TONIGHT: Free Outdoor Screening of A DREAM PREFERRED, Featuring Baltimore’s Own Taharka Brothers at 9pm in the Tent Village

A DREAM PREFERRED, A group of young, urban entrepreneurs, The Taharka Brothers, grow their socially-conscious ice cream company, bringing their message of community activism and award-winning ice cream directly to the people in the streets of Baltimore. Directed by Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing.  Run time: 22 minutes

Director Rachel Grady, the Taharka Brothers, and the Change-Maker Mobile will be in attendance.  Opening party to follow!

Location:  Maryland Film Festival Tent Village, 131 W. North Avenue, East lot of MICA Lazarus Building

Date/Time: Thursday, May 7 at 9pm

FREE

A_DreamPreferred

2015 “How to Festival” Guide to the Maryland Film Festival

How To Festival 2015

HOW_TO_FEST

Tent Village 2015 Schedule

Download Tent Village Schedule Here

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Venues Map for Maryland Film Festival 2015

View Map Here

Maryland Film Festival Venues Map 2015

Friends of the Festival Friday is Friday, May 8th! Members See UNLIMITED FREE FILMS Before 6pm!

fof fridayFriends of the Festival Friday is coming up on Friday, May 8th! This is the special day during the our festival where members can see UNLIMITED FREE MOVIES before 6pm!  Not a member?  Click here to sign up today and take advantage of this amazing benefit AND get access to the amazing film programming and sneak preview opportunities that MFF provides year-round!

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Sign up for a Friends of the Festival membership at any level and you will have access to Friends of the Festival Friday.
To take advantage of Friends of the Festival Friday, come to the Friends of the Festival table, located in the Tent Village Box Office tent (in the East MICA lot on 131 W. North Avenue), starting Thursday (3pm-10:30pm) or Friday (after 9am) and simply check in with your name to pick up your red Friends of the Festival Friday card. Then show this card at the theater when you arrive to gain free entry to any film you’d like to check out before 6pm – no tickets needed!
WHAT FILMS CAN I SEE?

The following films will be screening during Friends of the Festival Friday (click here for the complete descriptions):

Best of Enemies – 11 am, MICA Brown Center
In 1968, a ratings-starved ABC coordinated a series of debates between conservative journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal novelist and thinker Gore Vidal. The network garnered huge audiences-and perhaps a bit more than they bargained for, as high-level political discourse collided with name-calling and meltdowns. This Sundance-premiered documentary comes courtesy of Twenty Feet From Stardomdirector Morgan Neville, and author/filmmaker Robert Gordon (of MFF 2012’s Very Extremely Dangerous).

Two Shots Fired – 11 am, Walters Art Museum
Veteran Argentine filmmaker Martín Rejtman brings his unique deadpan sensibility to the story of a sixteen-year-old who finds a gun in his house. He shoots himself out of boredom-but, after a near-miss with death, finds that the major change in his life is an annoying whistle in his chest, sabotaging the music he makes with an amateur recorder quartet.  A disloyal dog, a strange vacation, and a bizarre cast of characters add up to a quietly anarchic comedy that channels Aki Kaurismäki and Roy Andersson’s A Swedish Love Story as it refuses to play by conventional narrative rules.

Western – 11 am, Single Carrot Theatre
In the neighboring towns of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico, a rugged cattleman and a populist mayor navigate changing times as the specters of cartel violence and xenophobia threaten harmonious cultural and economic exchanges between the U.S. and Mexico.  Marked by muggy days and thunderous nights, this evocative and immersive documentary from the directors of 45365 andTchoupitoulas delivers a thrilling mix of fascinating characters, riveting narrative, and extraordinary sensory detail.

People, Places, Things – 11 am, Mica Lazarus Studio Center
In this thoughtful and hilarious rom-com, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchordsand What We Do in the Shadows stars as a graphic novelist whose comfortable life is shaken after walking in on his wife with another man. Downgraded to a tiny apartment and weekend status with his twin daughters, a bright spot appears when a student in a college art course he teaches challenges him to be more social and adventurous.

Narrative Shorts – 11:30 am, Windup Space
PEARS – 17 minutes – Director: Karen Sztajnberg
Q.U.E.E.N. – 17 minutes – Director: Brittany Fennell
SARA & DENNIS – 12 minutes – Director: Shahin Izadi
SUPERIOR -16 minutes – Director: Erin Vassilopoulos
TUMBLE DRY LOW – 7 minutes – Director: Jefferson Stein
WE’LL FIND SOMETHING – 13 minutes – Director: Casey Gooden

A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile – 1:30 pm, Single Carrot Theatre
Two women, Sandra in Montreal and Amina in Syria, meet online, and begin a flirtatious relationship that quickly turns serious. When Amina begins to blog as “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” she garners international attention as an outspoken representative of a marginalized community. Then Sandra hears that Amina has been kidnapped-and, in this fascinating documentary fueled by mystery, politics, and sexuality, she must examine how much about Amina she truly knows.

