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They’ve just launched, and it should be a great addition to the film community. Arriving here via critic gigs in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Sragow is one of the most respected film writers in the country. We’ve seen numerous filmmakers lineup to do interviews.

-Jed Dietz, MFF Director


Michael Sragow and I join Tom Hall tomorrow morning for our monthly movie stint on MD Morning with Sheila Kast. Sragow’s in the process of starting a new blog for the Sun and we’ll be talking about some of the new movies- GREENBERG, GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO- and anything else Tom wants to talk about. It’s fun to do, so join us if you can. Usually airs between 9:30 and 10:00. If you miss it live you can pick it up on the WYPR website.

–Jed Dietz, MFF Director


We are are unveiling our great new look for the 2010 Maryland Film Festival and once again we want your help getting the word out!

We are now distributing this year’s yard signs all over Baltimore, and would love to see one on your lawn and every lawn in town!

If you would like to help us spread the word by getting yard signs in your yard and your friends’ yards, just stop by the office (107 East Read Street, Baltimore, MD 21202) to pick up a stack! And soon they will also be available for pick-up at various locations around town, for your convenience!

And stay tuned for more exciting updates as we count down to the 12th Maryland Film Festival!


Noah Baumbach’s new film, GREENBERG, opening today at the Charles, is a wonderful portrait of two odd people circling each other. Set in LA neighborhoods that don’t usually make it in the movies, it’s Baumbach (SQUID AND THE WHALE) at his best. The male lead is Ben Stiller as a grown up Holden Caufield who is paralyzed by his always on Bull Detector. Greta Gerwig, who has been at several MFFs (HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS), is the female lead and she’s the best thing in the movie; awkward, beautiful and utterly real. And she’s a great singer.

Tonight at the Creative Alliance, MFF Alum Charles Cohen’s new film about uber Orioles beer vendor Clancy will be screened, with Charles and Clancy in attendance.  Charles has a great instinct for all things Baltimore- I’ll never forget the guttural cheers that emerged from the movie theater for his film about Memorial Stadium both times we screened it- and this one is really fun. If I wasn’t hosting an event at CENTERSTAGE, I’d be there.

 Last nights work in progress screening of Ramona Diaz’s (IMELDA) new film, THE LEARNING,  for a small audience of Friends of the Festival was a treat. She and some of her team were there, and the interchange with the audience seemed to really help them as they continue to edit.

–Jed Dietz, MFF Director




This year we are once again offering All-Access passes at a pre-sale discount from their regular price of $250!

The All-Access Pass is the best way to experience everything at the Maryland Film Festival! Passholders get into any screening without a ticket, and ahead of regular ticket holders! All-Access passholders also get into Opening and Closing Night, all MFF parties, and the Filmmakers Lounge!

(*Purchase by May 5, or while supplies last. After May 5, price goes back up to the regular price of $250)

(**One week only! Must be purchased by March 31)

Join Friends of the Festival, and receive this special discount, plus FREE movies all year-round, invitations to special events, and many more great benefits!

Don’t Miss This Rare Opportunity!

To order your All-Access Pass, call 410.752.8083! Supplies are limited, so act fast!

Weekend viewing tips

We’re in that rough patch for moviegoing-  post-Oscar, pre-Memorial Day, (pre-MFF !!!), but there are some amazing movies to see. THE WHITE RIBBON, a recent Best Foreign Film nominee, and nominee for Best Cinematography, is a visually stunning study of the unacknowledged realities that are often part of small town life.  The fictional German baronial village portrayed in the movie, set just before WWI, seems to be nothing if not stable. From the mysterious opening shot, you can feel the ground shifting under the children and adults in this tiny community, disrupting its Germanic discipline. And, of course, the children will populate the Third Reich. From Austrian Michael Haneke.

THE PROPHET, also fresh off its Best Foreign Film nomination, amazingly finds new ground to explore in the prison/gang/underworld genre. Director and co-writer Jacques Audiard takes us inside one prison outside Paris where civilization divides starkly between gangs, Corsicans or Muslims. We watch a new prisoner who speaks both Arabic and French try to learn the ropes before they entangle him. I liked last year’s much-praised GOMORRAH, but think this is better.

And, don’t miss ALICE in 3D (Melina got to see the Imax presentation; I saw it in Digital 3D at White Marsh),  or the terrific article about David Simon and company in Sunday’s NY Times Magazine. He’s in New Orleans, alas, shooting a new HBO series, TREME.

-Jed Dietz, MFF Director

Special Work In Progress Screening for Friends of the Festival Only!

Friends of the Festival is a membership program that supports the Maryland Film Festival throughout the year. For a contribution of $50 or more, our members receive benefits like:

  • FREE preview screenings from the art-house to Hollywood throughout the year
  • FREE movies before 6pm on the Friday of the Maryland Film Festival (this year taking place May 6 – 9)

Thursday March 25, 7:30pm

For more information or to sign up today and start seeing FREE SCREENINGS, call 410.752.8083 or click here to sign up online!


We have limited seats for a special Work in Progress screening of Ramona Diaz’s newest documentary, THE LEARNING. This will be a rare opportunity to interact with a filmmaker before the film is edited into its final form. Ramona and her editor, Leah Marino, will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A afterwards. This special screening is exclusive to Friends of the Festival.

Ramona Diaz’s documentary IMELDA was a big hit at MFF 2005, won a an award at Sundance that year, and played film festivals all over the world.

For several years, Ramona has been following a group of Philippine women who leave their homes and families to teach in the Baltimore public schools. Filmed in Baltimore and the Philippines, THE LEARNING tells their story.


One of two film festivals in Austin, South by Southwest started as a music festival and now has a very good film festival attached.  Our Director of Programming, Eric Hatch, is there and Matt Porterfield’s PUTTY HILL makes its second stop on the film festival circuit, after Berlin. It’ll be part of MFF 2010. Richard Brody, a big advocate for for Matt’s first feature, HAMILTON (MFF 2006),  called his second feature “extraordinary” in The New Yorker online, and compared the cinematography to 60s Godard.

–Jed Dietz


Here’s the link to Mike Sragow’s piece about THE HURT LOCKER in yesterday’s Sun:,0,1151266.story

– Jed Dietz

Movie stuff in the news

Mike Sragow and I did our monthly gig with Tom Hallon WYPR’s MD Morning with Sheila Kast this morning, and as always it was fun – Oscar surprises and a shocking new event in the movie criticism world are discussed. You can still listen at  Also, check out Sragow in the Sun on Sunday- sounds as though he’s working on an article about Oscar phenom and MFF 2009 Closing Night film,  THE HURT LOCKER. It’s amazing to think that Kathryn Bigelow, the First Woman Ever toWin Best Director and (now) Oscar winning screenwriter Mark Boal were at the Charles Theatre less than a year ago. They were great, the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday interviewed them afterwards, and no one who was there will ever forget it. The article should be interesting: Sragow interviewed Boal today. THL is still at the Landmark- DO NOT MISS IT on the big screen.

-Jed Dietz, MFF Director