Posts Tagged 'Barry Levinson'



David Lowery

Maryland Film Festival is thrilled to announce that filmmaker David Lowery will be the host for our 2013 Opening Night Shorts Program, which will take place on Wednesday, May 8th at the MICA Brown Center, 8pm.  Tickets for Opening Night and the rest of MFF 2013’s lineup are on sale now – click here to purchase through MissionTix.

Lowery, a multi-year participant in MFF and an alum of the festival’s signature Opening Night Shorts Program, has received widespread acclaim for his forthcoming feature, the Cannes-bound Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara. Lowery has also made waves in recent months with a series of profile-raising announced projects, ranging from a reinvention of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon to a crime drama with Robert Redford attached as star and producer, The Old Man and the Gun.

MFF has been a proud supporter of Lowery throughout his career. Among Lowery’s films as director, MFF has screened his short film A Catalog of Anticipations in 2008, his feature St. Nick in 2009, and his Will Oldham-starring short Pioneer within MFF 2011’s Opening Night Shorts Program. The many other features Lowery has worked on in various capacities include editing Sun Don’t Shine (MFF 2012), shooting Lovers of Hate (MFF 2010) and Empire Builder (MFF 2012), and co-writing Pit Stop (MFF 2013).

MFF first devoted their Opening Night to short films in 2002, and has done so each year since 2004. Thanks to the ongoing support from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards, the festival has played a unique role in advocating for short-form film and video work. MFF has presented its Opening Night with a series of fascinating hosts, from acclaimed critics like Andrew O’Hehir and Ann Hornaday to award-winning filmmakers such as Bobcat Goldthwait and Barry Levinson. It’s with great pleasure that the festival welcomes David Lowery, a visionary director and generous film collaborator, as the first Opening Night alumnus to host this special evening.

As announced last week, Maryland Film Festival 2013’s Opening Night Shorts Films are:  Frances Bodomo’s Boneshaker, a drama about an African family lost in rural Alabama starring Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis; Grainger David’s The Chair, the story of one boy’s reaction to an outbreak of poisonous mold in his small town, nominated for Cannes 2012’s Short Film Palme d’or and winner of SXSW 2012’s Short Film Jury Prize;  Riley Stearns’ 16mm-shot The Cub, a note-perfect dark comedy about humans living amongst wolves that was nominated for Sundance 2013’s short-film grand-jury prize;  Dara Bratt’s observational documentary Flutter, a portrait of an ordinary man living in the extraordinary world of butterfly collecting; Chetin Chabuk’s Jujitsuing Reality, an inspiring documentary about Scott Lew, a screenwriter living with ALS; and Lauren Wolkstein’s elegant and sly Social Butterfly, in which a mysterious American woman (Anna Margaret Hollyman) arrives at a teenage party in the South of France.

Maryland Film Festival 2013 will take place May 8-12 in beautiful downtown Baltimore, presenting approximately 50 features and 80 short films on 7 screens within the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Its Closing Night film, as announced last week, will be Mother of George by Andrew Dosunmu. For more information, please visit our website at

MFF Presents “An Open Conversation with John Travolta and John Waters” on Saturday, November 10th! Tickets On Sale Now!

The Maryland Film Festival is pleased to announce a unique tribute to Hollywood legend John Travolta on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the MICA Brown Center. The main event, a fundraiser to support the work of the Maryland Film Festival, will bring Travolta together with noted filmmaker John Waters for the fifth annual edition of the Maryland Film Festival’s annual signature “Open Conversations.”

Maryland Film Festival Presents “A Tribute to John Travolta:” An Open Conversation with John Travolta and John Waters
Saturday, November 10th
MICA Brown Center
1300 West Mt. Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD

For General Admission ticket holders:

Brown Center Doors Open at 6:30 PM.

Open Conversation begins at 7:00 PM.

For VIP ALL-ACCESS Pass Holders:

VIP ALL-ACCESS Pass holders reception at 6 PM

VIP ALL-ACCESS Pass holders dinner with John Travolta and John Waters at 8:30 PM.

VIP Passes can be purchased by calling 410-752-8083 or by emailing

John Travolta‘s career represents an astonishing range of work, right up to his work in Oliver Stone‘s 2012 release, SAVAGES, which should garner Travolta a series of Best Supporting Actor nominations,” said MFF Director Jed Dietz. “In Maryland, we feel a special attachment to his career, and are grateful for his generosity to the community when he was here filming LADDER 49. We are proud to be able to welcome this unique artist back to Baltimore.”

Honorary Co-Chairs of the event will be Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels and his wife, Joanne Rosen, and Maryland Institute College of Art President Fred Lazarus and his wife, Jonna Lazarus.