International Shorts – 1:30 pm, MICA Lazarus Studio Center
THE BABY – 16 minutes – Director: Ali Asgari – Iran
CARNE SECA – 12 minutes – Director: Jazmin Diaz – Mexico
GREENLAND – 17 minutes – Director: Oren Gerner – Israel
JE NE SUIS PAS UN GRAND ACTEUR – 20 minutes – Director: Jean-Guillaume Bastien – Canada
STILL LEBEN/ STILL LIFE – 14 minutes – Director: Kai Sitter – Germany

Unexpected – 1:45 pm, MICA Brown Center

High-school science teacher Samantha (Cobie Smulders), already dealing with stress and uncertainty as her low-income school prepares to close, finds out she’s pregnant. When she discovers her favorite student Jasmine (Gail Bean) is also with child, the two form a tight and unconventional bond. From Kris Swanberg (whose earlier features Empire Builder and It was great, but I was ready to come home. both screened within MFF) comes this refreshing character study that mines honest emotions and the quiet battlefields of love and friendship for real beauty and insight.

Prophet’s Prey – 1:45 pm, Walters Art Museum
The director of Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis takes us deep into another explosive story, that of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Exploring allegations of sexual abuse, family expulsions, forced marriages, and other horrors, this Sundance-premiered documentary paints an unforgettable portrait of conformity, fear, and oppression.

Crocodile Gennadiy – 1:45 pm, MICA Gateway
This intense, visually stunning, and morally complex documentary uses a remarkable central character as a window into change and tumult in contemporary Ukraine. Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko wages a one-man war against drug abuse and serves as a tough-love father figure to homeless and at-risk youth, squaring off with dealers and intervening in the lives of addicts. But is vigilante action the answer to these problems? Executive produced by Terrence Malick.

Character Study Shorts – 2 pm, Windup Space
ACTRESSES -12 minutes – Director: Jeremy Hersh
CARAVAN – 6 minutes – Director: Keiran Watson-Bonnice – Australia
DIAMOND DAY – 7 minutes – Director: Sofia Banzhaf – Canada
I REMEMBER NOTHING – 18 minutes – Director: Zia Anger
MONA – 17 minutes – Director: Jocelyn Jacobs
ZARI – 20 minutes – Director: Courtney Marsh

Jauja – 4 pm, Single Carrot Theatre
Viggo Mortensen stars as a Danish engineer who’s travelled to Patagonia with his teenage daughter to work for the Argentine army. When she disappears, he ventures out in pursuit, embarking on a journey full of crises physical, emotional, and existential. Lisandro Alonso (MFF 2010’s Liverpool) works here not only with one of contemporary cinema’s greatest performers, but also a bold new visual approach.

Beats of the Antonov – 4 pm, MICA Lazarus Studio Center
War reporter and documentary filmmaker Hajooj Kuka takes viewers into the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions of South Sudan, where we meet displaced South Sudanese who live under the constant threat of bombardment from the Sudanese military via Antonov cargo planes. But defying familiar victim narratives, Kuka’s camera finds resilient people that summon strength and positivity from music, laughter, and a determination to maintain their culture against any odds.

Tab Hunter Confidential – 4:15 pm, MICA Brown Center

Top-notch documentary biographer Jeffrey Schwarz has captivated MFF audiences with definitive looks at iconic personalities William Castle, Vito Russo, and Divine. Now he delivers the warm and intimate story of 1950s Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter, who simultaneously balanced a stratospheric career on the silver screen with a secret life as a gay man. From his rise to stardom to his reinvention as a cult-film star with John Waters-and a number of fascinating surprises-it’s all here.

Funny Bunny – 4:15 pm, Walters Art Museum
The writer/director of The Dish & the Spoon returns with this offbeat, infectious mix of comedy and drama. Kentucker Audley stars as an obesity-awareness canvasser who strikes up a friendship with a wealthy, emancipated 19-year-old named Titty (Olly Alexander) and the animal-rights-activist object of Titty’s desire, Ginger (Joslyn Jensen). Co-starring Josephine Decker, Louis Cancelmi, and Anna Margaret Hollyman.

Sailing a Sinking Sea – 4:30 pm, MICA Gateway
This experimental documentary, which premiered at SXSW, looks at the traditional lifestyle of the Moken people, a seafaring community of Burma and Thailand. Olivia Wyatt’s gorgeous and immersive film transports viewers deep into the turquoise sea and onto thirteen different islands, giving us intimate access to a culture where shamans, mermaids, and sea gods collide with present-day practices. Executive-produced by Will Oldham.

