Maryland Film Festival Director Jed Dietz is onsite in Park City, UT at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival reporting back highlights from the ground. Stay tuned for updates on the MFF blog, and make sure to check out his live radio appearance with 88.1FM WYPR’s Tom Hall on Friday 1/24.
Jed’s Sundance Update #1
The important filmmaker community of Sundance displayed itself right away. Jack Gerbes from the Maryland Film Office and Hannah Byron from Baltimore’s Department of Business and Economic Development were on the plane with me from Baltimore to Park City. Once we landed, I ran into MFF alum Mike Tully (whose Ocean City-set film, PING PONG SUMMER, premieres here) at baggage claim, and then I ran into MFF alum Joe Swanberg in the grocery store. This morning I caught up with a group of Johns Hopkins University students who I’d met at previous Sundance festivals when they were here with faculty member Linda DeLibero. Over 20 MFF filmmaker alums with films are in attendance at this year’s festival.
I’m one day and five films in. The picture to the right is of Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Stanley Nelson, (JONESTOWN, FREEDOM RIDERS) doing Q & A after a screening of his great documentary FREEDOM SUMMER about the organizing efforts during the summer of 1964 to enfranchise African American voters in Mississippi.
Stanley Nelson’s film FREEDOM RIDERS, about the courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation laws in the American South, played at our 2010 film festival.
-Jed Dietz, MFF Director