Washington West 2021 | Health and Safety Protocols

Our plans to keep our patrons, filmmakers, volunteers, and friends safe during this year’s festival.


We greatly value the health and safety of our Washington West family. To help optimize the festival-going experience for everyone this year, we will take as many precautions as possible to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at our events.


We will have a hybrid festival this fall with screenings taking place both in-person and online. Should you wish to experience Washington West from the comfort of your home, you’ll have access to most of the same films that our in-person audiences will. If you want to attend in-person, we ask that you be aware of and prepared to follow our health and safety precautions below.

Our team is closely monitoring the changing conditions of the pandemic at local, state, and national levels. We plan to comply with all requirements and restrictions issued by the Fairfax County Health Department, the Virginia Department of Health, the federal government, and the CDC. We encourage you to check this page for updates and edits as we get closer to the festival.

Health and Safety Precautions

  • All festival-goers must show proof of vaccination OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours at every screening or event, OR a signed medical or religious exemption. 
  • All festival-goers must wear a mask.
  • All in-person festival screenings will have a reduced audience capacity to allow for social distancing. We will begin with a 50% cap and will release more tickets if the situation changes.
  • Festival volunteers will lead thorough sanitizing processes in and around theaters in between screenings.
  • Every festival venue will have hand sanitizer and/or a hand-washing station easily accessible.


How will we actually show proof of vaccination?

You may rely on any of the following documentation to prove that you are vaccinated: 

  • Your original vaccination card
  • A digital photo of your original vaccination card
  • A digital version of your original vaccination card. If you were vaccinated in Virginia, you can search for your digital card here.

What is the cancellation policy if a festival event does not take place due to COVID-19, or if I’m no longer feeling comfortable attending in person?

In both of these scenarios, you have a few options. You can choose to transfer your in-person ticket to an online ticket for the same film or event; you can choose to have your ticket fully refunded; you can choose to apply your ticket to credit for next year’s festival; or you can choose to turn your ticket into a donation for one of the organizations we are supporting this year.

Is there any chance this year’s festival will be cancelled entirely?

Not entirely. In the worst case scenario, if local and national guidelines prohibit us from gathering in-person, or if our venues are forced to temporarily shut-down, Washington West will still take place virtually. We know the real magic of the festival takes place when we’re together in the same room, but we’re hopeful we’ll capture this through our online event as well.

Where can I find the most current information?

Right here. We encourage you to visit this page throughout the lead-up to the festival for the latest updates.

Where can I send my questions?

If you have any questions about health and safety at this year’s festival, feel free to email our team at inquiry@wwfilmfest.com.