Drama Shorts – 4:30 pm, Windup Space
EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE – 15 minutes – Director: Eleanor Wilson
FULL-WINDSOR – 6 minutes – Director: Faraday Okoro
HAZE – 12 minutes – Director: Chloe Domont
KNIGHTSVILLE – 13 minutes – Director: Aly Migliori
LEAVES ON TREES – 17 minutes – Director: Nathan Duncan
LITTLE BLOCK OF CEMENT WITH DISHEVELED HAIR CONTAINING THE SEA – 16 minutes – Director: Jorge Lopez Navarrete – Spain
TZNIUT – 11 minutes – Director: David Formentin

Maryland Film Festival Announces Complete 2015 Lineup, Including Opening Night Shorts and Closing Night Film THE WOLFPACK

Maryland Film Festival (May 6-10 in downtown Baltimore) proudly announces our complete 2015 lineup today, unveiling our Closing Night film, the titles for our annual Opening Night Shorts Program, and a few late-breaking features.  Our Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule grids are also now live and available for download on our website.

Maryland Film Festival’s Closing Night film will be Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack, the mind-blowing buzz documentary that took home the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. MFF also announced 5 additional emerging features for its lineup, including new work from Joe Swanberg, Rick Alverson, and Andrew Bujalski; and two repertory screenings guest-curated by key figures in Baltimore’s cultural scene: musician Abdu Ali introducing Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, and Wham City’s Alan Resnick and Dina Kelberman introducing Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls.

Maryland Film Festival first devoted our Opening Night to celebrating shorts filmmakers in 2002, and we have done so each year since 2004. Opening Night will take place in the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Falvey Hall the evening ofWednesday, May 6th. Each Opening Night short will be hosted by its filmmaker.

MFF 2015’s Opening Night shorts are:

BAD BOY OF BOWLING (Bryan Storkel) From the co-director of Fight Church, a high-octane portrait of a bowling star with a plus-sized personality.

CHARLOTTE (Angel Kristi Williams) A coming-of-age story from the director of MFF 2012’s The Christmas Tree, a Baltimore native.

MELVILLE (James M. Johnston) A rapper struggling with personal pain finds release in music. Directed by the producer of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT (Michael Mohan) A couple sets up two friends for a romantic weekend. Winner of the narrative shorts jury award at SXSW.

SHARE (Pippa Bianco) A young woman returns to high school after being shamed by an explicit video. Winner of a special jury prize at SXSW.

Feature films announced for MFF 2015 today:

BEST_OF_ENEMIES_Robert-Gordon_Morgan-NevilleBest of Enemies (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville) In 1968, a ratings-starved ABC coordinated a series of debates between conservative journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal novelist and thinker Gore Vidal. The network garnered huge audiences—and perhaps a bit more than they bargained for, as high-level political discourse collided with name-calling and meltdowns. This Sundance-premiered documentary comes courtesy of Twenty Feet From Stardom director Morgan Neville, and author/filmmaker Robert Gordon (of MFF 2012’s Very Extremely Dangerous).

DIGGING_FOR_FIRE_Joe-SwanbergDigging For Fire (Joe Swanberg) When young parents Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt) agree to house-sit for a wealthy acquaintance, Tim finds something suspicious on the grounds—and an initial spark of intrigue becomes a consuming obsession. Joe Swanberg continues to take his unique working methods to the next level, with an amazing cast that includes Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Jane Adams, Sam Elliott, and Mike Birbiglia, all working together to deliver an infectious mix of comedy, drama, romance, and thrills.

DO_THE_RIGHT_THING_SPIKE-LEEDo the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989) Spike Lee’s modern classic, detailing racial tensions and police brutality on the hottest day of summer in Bedford-Stuyvesant, has never been more crucial and relevant.  With the sounds of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” blasting from boomboxes, this seminal film boasts cinematography from Ernest Dickerson, and an Academy Award-nominated screenplay (not to mention an iconic performance) from Lee; his phenomenal ensemble cast includes Ossie Davis, Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Rosie Perez, Joie Lee, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson. Selected and guest-hosted by musician, DJ, and curator Abdu Ali.

ENTERTAINMENT_Rick-AlversonEntertainment (Rick Alverson) Gregg Turkington, perhaps best known for his persona Neil Hamburger, stars as The Comedian, a beleaguered, Hamburger-ian performer who endlessly tours Grade-Z clubs and non-venues across America, shocking and dismaying audiences with his lewd and convoluted punchlines. At turns bleak, poignant, disturbing, and darkly hilarious, this fascinating and beautifully composed provocation from the director of The Comedy also features Amy Seimetz, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Lotte Verbeek, and Michael Cera.

PEOPLES_PLACES_THINGS_Jim-StrousePeople, Places, Things (Jim Strouse) In this thoughtful and hilarious rom-com, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows stars as a graphic novelist whose comfortable life is shaken after walking in on his wife with another man. Downgraded to a tiny apartment and weekends-only status with his twin daughters, a bright spot appears when a student in a college art course he teaches challenges him to be more social and adventurous.

RESULTS_Andrew-BujalskiResults (Andrew Bujalski) High-octane personal trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders) works for her friend, fitness guru and entrepreneur Trevor (Guy Pearce)—both of whom have their lives turned upside-down when nouveau-riche couch potato Danny (Kevin Corrigan) arrives at their gym. The director of MFF 2013’s Computer Chess follows up that highly experimental work with something different: a romantic comedy with a stellar cast and a massive heart.

SHOWGIRLS_Paul-VerhoevenShowgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995) Intentional camp? Brilliant social commentary? A noble failure? Irredeemable trash? Books have been written exploring what Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers, The Fourth Man) was going for with this follow-up to mega-hit Basic Instinct. Starring Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, and Gina Gershon, this seedy, Vegas-set film was derided upon its release but has lived on as a midnight movie and cult favorite. Selected and guest-hosted by Alan Resnick and Dina Kelberman of Wham City.

WOLFPACK_THE_Crystal-MoselleThe Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) CLOSING NIGHT This extraordinary documentary brings us into the lives of the Angulo brothers, who grew up homeschooled and in extreme isolation from the outside world in a Lower East Side apartment. Home video became their only window into the outside world, and they took to recreating their favorite scenes and styling themselves after films such as Reservoir Dogs. But when one of the brothers escapes the confines of their apartment, all of their lives are forever changed. A sensation at Sundance, where it won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize, this is a documentary that delivers on the buzz, built on amazing access to a truly incredible story and unforgettable characters.

Previously Announced Feature Films for Maryland Film Festival 2015:

6 YEARS (Hannah Fidell)
BEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka)
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)
BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)
CALL ME LUCKY (Bobcat Goldthwait)
CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (Charles Poekel)
CROCODILE GENNADIY (Steve Hoover)
DEEP WEB (Alex Winter)
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (Douglas Tirola)
FIELD NIGGAS (Khalik Allah)
FOR THE PLASMA (Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan)
FRAME BY FRAME (Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli)
FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)
A GAY GIRL IN DAMASCUS: THE AMINA PROFILE (Sophie Deraspe)
GIRLHOOD (Céline Sciamma)
GOD BLESS THE CHILD (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck)
HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone) World premiere.
IN THE BASEMENT (Ulrich Seidl)
JAUJA (Lisandro Alonso)
KILLER JOE (William Friedkin, 2011) Hosted by John Waters.
LIMBO (Anna Sofie Hartmann) Hosted by Matthew Porterfield.
PROPHET’S PREY (Amy Berg)
THE REAPER (Zvonimir Juric)
REBELS OF THE NEON GOD (Tsai Ming-liang, 1992)
SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)
SON OF THE SHEIK (George Fitzmaurice, 1926) With a live original score by Alloy Orchestra.
STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)
TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)
TIRED MOONLIGHT (Britni West)
TWO SHOTS FIRED (Martin Rejtman)
UNCLE KENT 2 (Todd Rohal)
UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)
VENICE (Kiki Álvarez)
WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)
WESTERN (Bill and Turner Ross)
A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

MFF Announces John Waters Pick: KILLER JOE and 14 Additional Feature Films

Maryland Film Festival continues to roll out the lineup for our 17th annual festival today, which will take place May 6-10, 2015 in downtown Baltimore and include approximately 50 feature films and 12 short-film programs from around the world.

Today’s announcement includes two special events that have become annual MFF traditions: a film selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker and MFF board member John Waters, and a silent film presented with a live original score by Alloy Orchestra. Waters has selected William Friedkin’s 2011 neo-noir Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey; Alloy will accompany 1926’s Son of the Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino.

In addition to these repertory-film events, Maryland Film Festival unveiled another fourteen feature films for MFF 2015, including the area premieres of an exciting array of emerging narrative, documentary, and international titles.

Lineup announcements for MFF 2015 will conclude later this week with all remaining titles, including its Opening Night Shorts and Closing Night film. The titles announced today for MFF 2015 are:

6-YEARS_Hannah-Fidell6 YEARS (Hannah Fidell) The director of MFF 2013’s A Teacher returns with the story of Mel (Taissa Farmiga), whose future becomes unsettled when her long-term boyfriend Dan (Ben Rosenfield)’s career aspirations pose a threat to the stability of their relationship. Co-starring Lindsay Burdge and Joshua Leonard, and executive-produced by Jay and Mark Duplass, this poignant drama boasts real relationship insights and resonant, true-to-life performances.

CROCODILE-GENNADIY_Steve-HooverCROCODILE GENNADIY (Steve Hoover) This intense, visually stunning, and morally complex documentary uses a remarkable central character as a window into change and tumult in contemporary Ukraine. Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko wages a one-man war against drug abuse and serves as a tough-love father figure to homeless and at-risk youth, squaring off with dealers and intervening in the lives of addicts. But is vigilante action the answer to these problems? Executive produced by Terrence Malick.

DRUNK_STONED_Douglas_TirolaDRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (Douglas Tirola) This uproarious documentary, which premiered at Sundance, brings the history of The National Lampoon to raucous life. In 1970, a new counterculture rag spun off from the Harvard Lampoon, launching a comedy revolution impacting not just the printed word but also film, television, radio, and beyond—and giving an early platform to some of the major talents of late-20thCentury comedy.

FIELD_NIGGAS_Khalik-AllahFIELD NIGGAS (Khalik Allah) Street photographer Khalik Allah takes us into the nightlife of 125th Street and Lexington in Harlem, shattering the usual wall between documentarian and subject as he paints portraits of modern street life filled with love and humor, but also hard times and regret. An immersive documentary with a unique visual sensibility, Allah’s film comes to MFF fresh from wowing audiences at True/False and Sarasota.

FOR_THE_PLASMA_Bingham-Bryant_Kyle-Molzan_FOR THE PLASMA (Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan) A young woman joins a friend in a sleepy town in Maine, where they use computers and digital cameras to observe a nearby forest, collecting abstruse data used to make stock-market predictions.  This challenging, idiosyncratic piece of cinema-as-puzzle finds a film language all its own; shot on Super 16mm, it also boasts an evocative score by experimental composer Keiichi Suzuki.

FRAME_BY_FRAME_Alexandria-Bombach_Mo-ScarpelliFRAME BY FRAME (Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli) This SXSW-premiered documentary follows four photographers in contemporary Afghanistan. These members of an emerging free press risk life and limb to fill the photojournalist void left by the withdraw of international media—not to mention make up for lost time, as photography was banned under Taliban rule. Their images and stories are unforgettable.

GIRLHOOD_Celine-SciammaGIRLHOOD (Céline Sciamma) In a tough suburb of Paris, teenager Marieme navigates an often harsh, male-dominated world—her life taking a new turn when she finds a place within an initially hostile all-girl gang. From the director of Water Lilies and Tomboy comes an emotionally rich drama that wowed audiences at Cannes, Toronto, and Sundance, driven by an unforgettable lead performance from Karidja Touré.

IN_THE_BASEMENT_Ulrich-SeidlIN THE BASEMENT (Ulrich Seidl) The director of the staggering Paradise trilogy, all three films of which were presented within MFF 2013, returns to the realm of intimate documentary with this stylized, disturbing, and darkly hilarious work. The basements of Austria open up to Seidl’s camera, revealing private lives built around such underground worlds as shooting ranges, taxidermy, BDSM, and Nazi memorabilia.

JUAJA_Lisandro-AlonsoJAUJA (Lisandro Alonso) Viggo Mortensen stars as a Danish engineer who’s travelled to Patagonia with his teenage daughter to work for the Argentine army. When she disappears, he ventures out in pursuit, embarking on a journey full of crises physical, emotional, and existential. Lisandro Alonso (MFF 2010’s Liverpool) works here not only with one of contemporary cinema’s greatest performers, but also a bold new visual approach.

KILLER_JOE_William-FriedkinKILLER JOE (William Friedkin, 2011) Legendary filmmaker John Waters has selected a favorite film to host within each Maryland Film Festival since its inaugural 1999 edition. This year’s choice is William Friedkin’s Texas-set neo-noir, with Matthew McConaughey as a cop who doubles as a hitman, and Emile Hirsch as a drug dealer who summons “Killer” Joe’s services—but quickly finds himself in over his head.

LIMBO_Anna-Sofie-HartmannLIMBO (Anna Sofie Hartmann) In a small port town in Denmark, high-school student Sara (Annika Nuka Mathiassen) grows increasingly fascinated by her young professor Karen (Sofía Nolsøe Mikkelsen), and her challenging ideas about gender, art, and life. This work of patient beauty screened at Rotterdam, San Sebastian, and SXSW, and will be hosted at MFF by guest curator Matt Porterfield (the director of Hamilton, Putty Hill, and I Used to Be Darker).

