The Smithsonian Institution’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world in Washington, DC.
Through digital storytelling, the festival amplifies the work of diverse practitioners who explore the power of language to connect the past, present, and future. Since 2016, the annual festival has celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21. The fifth annual festival took place February 20–23, 2020. Many of the shorter films are available to stream in full on their website.
Many of these films would be valuable in teaching about cultural differences, if not intercultural dialogue explicitly. Just the easily accessible short films range from Pire, a music video with lyrics in Mapuzugun, the Mapuche language of Argentina, to Grá & Eagla, following an Irish bilingual comedian using Gaeilge [Gaelic], to Puhi Toprao / To Be Happy, telling the creation story of the Yanomami in Venezuela in their own language.