Posts Tagged 'Baltimore'

MFF To Screen the US Premiere of THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE hosted by Director Barry Levinson at M & T Bank Stadium!!

The Band That Wouldn't Die

The Maryland Film Festival and the Baltimore  Ravens are proud to announce the



hosted by Academy Award winning director

Barry Levinson


M&T BANK STADIUM    Tuesday, October 6

Sponsored by the Baltimore Ravens, ESPN, and M&T Bank

Straight from its World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival

With a special live concert in full uniform by

Baltimore’s Marching Ravens

In the great tradition of extraordinary film premieres being held in unusual settings, the new film made by Academy Award winning director, and Baltimore native Barry Levinson,  THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE, will have its US Premiere in M&T Bank Stadium on Tuesday, October 6. Barry Levinson will host the event, and Baltimore’s Marching Ravens will perform.

The World Premiere was at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, and the 53 minute film will air on ESPN starting October 13, as part of ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” documentary project.

“Although we have had a longstanding (and maybe surprising to some) relation with the Ravens- various coaches and players have chosen films to host during past Maryland Film Festivals as part of our pioneering Guest Host Program- the team backing this event is amazing,” said Maryland Film Festival Director Jed Dietz. “It’s the perfect Maryland Film Festival event; fun, informal, and featuring the most recent work of one of the greatest living filmmakers.”

The story of what is now the Baltimore’s Marching Ravens runs deep in Baltimore history, but many of the details in the film will surprise people. Despite the horror of losing the beloved Baltimore Colts, in a snowstorm late at night,  the film tells the story of a group of ordinary citizens, volunteers in the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band, who would not quit. They kept the spirit of professional football in Baltimore alive through creative and bold action. Perhaps even more extraordinary, when the Baltimore Ravens franchise started in Baltimore, the Modell family fully embraced the great football tradition in Baltimore, and to this day the team and M & T Bank finance the renewed Baltimore’s Marching Ravens.

“We have always been grateful that team ownership and management  understands our passion and have made it possible for us to support our team,” said Band Leader John Ziemann. “To have Barry Levinson chose to make this film- a great filmmaker and a fellow fan- is a dream come true. The fact that he is taking the time to host this US Premiere in person, is beyond wonderful,” Ziemann concluded.

Barry Levinson, in production on his latest film, a story about Dr. Kevorkian for HBO, said:  “I couldn’t get to the World Premiere in Toronto because I was shooting into the early hours of the morning on my latest film, but I am thrilled to share this film at M& T Stadium with the great Baltimore fans and our wonderful marching band. All of us who worked on the film focused on capturing that very special Baltimore spirit that has always fascinated me, and will certainly be present at this event.”

TIME: 6:00pm – Gates Open

6:30pm – Baltimore’s Marching Ravens in concert

7:00pm – Introduction by Barry Levinson and Screening of THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE on the Smart Vision Screen at M & T Bank Stadium

PLACE: M & T Bank Stadium (open seating on the field- NO CHAIRS)

Concessions will be available at non-stadium prices.

Tickets:       ALL TICKETS $5.00, day of screening. (All ticket proceeds benefit the Maryland Film Festival)   To pre-order visit,  or call 410-261-(RAVE)


Artscape Poster

Each hour, on the hour, we will be screening five different FREE shorts programs, approximately 30 minutes each, with Q & A sessions with the filmmakers at select screenings (descriptions below).

The Charles Theatre, 1711 North Charles Street

“Fantaisie in Bubblewrap” – Arthur Metcalf
“Lupo the Butcher” – Danny Antonucci
“Puppet” – Patrick Smith
“Santa: The Fascist Years” – Bill Plympton
“The Box Man” – Nirvan Mullick
“Son of Satan” – JJ Villard
“Seventeen” – Hisko Hulsing
“Bar Fight” – Christy Karacas
“Ah L’Amour” – Don Hertzfeldt

Noon: Program One – Animation
1 PM: Program Two – Avant-Garde
2 PM: Program Three – Comedy
3 PM: Program Four – Documentary
4 PM: Program Five – Narrative
5 PM: Program One – Animation
6 PM: Program Two – Avant-Garde

Noon: Program Three – Comedy
1 PM: Program Four – Documentary
2 PM: Program Five – Narrative
3 PM: Program One – Animation
4 PM: Program Two – Avant-Garde
5 PM: Program Three – Comedy
6 PM: Program Four – Documentary



Fantaisie in Bubblewrap –  Arthur Metcalf

A whimsical jaunt through the world of bubblewrap..

Lupo the Butcher – Danny Antonucci

The story of a psychotic butcher, who swears at his meat and has a huge temper when the smallest things go wrong. He eventually gets angry to the point that he cuts off his own thumb, his body falls apart, and a fountain of blood is unleashed.

Puppet – Patrick Smith

A sadistic sock puppet turns against it’s creator. Through an escalating series of torture, the possessed sock puppet  takes embodiment of fear, chaos, and willful self-destruction.

Santa: The Fascist Years – Bill Plympton

An dark and outrageous look at Santa Claus’ hidden past, featuring a voiceover by actor Matthew Modine.

The Box Man – Nirvan Mullick

Suspicion, theft and murder in this dark tale of envy. Stop-motion short film about a man’s encounter with a cardboard box. inspired by a Kobo Abe novel.

Son of Satan – JJ Villard

Bukowski would be proud of this twisted illustration of his poetry. A raw, urgent punk scream against the pain of abuse, bullying and the cyclical nature of violence and stands firmly against those who believe that animation must be clean, precise, polished and oh so f-ing sweet.

Seventeen – Hisko Hulsing

A shy seventeen-year-old construction worker tries to hold his own in the macho world of roofers.  A dark tale about growing up, losing innocence, and settling into a sick cycle of hell.

Bar Fight – Christy Karacas

A simple bar fight erupts into an all out war of the worlds. It’s every man for himself!… and a few other creatures.

Ah L’Amour – Don Hertzfeldt

A stick figure protagonist experiences not only the joys of newfound love but the woes of losing it — along with his head, his arms and legs, and yes, his skin, too.


Trepan Hole – Andy Cahill, 6 minutes

Squiggling, spastic, rail-thin creatures with clay souls and throbbing heads bounce off each other for six minutes.

Enough To Drive You Mad – Karen Yasinsky, 3 minutes

A short work inspired by Robert Bresson’s 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar. Enough to Drive You Mad begins with line drawings of a familiar cartoon character interacting with Balthazar, the abused but soulful donkey, before erupting into abstract composition.

Death of a Matriarch – Takuro Masuda, 3 minutes

Based on an episode of “Kana’ti and Selu,” a Native American folktale, this animated story explains how the Cherokee Nation believes farming was brought to Mankind.

The Realm of Possibility – Gerald Guthrie, 7 minutes

A digital animation based at the intersection of absurdity and logic. Deductive reasoning, as found in the syllogistic form (A is B, B is C, therefore A is C), becomes a vehicle to validate concepts that might not necessarily be true. The structure of the narrative is meant to parallel the premise of a syllogism. Many men use libraries; many libraries reference aviation; therefore, many men are pilots. In the end, navigation to another planet becomes a curious byproduct of flawed logic.

Fruitless Efforts – Fruit of the Womb – Andrew Chesworth & Aaron Quist, 5 minutes

Apple is trying to lead a normal life, but is being held back by his friends.


Xologola – Michael Robinson, 1 minute

Abstract animation created using scans and pictures of branches, broken and scratched glass, and digitally painted textures.

Dahlia – Michael Langan, 3 minutes

A moving portrait of the bustle and permanence of a city, Dahlia juxtaposes the stable forms and patterns of life with the frenetic behavior of humanity, set to a driving score of vocal percussion.

He Hates To Be Second – Kelly Sears, 3 minutes

Excavated fragments from a 1963 article about Robert Kennedy and images and advertisements from similar 1963 publications are used to create this piece which focuses on revealing, rather than suppressing, illuminating moments from our past. Layers of tigers, vintage wallpaper, coiffed ladies, and alpha males are collaged as a visual portrait of the time. The majority of the article is blacked out to highlight key phrases that speak to aggressive gestures that marked this era as a result of building tensions of the Cold War. The text functions as an antithesis to the practice of blacked out government documents that hide sensitive information.

