New Hampshire Ave. Feb. 20, 6 p.m.

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