THE_REAPER_Zvonimir-JuricTHE REAPER (Zvonimir Jurić) From Croatia comes this tense and moody drama about a quiet loner haunted by his criminal past—and by other residents of his small town, who won’t let him forget. When he stops one night to come to the assistance of a woman stranded by the roadside, his evening takes a strange turn, launching three intertwined plot threads that recall Haneke in their grim outlook and narrative potency.

REBELS_OF_THE_NEON_GOD_Tsao-Ming-liangREBELS OF THE NEON GOD (Tsai Ming-liang, 1992) Over the last three decades, Tsai Ming-liang has produced one of the most impressive and distinct filmographies of our time, each starring unique presence Lee Kang-sheng. This is where it all began: Tsai’s first feature film, set amidst the streets, malls, and arcades of Taipei youth culture in the early 1990s. Newly restored, and enjoying its first release on the U.S. big screen.

SON_OF_THE_SHEIK_Performed-by-Alloy_OrchestraSON OF THE SHEIK (George Fitzmaurice, 1926) MFF favorites Alloy Orchestra have introduced new generations to the wonders of silent cinema with their innovative scores for films including The Lost World, Metropolis, and Man With a Movie Camera.  Now they return to MFF to accompany screen legend Rudolph Valentino’s final film, an adventure classic from the director of Mata Hari.

TIRED_MOONLIGHT_Britni-WestTIRED MOONLIGHT (Britni West) Gorgeously shot vignettes built around a mix of local non-professionals and seasoned performers (including Girls’ Alex Karpovsky) coalesce into a rich and poetic portrait of a pit-stop town in Montana situated amidst stunning natural beauty. Tired Moonlight premiered at Slamdance 2015, where it took home the Jury Award for Narrative Feature, and went on to screen within such prestigious festivals as New Directors/New Films and the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

VENICE_Kiki-AlvarezVENICE (Kiki Álvarez) It’s payday, and three female coworkers at a hair salon in Havana head out for a night on the town, their moonlit partying encountering unexpected twists and yielding surprising personal revelations. This exciting independent Cuban/Colombian co-production not only gives us rare access to an insider’s view of Havana, it also displays a refreshingly frank and empowered take on female sexuality.

Today’s new announcements join the 20 features already announced for MFF 2015, including the world premiere of Stephen Cone’s ensemble drama HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY.

MFF Unveils Next 10 Titles of 2015 Lineup!

Maryland Film Festival continues to unveil the lineup for its 17th annual festival today, which will take place May 6-10, 2015 in downtown Baltimore and include approximately 50 feature films and 12 short-film programs from around the world.

Today’s announcement includes the area premieres of 10 more highly anticipated narrative, documentary, and international features, including Charles Poekel’s rich and emotionally resonant character study Christmas, AgainTodd Rohal’s outrageous and explosive psychotronic comedy Uncle Kent 2; and fascinating new documentary work from Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Berg, and Alex Winter. These new titles join 10 features revealed last week, including the world premiere of Stephen Cone’s vibrant coming-of-age drama Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, bringing the total of MFF 2015 titles announced so far to twenty.

Lineup announcements will continue next week. Today’s titles announced for MFF 2015 are:

AMINA_PROFILE_Sophie-DeraspeTHE AMINA PROFILE (Sophie Deraspe) Two women, Sandra in Montreal and Amina in Syria, meet online, and begin a flirtatious relationship that quickly turns serious. When Amina begins to blog as “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” she garners international attention as an outspoken representative of a marginalized community. Then Sandra hears that Amina has been kidnapped—and, in this fascinating documentary fueled by mystery, politics, and sexuality, she must examine how much about Amina she truly knows.

BEATS_OF_THE_ANTONOV_Hajooj-KukaBEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka) War reporter and documentary filmmaker Hajooj Kuka takes viewers into the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions of South Sudan, where we meet displaced South Sudanese who live under the constant threat of bombardment from the Sudanese military via Antonov cargo planes. But defying familiar victim narratives, Kuka’s camera finds resilient people that summon strength and positivity from music, laughter, and a determination to maintain their culture against any odds.

CALL_ME_LUCKY_Bobcat-GoldthwaiteCALL ME LUCKY (Bobcat Goldthwait) Since the 1980s, Barry Crimmins has established himself as a comedian’s comedian, armed with a rapid-fire technique and a scathing political perspective aimed at shocking American audiences out of their complacency—even as he never quite gets the respect he deserves. Peers like Margaret Cho and Marc Maron join documentarian Bobcat Goldthwait in paying tribute to Crimmins’ many contributions to the comedy community and political activism over the decades.