Sea of Breath – Cloud of Ground – Michael Robinson, 5 minutes

Four animated vignettes/movements combine to relate an abstract narrative.

Life With Ghosts – Allen Moore, 3 minutes

A visual and auditory exploration of layers of light and sound, using double 8mm and 16mm film processes transferred to video.

Evolution of an Idea – Grey Adkins, 5 minutes

Panoramic views taken with multiple video cameras show average views in a whole new way.   First prize winner in City Paper’s Shoot – Score – Baltimore short-film contest.

Doxology – Michael Langan, 7 minutes

This humorously allegorical animation explores the relationship between the terrestrial and the celestial via singing tennis balls.


Bustout – Kenneth Price, 3 minutes

If there’s one thing the Superkiiids! love more than the Back To The Future trilogy, it’s high-fives! And if there’s one thing they love more than high-fives, it’s BUSTIN’ OUT OF STUFF!!!!!!!!!! But don’t take our word for it…

Goldthwait Home Movies – Bobcat Goldthwait, 7 minutes

The cast of the classic short Goldthwait Home Movies reunites to record the audio commentary for the 40th anniversary DVD.

The Douser – Stephen W. Brandt, 8 minutes

When Kelly grows weary of dating jerks, a wine-making gay couple helps her transform into a superhero that helps jerks find their more sensitive sides.

Politics of Preschool – Heidi Van Lier, 6 minutes

A preschool girl attempts to gain social status and happiness through a materialistic strategy, only to find she’s been trumped. She sets out to destroy the competition by any means necessary.

Santa: The Fascist Years – Bill Plympton, 4 minutes

In this animated newsreel, we learn that jolly ol’ St. Nick has a dark, hidden past rooted in greed and politics. A new short from Academy Award© nominee Bill Plympton, featuring narration by Matthew Modine.


Wrecking Ball – Karl Merton Ferron, 5 minutes

During the summer of 2008, workers used a 4-ton wrecking ball to knock down an 80-year-old cold-storage warehouse on Baltimore’s east side. Throughout the 8-week period of the demolition, Karl Merton Ferron trained a camera on the work site from a window in the Baltimore Sun’s newsroom. The camera shot one frame every 10 seconds. Ferron also made several trips to the work site throughout the summer to record scenes of workers, equipment, debris, and the reactions of onlookers

Out Of Print – Danny Plotnick, 4 minutes

A sweet little ode to the counterculture of the 80s and 90s, a pre-internet time when unearthing quality non-mainstream culture was a real treasure hunt.

Grand Teton – Julia Kim Smith, 5 minutes

A video portrait of a first-generation Korean-American family in transition. Director Julia Kim Smith films her family assembling once again for a group photo in the same spot where they had stood 35 years earlier in Grand Teton National Park. Through juxtaposition of photography and video, Smith documents the process of assimilation, and challenges the racial and cultural boundaries of what it means to be “American.”

Dick-George, Tenn-Tom – Gideon C. Kennedy & Marcus Rosentrater, 12 minutes

In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon visited Mobile, AL for 104 minutes, during which time he shook 100 feet of hands, lost a cufflink, and shared a stage with his biggest political rival, Governor George Wallace. Dick-George, Tenn-Tom is a sardonic look at their rivalry, the creation of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and the attempt on Wallace’s life less than a year later.


Far Out – Phil Mucci, 5 minutes

In 1972, a flamboyant producer’s Hollywood party takes a strange turn when an uninvited guest comes for more than sex and drugs.  Imagine Beyond the Valley of the Dolls made as a Hammer horror film. Consider your mind blown!

A Catalog of Anticipations – David Lowery, 5 minutes

A foreboding fairy tale about a little girl and her collection of dead things. Insects, flowers, animal bones – she has a strange affinity for all things deceased. Her perspective on mortality is shaken, however, when she makes a truly unsettling discovery in her backyard.

