Maryland Film Festival (May 3-6 in downtown Baltimore) continues to roll out its 2012 line-up with films from Argentina, Turkey, Colombia, South Africa, and Iceland, our vintage silent and 3D titles, as well as a dozen more new narrative and documentary features by some of the most exciting names in American independent film.
We’ve got a few titles yet to unveil, including our Opening Night and Closing Night films, 8 jam-packed shorts programs, and a few very exciting, late-breaking additions. But following on the heels of two dozen already-announced features, this announcement of 18 more features from around the world reveals the bulk of Maryland Film Festival’s 2012 line-up.
Keep checking www.mdfilmfest.com for breaking news and our final round of exciting announcements.
THE NEWLY ANNOUNCED TITLES ARE:
THE BLACK BALLOON (Josh and Benny Safdie)
This comedic and touching journey of a balloon through present-day New York City comes to us courtesy of the inimitable Safdie brothers (of MFF 2010’s DADDY LONGLEGS). The Safdies have paired their latest short with classic titles THE RED BALLOON, THE BALLOONATIC, and THE PINCUSHION MAN for a charming feature-length program of balloon-themed shorts.
ETHEL (Rory Kennedy)
Rory Kennedy’s intimate documentary about her mother Ethel combines rich archival footage with unprecedented private access to deliver a film that is both personal homage and vital historical document all at once.
FRANCINE (Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky)
Melissa Leo stars in this riveting, artful drama about a woman just released from prison, having difficulty finding work and positive human relationships in the outside world. As interacting with humans becomes more difficult, she turns to animals for solace. From the directors of the documentary THE PATRON SAINTS, also screening within MFF 2012.
FROM MORNING TILL MIDNIGHT (directed by Karl Heinz Martin; presented by Alloy Orchestra)
Festival favorites Alloy Orchestra return with their new score to this rediscovered treasure of 1920s German Expressionist cinema.
THE INTERNATIONAL SIGN FOR CHOKING (Zach Weintraub)
Two 20-something travelers in neighboring rooms of the same boarding house in Buenos Aires discover they’re both Americans, sparking an unusual relationship. This quiet, exquisitely shot film stars Sophia Takal (MFF 2011’s GREEN).
JEFF (Chris James Thompson)
This experimental hybrid of narrative and documentary forms mixes sequences of quiet moments in the life of a fictional Jeffrey Dahmer with revelatory real-life interviews. Three lives forever changed by “Jeff” speak out: the older neighbor who trusted him, the medical examiner who identified the victims, and the interrogator who got the killer’s confession.
LOVE FREE OR DIE (Macky Alston)
Gene Robinson became the first openly gay bishop when elected by the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire in June 2003, beginning a long journey for acceptance and respect. This heartfelt and moving documentary tells his real-life story.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
The master director of THREE MONKEYS, CLIMATES, and DISTANT (winner of the grand jury prize at Cannes in 2003) takes his aesthetic to the next level with this film about a group of men driving through rural Turkey in search of a corpse. Notes of noir, drama, thriller, and social satire blend into an exquisite film not soon forgotten.
PORFIRIO (Alejandro Landes)
In this visionary film from Colombia, a wheelchair-bound man who made international headlines stars as himself in a bold retelling of his real-life story. Paralyzed from the waist down by a policeman’s bullet, we meet Porfirio as he ekes out a modest living reselling cell-phone minutes, relying on his son and neighbor for day-to-day care. Slowly, it becomes clear that Porfirio has been planning a drastic move to better his lot in life.
RECONVERGENCE (Edward Tyndall)
This experimental documentary juxtaposes the philosophies of four very different thinkers whose life and work explores the nature of identity, history, and memory: a neuroscientist, a poet, a naturalist, and museum curator. Visually splendid and intricately edited, an intriguing web of connected ideas emerges.
SEE YOU SOON AGAIN (Lukas Stepanik, Bernadette Wegenstein)
For fifty years, Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz has shared his story with students and community groups throughout the Baltimore area and beyond. How do students today receive his message—and what impact does continually retelling such an incredibly painful and personal story have on a person?
SUPPORTING CHARACTERS (Daniel Schechter)
This sharp ensemble film mixes comedy, drama, and romance as it introduces us to Nick (Alex Karpovsky) and Darryl (Tarik Lowe), a team of film editors in New York City with complicated personal lives. Co-stars include Sophia Takal, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Corrigan, and Lena Dunham.
TCHOUPITOULAS (Bill and Turner Ross)
In this visionary documentary, three young boys venture into the New Orleans night, showing us all the sounds, colors, and evocative hidden corners of that culture-rich city with fresh young eyes. From the directors of the remarkable 45365.
THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE (Lewis R. Foster; presented in two-projector 3D!)
Maryland Film Festival is dedicated to presenting a different vintage 3D film each festival, and our tradition lives on with this 1953 musical starring Rhonda Fleming, Gene Barry, and Agnes Moorehead.
UNDER AFRICAN SKIES (Joe Berlinger)
From the co-director of METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER and the PARADISE LOST series comes this documentary look at the making of Paul Simon’s classic Graceland album—a story sometimes contentious, but frequently ecstatic.
A group of burglars seek out a cache of disturbing VHS tapes they plan to resell. But the contents of the tapes are even more unsettling than they expected. This omnibus horror film contains new work from, among others Joe Swanberg and Ti West.
VERY EXTREMELY DANGEROUS (Paul Duane)
Jerry McGill’s life has been that of a rock-and-roll outlaw, performing with rock and country royalty and having more than his share of brushes with the law. Now in his 70s, he’s fighting to stay on top of his health and get back in the studio. This riveting documentary takes an unflinching look at a man who refuses to be tamed.
VOLCANO (Rúnar Rúnarsson)
With masterful assurance, Rúnar Rúnarsson’s feature debut Volcano offers a character study of a curmudgeonly Reykjavik retiree that probes life’s banal indignities for dark comedy, drama, and, ultimately, cosmic truth. Fans of Mike Leigh and the Dardenne Brothers take note.
Note for press: Festival artwork and images for these titles are available for download here: