Posts Tagged 'I USED TO BE DARKER'

Save the Date: MFF Members Only 2014 Film Festival Preview 4/17!

MFF2014bannerMaryland Film Festival’s highly-anticipated Members Only Film Festival Preview will take place Thursday, April 17th at one of this year’s new venues – the beautiful Walters Art Museum!  This event is FREE for current Friends of the Festival – email to reserve a spot!

The annual Members Only Film Festival Preview is an EXCLUSIVE event just for Friends of the Festival that features highlights from our 2014 film program.  The event is hosted by MFF Director Jed Dietz and our Programming staff, and will be followed by a Q & A with the audience.  This is your chance to get a special taste of what we’re offering at MFF 2014 before the public and get any questions you have answered – you won’t want to miss it!

Last year’s festival preview offered glimpses of Lotfy Nathan‘s 12 O’CLOCK BOYS, Independent Spirit Award-winning film THIS IS MARTIN BONNER, Matt Porterfield‘s I USED TO BE DARKER, Alex Winter‘s DOWNLOADED, ZERO CHARISMA, BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO, LEVIATHAN, MUSEUM HOURS, and many more!

Click here to join or renew your Friends of the Festival membership today and take advantage of this special pre-festival event!

MFF Members Only 2014 Film Festival Preview
Thursday, April 17th
The Walters Art Museum
600 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD

MFF 2013’s I USED TO BE DARKER opens at the Charles Theater this weekend!

i-used-to-be-darker-posterBaltimore filmmaker and MFF alum Matt Porterfield‘s I USED TO BE DARKER, a big hit at MFF 2013, will launch its national theatrical run in Baltimore at the Charles Theater this weekend. Q & A will follow the Friday 9/27 and Saturday 9/28 screenings.  Check the Charles Theater website for additional screening times and to purchase tickets.

I USED TO BE DARKER screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the 2013 Berlin Film Festival and won Best Narrative Feature at the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival.

Strand Releasing agreed to give Baltimore first dibs on the film; it opens in New York on 10/4 and Los Angeles on 10/11, followed by a national release.  It is rare for a distributor to open a film outside of the New York or LA markets.  This gives a smaller market like Baltimore a great opportunity to show how well it can support an independent film – so make sure to come out and see it!

I USED TO BE DARKER was shot in Hamilton, Station NorthRoland Park and Ocean City.  All three of Matt Porterfield’s films have played MFF, the earlier titles being HAMILTON (MFF 2006) and PUTTY HILL (MFF 2010).


When Taryn (Deragh Campbell), a runaway from Northern Ireland, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, MD, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill (Ned Oldham and Kim Taylor) have problems of their own: they’re trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby (Hannah Gross), just home from her first year of college. A story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting each other go, looking for love where they’ve found it before and, when that doesn’t work, figuring out where they might find it next.




Maryland Film Festival (May 8-12 in downtown Baltimore) is proud to announce our 2013 Opening Night Shorts program, an eclectic mix of work from an extremely talented array of filmmakers. Maryland Film Festival has played a special role in advocating for short-form film and video since the festival’s launch in 1999, and has dedicated each of its Opening Nights to short films since 2004. The MFF 2013 Opening Night Shorts program will take place Wednesday, May 8th at 8pm, in The Brown Center (1301 Mt. Royal Avenue) on the Maryland Institute College of Art campus.



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 Quvenzhané Wallis (Academy Award nominee, Beasts of the Southern Wild); 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.

In addition to approximately 50 feature films and this Opening Night program, Maryland Film Festival 2013 will include nine more programs of short films, totaling approximately 80 short films including comedy, drama, animation, documentary, and experimental work, as well as Maryland Film Festival’s signature, mind-bending “WTF Shorts” program. Other filmmakers with new short-film work in MFF 2013 include acclaimed filmmakers such as Tsai Ming-liang, Amy Seimetz, Clay Liford, Dustin Guy Defa, Kat Candler, Kelly Sears, Annie Silverstein, Steven Schardt and the team of Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer; shorts with performances from Martin Starr, Brie Larson, Kate Lyn Sheil, Will Oldham, and Tunde Adebimpe; and shorts from Baltimore-based directors such as Karen Yasinsky, Alan Resnick, Phil Davis, Lorenzo Gattorna, and the team of Nicholas Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri.

Maryland Film Festival’s Opening Night Shorts program is made possible by the generous support of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

Maryland Film Festival has now announced the majority of its 2013 lineup, with the announcement of its 2013 Closing Night soon to come. A full list of the feature films announced for MFF 2013 follows:

12 O’CLOCK BOYS (Lotfy Nathan)

16 ACRES (Richard Hankin)


AFTER TILLER (Martha Shane and Lana Wilson)

AUGUSTINE (Alice Winocour)



BLUEBIRD (Lance Edmands)


BUTTER ON THE LATCH (Josephine Decker)


COMPUTER CHESS (Andrew Bujalski)

DOWNLOADED (Alex Winter)


FILL THE VOID (Rama Burshtein)

GOOD OL’ FREDA (Ryan White)

HERE COMES THE DEVIL (Adrián García Bogliano)

HIT & STAY (Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk)

I AM DIVINE (Jeffrey Schwarz)

I USED TO BE DARKER (Matt Porterfield)

IF WE SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH (Gabriel DeLoach and Zach Keifer)

IT FELT LIKE LOVE (Eliza Hittman)

LEVIATHAN (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)

THE LOST WORLD (Harry O. Hoyt)


PARADISE: FAITH (Ulrich Seidl)

PARADISE: HOPE (Ulrich Seidl)

PARADISE: LOVE (Ulrich Seidl)


PIT STOP (Yen Tan)

POST TENEBRAS LUX (Carlos Reygadas)

PRINCE AVALANCHE (David Gordon Green)

THE RAMBLER (Calvin Reeder)

REMOTE AREA MEDICAL (Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman)

SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM (Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar)

A TEACHER (Hannah Fidell)


TOUCHY FEELY (Lynn Shelton)

V/H/S/2 (omnibus)

WATCHTOWER (Pelin Esmer)

WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS (AJ Schnack and David Wilson)

WILLOW CREEK (Bobcat Goldthwait)


ZERO CHARISMA (Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews)


Good Ol' Freda production still horizontal


Maryland Film Festival is proud to announce a dozen more titles for our 2013 edition, bringing the total number of features revealed to 36 thus far.  Our fifteenth annual festival, which will take place May 8-12 in downtown Baltimore, has expanded to 5 days and will include approximately 50 features and 9 shorts programs.  We will also present a silent classic with an original score performed live by the Alloy Orchestra and a favorite film selected and hosted by legendary director John Waters!

The diverse round of titles announced today includes work from Finland, Mexico, Austria, and Israel, and such titles as Zach Clark’s holiday-themed, darkly comic White Reindeer; Alex Winter’s riveting look at the rise and fall of Napster, Downloaded; Jessica Oreck’s experiential documentary about a family of reindeer herders, Aatsinki; and Calvin Reeder’s surreal, horror-tinged mindbender about a mysterious loner, The Rambler.

More MFF 2013 lineup announcements are coming soon! If you haven’t seen them yet, make sure to check the 24 features we announced last week! For all the latest information, continue to visit this blog, and follow us at and on Twitter, @MdFilmFestival.

Today’s announced features for Maryland Film Festival 2013 are:

16 ACRES_070412_02284504.jpg


16 Acres (Richard Hankin) From the editor and co-producer of Capturing the Friedmans comes this riveting and nuanced documentary look at the rebuilding of Ground Zero—one of the most architecturally, politically, and emotionally complex urban renewal projects in history.



Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys (Jessica Oreck) One year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland yields an immersive study of hard work, hard earned leisure, and an intricate bond between man and nature. From the director of Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo.

Before You Know It (P J Raval) This observational documentary raises the curtain on a profoundly neglected segment of the LGBT community, its senior population, as three gay men residing in very different regions of the U.S. face new life challenges.



Bluebird (Lance Edmands) In the frozen woods of an isolated Maine logging town, one woman’s tragic mistake shatters the balance of the community, resulting in profound and unexpected consequences.

Downloaded (Alex Winter) With remarkable insight and access, this documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of Napster, taking a close look at the internet mavericks and musicians involved and the lasting global impact of peer-to-peer file sharing.



Here Comes the Devil  (Adrián García Bogliano) From Mexico comes this horror film concerning disappeared children and panicked parents, offering ever-escalating thrills as it heads to increasingly bloody, diabolical, and even psychedelic territory.

Fill the Void (Rama Burshtein) This drama set in Tel Aviv’s Orthodox community centers around 18-year-old Shira, who faces unexpected life challenges when her older sister dies.

Good Ol’ Freda (Ryan White) Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. That band was The Beatles, and Freda was their devoted secretary and friend for 11 years; this documentary tells her story—and the story of the world’s most famous band through her eyes.



Museum Hours (Jem Cohen) From the director of Benjamin Smoke and Instrument comes this gentle and expertly crafted drama about a Vienna museum guard and the friendship he forms with a woman visiting town to care for a sick friend.

THE RAMBLER_Lindsay Pulsipher and Dermot Mulroney shooting_photo by Juliana Halvorson


The Rambler (Calvin Reeder) Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, and Natasha Lyonne star in the latest psychotronic vision from the director of The Oregonian, in which a mysterious loner, newly released from prison, sets out on a journey filled with bizarre characters and warped experiences.

We Always Lie to Strangers (AJ Schnack and David Wilson) A documentary story of family, community, music and tradition, built over five years and set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, one of the biggest tourist destinations in America.



White Reindeer (Zach Clark) After an unexpected tragedy, Suzanne searches for the true meaning of Christmas during one sad, strange December in suburban Virginia. From the director of Vacation! and Modern Love Is Automatic.

Previously Announced Titles for 2013:

12 O’CLOCK BOYS (Lotfy Nathan)

AFTER TILLER (Martha Shane and Lana Wilson)

AUGUSTINE (Alice Winocour)


COMPUTER CHESS (Andrew Bujalski)


HIT & STAY (Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk)

I AM DIVINE (Jeffrey Schwarz)

I USED TO BE DARKER (Matt Porterfield)

IF WE SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH (Gabriel DeLoach and Zach Keifer)

IT FELT LIKE LOVE (Eliza Hittman)

LEVIATHAN (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)


PIT STOP (Yen Tan)

POST TENEBRAS LUX (Carlos Reygadas)

PRINCE AVALANCHE (David Gordon Green)

SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM (Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar)

A TEACHER (Hannah Fidell)


TOUCHY FEELY (Lynn Shelton)

V/H/S/2 (omnibus)

WATCHTOWER (Pelin Esmer)

WILLOW CREEK (Bobcat Goldthwait)

ZERO CHARISMA (Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews)


Photo still from Lotfy Nathan's 12 O'CLOCK BOYS.


Maryland Film Festival has begun unveiling the lineup for its 15th annual festival, which will take place May 8-12, 2013 in downtown Baltimore and include over 50 feature films and 10 short-film programs from around the world.

The first dozen feature films announced include several highly anticipated made-in-Baltimore films, among them Matt Porterfield’s art-house drama I Used to Be Darker and Lotfy Nathan’s gritty documentary 12 O’Clock Boys. Also on tap for MFF 2013 are Bobcat Goldthwait’s Bigfoot-themed Willow Creek, and a diverse spectrum of films launched at Sundance 2013, including Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, Yen Tan’s Pit Stop, and Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love.

Maryland Film Festival has distinguished itself as a creatively charged meeting place for filmmakers and audiences, offering all U.S.-made features hosted by a filmmaker in a competition-free format. The festival is also known for its close relationship with legendary filmmaker John Waters, who selects and hosts a favorite film within each year’s festival. Building off record ticket sales in 2012, the festival has expanded from four to five days for its 2013 edition.

Lineup announcements will continue over the next 2 weeks. The first dozen titles announced for MFF 2013 are:

12 O’Clock Boys (Lotfy Nathan) This gritty and exhilarating documentary follows several years in the life of Pug, a young Baltimorean who hopes to join the exclusive ranks of Baltimore’s urban dirt-bike riders.

After Tiller (Martha Shane and Lana Wilson) A documentary look at the personal and professional lives of the only four U.S.-based doctors who continue to perform third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller.

Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski) A subculture of offbeat personalities attempt to create the first computer system capable of beating human chess masters in this subversively shot, Robert Altman-worthy ensemble comedy.



I Used to Be Darker (Matt Porterfield) Ned Oldham, Kim Taylor, Hannah Gross and Deragh Campbell star in this Baltimore-made drama about shifting family and romantic relationships from the director of Hamilton and Putty Hill.

If We Shout Loud Enough (Gabriel DeLoach and Zach Keifer) An inside look at the Baltimore underground music scene through one of its most pivotal bands, Double Dagger, as they embark on their final tour.



It Felt Like Love (Eliza Hittman) On the outskirts of Brooklyn, a fourteen-year-old girl’s sexual quest takes a dangerous turn when she pursues an older man and tests the boundaries between obsession and love.

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (Sophie Fiennes) Philosopher Slavoj Žižek and filmmaker Sophie Fiennes use their interpretation of moving pictures to present a compelling cinematic journey into the heart of ideology–the dreams that shape our collective beliefs and practices.

Pit Stop (Yen Tan) Two gay men in small-town Texas, one maintaining the façade of a family life with his ex-wife and daughter and one spending much of his spare time visiting an ex-lover in the hospital, live parallel lives with overlapping hopes and dreams.

Touchy Feely (Lynn Shelton) The new film from the director of Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister is a family drama boasting a brilliant cast that includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Josh Pais, Ellen Page, Allison Janney, and Ron Livingston.

Photo still from Omnibus' V/H/S/2

V/H/S/ 2

V/H/S/2 (omnibus) Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find a horrifying collection of VHS tapes. This sequel to cult favorite V/H/S includes segments by Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project) and Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption).

Willow Creek (Bobcat Goldthwait) MFF audience favorite Bobcat Goldthwait follows up his acclaimed dark comedy God Bless America with this riveting Bigfoot film, shot on the same location as the controversial Patterson–Gimlin Bigfoot footage some 45 years ago.

Photo still from Katie Graham & Andrew Matthews' ZERO CHARISMA.


Zero Charisma (Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews) An indie comedy about an ill-tempered game master and the neo-nerd hipster that interferes with his game, fresh from winning the SXSW 2013 Narrative Spotlight Audience Award.

Sundance Update #4 – I USED TO BE DARKER and FRUITVALE

Film still from Baltimore native Matt Porterfield's I USED TO BE DARKER. 2013, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A., Feature.

Film still from Baltimore native Matt Porterfield’s I USED TO BE DARKER. 2013, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A., Feature.

The Baltimore presence has been exceptionally strong in Park City this year. Baltimore pride was strongly felt at Matt Porterfield‘s 2013 Sundance debut of I USED TO BE DARKER, a wonderful film about the repercussions of rips in the family fabric as people find each other and let each other go.  Shot in Maryland, cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier beautifully portrays the unfolding revelations of this film against a suburban Baltimore landscape.

Musician and cast member Kim Taylor performing at the I USED TO BE DARKER party.

Kim Taylor at the I USED TO BE DARKER after-party.

This picture (right) is of musician and cast member Kim Taylor performing at the I USED TO BE DARKER after-party.  Ned Oldham, cast member and former Roland Park Public School faculty member,  also performed.

Another classic Baltimore moment happened when I ran into Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck coming out of a screening.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

There was lots of chatter from him and his group (or “entourage,” as they say in  Sundance-speak) about my Baltimore Ravens hat. I guess Joe Flacco couldn’t be here because he’s still working.

Then, another Baltimore moment: while waiting in line for a screening of the amazing FRUITVALE with critics Elvis Mitchell, Todd McCarthy and Scott Foundas, I ran into Tom Rothman and his daughter. Tom is a long-time Sundance Board Member and is on the Dramatic Jury this year.   Tom was also one of the honorees at our very first MFF Open Conversation fundraiser, alongside his father Donald and brother John. The event “The Rothmans: An Insider’s Look at the Movie Business” took place in October 2007.

Film still from FRUITVALE. 013, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A., U.S. Dramatic.

Film still from FRUITVALE. 2013, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A., Drama.

FRUITVALE is a film by first-time feature filmmaker Ryan Coogler and it dramatizes a tragic incident on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. The script was developed at the 2012 Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab and the remarkable cast features Octavia Spencer (Oscar winner for THE HELP), Michael B. Jordan (Wallace from the first season of TV’s The Wire), Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray.

Tony Forman, an early supporter of FRUITVALE, kicked the party up several notches with bottles of champagne and Bordeaux from his personal collection. Creative Capitals creator and chief Ruby Lerner (a Goucher alum) was there, as well as JHU student Clair Richardson, there on her second JHU/Sundance trek, and her parents. Her dad, Paul, is CEO of Sundance Cinemas. Marcus Hu from Strand Releasing was also there and had already been in touch with John Waters about Matt‘s film.

– Jed Dietz, MFF Director