Address to Silas on the Occasion of the Retreat at Los Angeles County – David Harris, 7 minutes

The emotional landscape of a recently broken-up couple plays out as a civil-war battle that destroys both of their apartments.

The Song of the Mermaid – Troy Morgan, 13 minutes

Roselyn and William live a tranquil life in their cliffside aquarium, playing music and collecting exotic sealife. When Roselyn begins to have mysterious dreams about living underwater, their lives take a strange and unexpected turn. One night, Roselyn disappears, leaving nothing but a note explaining that she has returned to the sea. Believing that he can still find her, William embarks upon an epic search for Roselyn. He fishes everything he can out of the ocean, until he finally encounters an unearthly creature that will change his life forever. Utilizing a variety of classic cinematic techniques such as miniature sets, puppetry and animation, The Song of the Mermaid takes the viewer through an enchanting filmic experience with dreamlike images and a haunting musical score.

Maryland Film Festival Opens Tonight!!!

It’s finally here! Tonight we are pleased to kick off the 11th annual Maryland Film Festival!

If you’re looking for coverage of day-to-day events during the festival be sure to check out:

The Baltimore Sun’s Chris Kaltenbach and Michael Sragow live-blogging from the festival!


Creative Alliance Movie Makers’ video podcasts from the festival!


More picks from Programmer Eric Allen Hatch!

It was great, but I was ready to come home. IT WAS GREAT, BUT I WAS READY TO COME HOME

May 8, 3pm, Charles Theatre 2

May 10, 1pm, Charles Theatre 2

Here we have an impressive feature debut, a novella-length character study directed by and starring Kris Swanberg (if the name sounds familiar, MFF regulars may know the work of her husband, Joe, including MFF ’07 title Hannah Takes The Stairs and this year’s Alexander the Last). It was great… concerns two female best friends who travel together through Costa Rica and the subtle ups-and-downs they experience together. This quiet, novella-length drama hones in on very specific emotions and thoughts with startling precision, leaving us with much to digest regarding best-friendship, culture shock, and lost love. If you appreciate delicate, character-driven, big-on-atmosphere films like Old Joy, Hamilton, and Wendy and Lucy, this one’s a must-see!

Click here to purchase tickets to It was great, but I was ready to come home.


May 8, 6:30pm, Charles Theatre 3 One Bad Cat

May 9, 12:00pm, UB Student Center

Do you enjoy going to Baltimore’s own American Visionary Art Museum? Do you find yourself drawn not only to the artwork, but also to the fascinating biographies of the outsider artists behind AVAM’s startling collection? Then you’ll definitely want to see the documentary ONE BAD CAT: THE REVEREND ALBERT WAGNER story. Cleveland-based African-American artist Wagner, whose work is featured prominently at AVAM, experienced a religious conversion midway through life, and decided to devote the remainder of his life to preaching (which he does seated behind a drum kit, conveying his world view to a congregation largely consisting of his extended family) and his extraordinary artwork, which poses tough questions about race, sex, and the legacy of slavery. Narrated by Delroy Lindo, this is one of many can’t-miss docs in MFF 2009’s line-up.

Click here to purchase tickets to ONE BAD CAT: THE REVERAND ALBERT WAGNER STORY!

Tent Village Panel Series Announced!

The schedule for the Maryland Film Office Discussion Panel Series is now up on our website!

This year we are offering ten engaging panels over the course of the weekend. The titles range  from “First Encounters: Films That Influenced Us” to “Social Justice Filmmaking: Social Issues Brought to the Screen,” and other topics like the collaboration between directors and editors, shorts filmmaking, and film criticism. Highlights include a panel with MFF Alums Matt Porterfield, Ramona Diaz, and Kurt Kolaja, who are currently working on new films, and a conversation with Matthew Modine!

Plus the Creative Alliance Movie Makers program brings us “B-more Indie Horror Movie Makers” feature guest filmmakers from Baltimore’s booming youthful underground horror scene!

All panels are FREE and open to the public, unless otherwise noted, and located in the Tent Village across the street from The Charles Theatre!

Click here to view the Maryland Film Office Discussion Panel schedule!