Travolta, who has appeared in more than 60 films, launched his career in 1972 with a variety of television roles and rose to national prominence with his featured role in the sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter.” He secured his position as a leading man with a pair of musical blockbusters – SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER in 1977 and GREASE in 1978. His career was rekindled with a star turn in PULP FICTION in 1994, after which he continued to stretch his skills in a wide variety of starring roles. In 2004, Travolta came to Baltimore to film LADDER 49 with co-star Joaquin Phoenix. Three years later, Travolta returned to musicals, donning a house dress and a Baltimore accent to star as Edna Turnblad in the HAIRSPRAY, the film of the musical adapted from John Waters‘ 1988 film of the same name.

John Waters has directed sixteen movies in the city of Baltimore, including HAIRSPRAY, SERIAL MOM, CRY-BABY, POLYESTER and PINK FLAMINGOS, and he is the author of six books including 2011′s Role Models. He also serves on the Maryland Film Festival’s Board of Directors and has screened his films at numerous festivals around the world, including Cannes and Sundance. Waters has selected a film to present to audiences at each Maryland Film Festival since the festival’s launch in 1999; these titles have varied from offbeat comedies to cult classics and challenging art films. Their power to entertain and challenge viewers is always heightened by Waters’ unique humor and insight.

The Maryland Film Festival Open Conversations are designed to bring our community of supporters closer to movies and the people who make them. Launched in 2007, the Open Conversations have opened a variety of windows on the filmmaking world, including an exploration of the careers of actor John Rothman and his brother, studio executive Tom Rothman, an exploration of documentary film as journalism with Meredith Vieira, and a celebration of the 30th anniversary of DINER with Barry Levinson and cast members Ellen Barkin, Daniel Stern, and Michael Tucker.


1977: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Oscar & Golden Globe Nomination)
1978: GREASE (Golden Globe Nomination)
1994: PULP FICTION (Oscar & Golden Globe Nomination)
1995: GET SHORTY (Golden Globe Win for Lead Actor)
1997: FACE/OFF (MTV Award for Best Duo)
1998: PRIMARY COLORS (Golden Globe Nomination)
2004: LADDER 49 (Filmed in Baltimore with Joaquin Phoenix)
2007: HAIRSPRAY (Golden Globe Nomination)
2012: Lifetime Achievement Award, Zurich Film Festival
2012: Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, San Sebastian Film Festival




$75* – Conversation-Only Tickets.  Click here to purchase.

$300* – All Access Passes (includes preferred seating for Conversation followed by intimate post-Conversation dinner with John Travolta and John Waters).  Must call MFF office at 410-752-8083 to order.

*All tickets include access to MFF screenings of Travolta films at the Charles Theater, 1711 N. Charles Street: GET SHORTY on 10/23, 9pm and PULP FICTION 10/24, 9pm.

Not a Friend of the Festival or has your membership lapsed?  There has never been a better time to come back.   Presenter-level memberships start at just $50.  Click here to find out more about Friends of the Festival membership levels and benefits. This event WILL sell out – get your tickets now!

For more information about the event and Maryland Film Festival visit our website at


Andrew O’Hehir

The Maryland Film Festival is extremely proud to announce that Andrew O’Hehir, film critic and writer for Salon, will host the MFF 2012 Opening Night Shorts Program.  The event takes place at 8pm this Thursday, May 3rd, at the MICA Brown Center, 1300 West Mt. Royal Avenue.

Andrew O’Hehir has been writing about film since the early 1990s for publications including The San Francisco Weekly, The New York Times, SPIN, The Times of London, and The Washington Post.  He started writing for in 1995, where he has served as Arts Editor and is now the principal film critic.  His reviews and interviews appear regularly in Salon, and his “Pick of the Week” has become a popular feature for filmgoers. Andrew is a 1984 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. He joins such esteemed hosts from past years as Academy Award winning writer/director Barry Levinson, filmmaker/comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, and Washington Post film writer Ann Hornaday.

Maryland Film Festival’s 2012 Opening Nights shorts have been announced as:

I AM JOHN WAYNE (dir: Christina Choe; the film won Slamdance 2012’s grand jury award for short films)

THE KOOK (dirs: Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick; award-winning veteran of over 25 festivals)

MODERN MAN (dirs: Kerri Lendo and John Merriman; the team behind MFF 2011’s short Sleep Study)

CORK’S CATTLEBARON (dir: Eric Steele; this will be the film’s world premiere)

FISHING WITHOUT NETS (dir: Cutter Hodierne; the film has screened within Sundance ’12 and Sundance London)

This announcement comes quickly on the heels of this weekend’s news that MFF 2011 Opening Night short director David Lowery (PIONEER) will write and direct the feature AIN’T THESE BODIES SAINTS with leads Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, and Casey Affleck.