CHRISTMAS_AGAIN_Charles-PoekelCHRISTMAS, AGAIN (Charles Poekel) Noel (Kentucker Audley) sells Christmas trees off a lot in New York, living a quiet and solitary life in the camper that anchors the site. As Christmas nears, a mysterious woman lands in Noel’s life, and tries to find a way into the closed-off, emotionally blocked world he’s constructed. Beautiful Super 16mm cinematography and unforgettable performances from Audley and Hannah Gross yield a moving character study of quiet, gentle humanism.

DEEP-WEB_Alex-WinterDEEP WEB (Alex Winter) With Downloaded (MFF 2013), Alex Winter established himself as an expert at illuminating complex issues at the intersection of the internet and legality—and giving audiences intimate access to the personalities at the center of his story. Deep Web excitingly confirms that status, turning its lens on the online black market Silk Road, and digging deep into the still-unfolding story of Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of being the site’s creator and moderator, “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

GOD_BLESS_THE_CHILD_Machoian_Ojeda-BeckGOD BLESS THE CHILD (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck) Four brothers spend a day on their own in Davis, California, with their thirteen year-old sister forced to look after them as best she can in the absence of their troubled and unreliable mother. This visually stunning experimental drama, which premiered at SXSW, turns an unflinching eye on the behavior of children in the absence of adults, with results at turns hilarious, awkward, poignant, and unnerving.

PROPHETS_PREY_Amy-BergPROPHET’S PREY (Amy Berg) The director of Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis takes us deep into another explosive story, that of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Exploring allegations of sexual abuse, family expulsions, forced marriages, and other horrors, this Sundance-premiered documentary paints an unforgettable portrait of conformity, fear, and oppression.

TWO_SHOTS_FIRED_Martin-RejtmanTWO SHOTS FIRED (Martin Rejtman) Veteran Argentine filmmaker Martin Rejtman brings his unique deadpan sensibility to the story of a sixteen-year-old who finds a gun in his house. He shoots himself out of boredom—but, after a near-miss with death, finds that the major change in his life is an annoying whistle in his chest, sabotaging the music he makes with an amateur recorder quartet.  A disloyal dog, a strange vacation, and a bizarre cast of characters add up to a quietly anarchic comedy that channels Aki Kaurismäki and Roy Andersson’s A Swedish Love Story as it refuses to play by conventional narrative rules.

UNCLE_KENT_2_Todd-RohalUNCLE KENT 2 (Todd Rohal) Kent Osborne, the mild-mannered animator whose mundane daily routines and love life fueled Joe Swanberg’s Uncle Kent, is desperate to make a sequel—an idea that excites precisely no one else. But when Swanberg gives Osborne his blessing to take the idea elsewhere, things takes a decidedly warped turn, as MFF favorite Todd Rohal takes over at the helm, steering the film deep into the realm of psychotronic dark comedy.

WESTERN_Bill_Turner-RossWESTERN (Bill and Turner Ross) In the neighboring towns of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico, a rugged cattleman and a populist mayor navigate changing times as the specters of cartel violence and xenophobia threaten harmonious cultural and economic exchanges between the U.S. and Mexico.  Marked by muggy days and thunderous nights, this evocative and immersive documentary from the directors of 45365 and Tchoupitoulas delivers a thrilling mix of fascinating characters, riveting narrative, and extraordinary sensory detail.

MFF Unveils the First 10 Titles of Our 2015 Lineup!

We have begun unveiling the lineup for our 17th annual festival, which will take place May 6-10 in downtown Baltimore and include approximately 50 feature films and 12 short-film programs from around the world.

The first ten feature films announced for MFF 2015 include the area premieres of highly anticipated independent narrative and documentary features, including Stanley Nelson’s riveting Black Panthers documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; Kris Swanberg’s nuanced and emotionally resonant character study, Unexpected; Olivia Wyatt’s immersive look at Moken culture, Sailing a Sinking Sea; and Eugene Kotlyarenko’s delightfully anarchic rom-com, A Wonderful Cloud. Also just announced for MFF 2015 is the world premiere of Stephen Cone’s vibrant coming-of-age drama Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.

Lineup announcements will continue over the next 2 weeks. The first ten titles announced for MFF 2015 are:

BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson) Master documentarian Stanley Nelson has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to bring history to life with films such as Freedom Summer; The Murder of Emmett Till; and Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.  Here he turns his lens on the revolutionary Black Panther Party and the various cultural forces that worked to support or destroy the group, creating an essential portrait of a singular radical moment in the American experience.

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer) Viral-video sensation Unlocking the Truth, a teenage metal buzz-band from Brooklyn, navigate the bizarre current state of the record industry in this fascinating, fist-pumping, and often hilarious documentary. Fresh from its premiere at SXSW, this exceptional rock doc follows the band as they sign a major-label record deal and are suddenly caught up in an adult-driven world of contracts, tours, interviews, and branding. From Luke Meyer, co-director of MFF 2006 hit Darkon.