Blair Witch’s Ed Sánchez Brings Thrilling SEVENTH MOON to MFF!

Friday, May 8, 10:00pm,
Charles Theatre 2

Eduardo Sánchez, co-writer/director of The Blair Witch Project, makes a triumphant, spooky return with the China-set nailbiter Seventh Moon, playing at Maryland Film Festival 2009! Seventh Moon tells the story of a couple of newlyweds, Yul (Tim Chiou) and Melissa (Amy Smart of Crank: High Voltage), who honeymoon in China — but soon encounter mystery and horror lurking behind a “ghost festival” tied to the lunar cycle.

A polished international production that delivers classic thrills in a way few current horror films do, it’s a triumphant thrill-ride from Maryland resident Sánchez, who delivered the worldwide smash Blair Witch Project. As MFF’s Scott Braid writes in the program notes for this film, “With movie theaters and video stores overrun with brainless slice-and-dice gorefests whose every sequel is more repugnant and (if possible) less engaging than the one before, it’s refreshing to see an exquisitely made modern ghost story with genuinely creepy atmospherics.”

Director Eduardo Sánchez will be with us at Maryland Film Festival to host the Baltimore premiere of Seventh Moon. Don’t miss it!

Click here to buy tickets to SEVENTH MOON!

Ian MacKaye of Fugazi presents NINA SIMONE doc at MFF 2009!!

Nina Simone: La LegendeTwo legendary musicians come together at Maryland Film Festival 2009, when MFF guest host, punk/hardcore pioneer Ian MacKaye, presents the rarely screened French documentary Nina Simone: La Légende. This 1992 film, made for French television, captures soul/jazz/gospel icon Simone at her most impassioned and outspoken, reflecting on her life, career, and beliefs. It also incorporates performance and interview footage from a 1969 film about Simone, when her fearless, eclectic career was arguably at its peak.

It’s an intriguing choice from Dischord Records co-founder MacKaye, whose own work with such world-renowned bands as Minor Threat, Fugazi, and, currently, The Evens, is also known for its impassioned spirit and politically charged themes.We offer this not-to-be-missed event in the tradition of previous MFF musician guest-hosts as Jonathan Richman, Branford Marsalis, Will Oldham, and Henry Rollins — and we can’t wait to hear what MacKaye has to say about Simone and this inspiring documentary.

Click here to purchase tickets to NINA SIMONE: LA LEGENDE!

Read about Ian MacKaye guest hosting at the MFF on Pitchfork!

Read about it on Prefix!

John Waters Pick Announced: LOVE SONGS

Love SongsMay 8, 7:00pm


French romantic films set in Paris are legendary; filmmakers from a variety of cultures have worked hard to emulate the specific energy of young people exploring their sexuality that French filmmakers seem to capture so easily. Director/screenwriter Christophe Honoré steps firmly into the middle of this tradition, and then twists and turns, and then throws a couple of punches. Honore’s world includes threesomes, bi-sexuality, and startling new ways to deal with grief.

Built around twelve songs by Alex Beaupain, Love Songs is the anti-Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Salon film critic Andrew O’Hehir describes it as a “blend of François Truffaut’s wistful Parisian sentimentalism and Pedro Almodóvar’s acrid polysexual comedy.”

Love Songs screened in competition at Cannes 2007, was nominated for numerous awards, including four Cesars (French Oscars), but the film never played on more than 6 screens in this country. The remarkable cast includes Chiara Mastroianni, the daughter of actors Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni.

— Jed Dietz, Director, Maryland Film Festival

Click here to purchase tickets to LOVE SONGS!

MFF 2008: Friday

33 Most Inspired Twitter Backgrounds

From the Orange Element Blog:

The Maryland Film Festival has just been featured by Inspired Magazine as having one of the 33 most inspirational Twitter backgrounds. Thanks Inspired!

Check out our Twitter page to see what they’re talking about!

More great MFF 2009 designs from Orange Element can now be found in bus shelters all over town!

MFF Bus SheltersWe are larger than life on the Metro Gallery by the entrance to the Jones Falls Expressway!

Metro Gallery Banner