The Maryland Film Festival’s Opening Night Shorts Program is supported by a generous grant from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

For tickets and more information for this event and the entire MFF 2012 line-up, visit:

DINER, Barry Levinson, and Baltimore Film Hailed in March 2012 Vanity Fair Article

On the set of the Fells Point Diner, 1981; the diner itself had been trucked to Baltimore from New Jersey. From left: Tim Daly, Mickey Rourke, Daniel Stern, Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, and Paul Reiser. Photo courtesy of Paul Reiser.

Between November 23rd and December 10th, 2011, the Maryland Film Festival kicked off the 30th anniversary celebration of Barry Levinson‘s classic film, DINER, with a retrospective of his Baltimore films and a special screening of his documentary ORIGINAL DINER GUYS, which follows the real-life characters that inspired DINER.

Vanity Fair has tapped into Barry Levinson‘s cultural legacy with an amazing article in next month’s issue on Levinson, Baltimore film making, and the lasting impact of DINER.

“For a little movie without special effects, dramatic reveals, or cutting-edge sex scenes-a movie about nothing at all, really-Barry Levinson‘s 1982 comedy, DINER, caused a tectonic shift in popular culture. It paved the way for Seinfeld, PULP FICTION, The Office, and Judd Apatow‘s career, and made stars of Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Ellen Barkin, and Paul Reiser. Three decades later, S. L. Price reports how a novice director and his raw cast broke all the rules-and stumbled into genius.”  (-excerpt from the Vanity Fair article, click here for the full article in the March 2012 issue of Vanity Fair)

Barry Levinson Sounds Off in the Huffington Post

As anyone who attended our screening of Barry Levinson’s film essay POLIWOOD, (with a panel consisting of Levinson, WYPR’s Dan Rodricks, Media Matters’ David Brock, and Matthew Modine) on celebs/media/politics could tell you, this is a subject that has fascinated the Academy Award winning writer/director for years. Not only does he make films about media and politics (like the uncannily prescient WAG THE DOG), but he occasionally shows up on political talk shows like Morning Joe. Unlike the fast-talking, win-points-anyway-you-can types, Barry is always trying to actually help the viewer UNDERSTAND how he sees things from his perch inside the entertainment world. Here’s his latest essay in the Huffington Post, an observation about Reality TV and its weird impact on the way we view political leaders.

~Jed Dietz, MFF Director

First Sunday is almost over

I’ve gone from the emotional doc about Benazir Bhutto, (BHUTTO) to the wildly goofy and insightful CYRUS by MFF alums the Duplass Brothers, to Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in the ponderous BLUE VALENTINE (if you want to see Williams hit the ball out of the park, rent WENDY AND LUCY) and back again with Joan Jett and Cherie Currie (THE RUNAWAYS).   It seems fit that I’m going to end the day with the premiere of a psychosexual film noir, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, by the great  Michael Winterbottom, from a Jim Thompson novel and starring Casey Affleck.

Exciting news away from here, but very much in the mountain air- Barry Levinson is getting a lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild, and the Producers Guild has picked THE HURT LOCKER (MFF 2009, Closing Night) for best picture.   -Jed

Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart who play Cherie Currie and Joan Jett respectively in THE RUNAWAYS, hosting Q&A.  The real Joan Jett and Cherie Currie are hiding near the screen.

MFF Director, Jed Dietz, will be at the Sundance Film Festival from January 23-30.  Keep checking back for Jed’s daily updates and reports straight from Park City, Utah!

Only ONE WEEK LEFT to get tickets for our intimate conversation with Barry Levinson, David Simon and John Waters!


Check out this fan video from THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE at M & T Bank Stadium!!

MFF Updates:

MFF 2007 Alum FROWNLAND has finally been released on DVD!

Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009 marked the official DVD launch of NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE by Oscilloscope Pictures. To purchase the film, visit  You can also find it elsewhere including Amazon, Best Buy, Borders, and Barnes & Noble.  (You can also add it to your Netflix queue and watch for it at rental outlets like Hollywood Video.) Visit the Facebook page dedicated to the film and become a fan!

This year’s Philadelphia Film Festival features some MFF 2009 Alums!
Check out Ann Hornaday’s feature on THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE in The Washington Post!

Tune into the Dan Rodricks tomorrow from 1-2pm on 88.1 WYPR for a feature on THE BAND THAT WOULDN’T DIE, featuring interviews with Barry Levinson, and Marching Ravens director John Ziemann.

If you missed our event at M & T Bank Stadium, you can still catch the film by tuning into ESPN:

Thursday Oct 15  9pm ESPN 2
Thursday Oct 15  11pm ESPN Classic
Monday Oct 19   7pm ESPN 2
Wednesday Oct 21   8pm ESPN 2

Also, check out this fan video created at the event!

Maryland Film Festival Produces: A Conversation with Barry Levinson, David Simon and John Waters!!