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall) The writer/director of The Dish & the Spoon returns with this offbeat, infectious mix of comedy and drama. Kentucker Audley stars as an obesity-awareness canvasser who strikes up a friendship with a wealthy, emancipated 19-year-old named Titty (Olly Alexander) and the animal-rights-activist object of Titty’s desire, Ginger (Joslyn Jensen). Co-starring Josephine Decker, Louis Cancelmi, and Anna Margaret Hollyman.

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone)

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone)

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone) A pool party celebrating the seventeenth birthday of Henry Gamble (Cole Doman), the son of a megachurch preacher (Pat Healy), sets the stage for this expertly observed ensemble drama. As sunny skies fade into moonlight, director Stephen Cone (The Wise Kids, Black Box) offers a subtle and insightful portrait of a community full of pressures and secrets —exploring identity, sexuality, and organized religion in the process. World premiere.

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt) This experimental documentary, which premiered at SXSW, looks at the traditional lifestyle of the Moken people, a seafaring community of Burma and Thailand. Olivia Wyatt’s gorgeous and immersive film transports viewers deep into the turquoise sea and onto thirteen different islands, giving us intimate access to a culture where shamans, mermaids, and sea gods collide with present-day practices. Executive-produced by Will Oldham.

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver) This ultra-dark comedy looks at a communal home for sober living in 1990s suburban New Jersey, which spirals into dysfunctional decline when an outsider arrives on the scene. Director Nathan Silver’s film boasts an uncompromising visual aesthetic that goes against the grain of contemporary indie filmmaking—not to mention a fantastic cast that includes Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Keith Poulson, and Eleonore Hendricks.

​TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)

​TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)

TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz) Top-notch documentary biographer Jeffrey Schwarz has captivated MFF audiences with definitive looks at iconic personalities William Castle, Vito Russo, and Divine. Now he delivers the warm and intimate story of 1950s Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter, who simultaneously balanced a stratospheric career on the silver screen with a secret life as a gay man. From his rise to stardom to his reinvention as a cult-film star with John Waters—and a number of fascinating surprises—it’s all here.

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg) High-school science teacher Samantha (Cobie Smulders), already dealing with stress and uncertainty as her low-income school prepares to close, finds out she’s pregnant. When she discovers her favorite student Jasmine (Gail Bean) is also with child, the two form a tight and unconventional bond. From Kris Swanberg (whose earlier features Empire Builder and It was great, but I was ready to come home. both screened within MFF) comes this refreshing character study that mines honest emotions and the quiet battlefields of love and friendship for real beauty and insight.

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker) This edge-of-your-seat documentary follows the arrival of notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb to a small town in North Dakota, where he promptly buys up land for like-minded collaborators and disrupts town council meetings, leading to fears that he plans a neo-Nazi takeover. As his behavior escalates further into the outrageous and threatens to get violent, a once-placid community must decide how to react.

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko) When his ex-girlfriend visits him in Los Angeles to resolve some lingering business entanglements, Eugene seeks to revisit old feelings, and introduces her to an LA populated by a wild cast of artists, scenesters, and eccentrics. Variety called this gleefully anarchic romantic comedy “a raucous, wholly improvised 21st-century Annie Hall.” Starring director Kotlyarenko (whose 0s & 1s had its world premiere at MFF 2010) and Kate Lyn Sheil (Sun Don’t Shine, House of Cards).

The MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series Presents BRASSLANDS with Filmmaker Bryan Chang on Tuesday 4/21!

BRASSLANDSposterThe MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series will present the award-winning music documentary BRASSLANDS on Tuesday 4/21 at 7:30pm at the MICA Brown Center!

The film will be presented by Bryan Chang, a member-owner of the Meerkat Media Collective. WYPR’s Tom Hall will conduct a 10 minute interview with Chang immediately following the screening for later airing on WYPR as part of the MFF/ WYPR Spotlight Series.

EVENT INFO:
The MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series presents BRASSLANDS
Tuesday 4/21
7:30pm
MICA Brown Center
$10/Free for Friends of the Festival and MICA students and faculty with ID

BRASSLANDS Synopsis
A tiny Serbian village explodes with brass cacophony and riotous celebration as more than half a million music fans descend upon Guča, the world’s largest trumpet competition. Amidst a cast of defending Serbian champions and struggling Roma Gypsies, an unlikely brass band from New York City, Zlatne Uste, voyages to represent the United States only a decade after NATO bombs rocked Belgrade. They will be the first Americans ever to compete at Guča. BRASSLANDS offers an intimate and sometimes unsettling portrait of how the hopes and fears of this diverse group of characters collide in their search for common ground and musical ecstasy.



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