Posts Tagged 'Jed Dietz'

Jed’s Sundance Updates #1 – Robert Redford and Liz Garbus on Opening Night of Sundance 2015


Robert Redford. Photo by Jed Dietz.

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is now in full swing, and MFF director Jed Dietz is onsite in Park City, UT reporting back to us. Pictured above, Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford introduces MFF alum Liz Garbus‘ new documentary on Nina Simone, WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? which played after Bryan Buckley‘s comedy THE BRONZE on Opening Night of the Sundance Film Festival.

Liz Garbus.

Liz Garbus. Photo by Jed Dietz.

Liz Garbus is an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director and producer. Her gripping death penalty documentary THE EXECUTION OF WANDA JEAN played within MFF 2002. Garbus is also co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Films with fellow MFF alum Rory Kennedy.

After the Sundance 2015 Opening Night screening of WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? music star John Legend made an unannounced appearance and covered 3 of Nina Simone’s songs.

Stay tuned to the MFF blog for more photos and updates from Jed’s trip to Sundance 2015!

Jed Reports Back from the 2015 Arthouse Convergence!

Audience attending Keynote Speech at Arthouse Convergence 2015. Photo by Jed Dietz.

Audience attending Keynote Speech at Arthouse Convergence 2015. Photo by Jed Dietz.

MFF Director Jed Dietz is currently on the ground in Midway, UT attending the Arthouse Convergence, an annual gathering of independent, community-based, mission-driven film exhibitors that immediately precedes the Sundance Film Festival. This is a photo from the Convergence where Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood gave the keynote speech and mentioned Maryland Film Festival.

MFF Alum Laura Poitras’ New Documentary CITIZENFOUR Opens Friday in Select Cities!

William Binney and Laura Poitras

L to R: Former NSA Official William Binney and Filmmaker Laura Poitras at the 10/22 sneak preview of CITIZENFOUR in Washington, DC.

MFF Director Jed Dietz was in attendance at last night’s sneak preview of CITIZENFOUR, the new documentary from Academy Award-nominated director Laura Poitras about governmental surveillance and Edward Snowden. Poitras is a 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship recipient and two-time MFF Alum, screening both Oscar-nominated MY COUNTRY MY COUNTRY (MFF 2006) and THE OATH (MFF 2010).  She was in attendance for the screening, along with several people featured in the film, including former NSA official William Binney.

Poitras’ new documentary is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to the filmmaker and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

“The film is so tense and surprising as you go through it.  It’s as good as any of the Bourne movies, but better because it’s real.  It’s amazing storytelling,” Dietz said.

CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them. The film not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you may never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

CITIZENFOUR opens in select cities this Friday and will tentatively open in Baltimore at the Charles Theatre on Friday 10/31.  See the Charles’ website for more details.


Stavros Niarchos Foundation Makes $5 Million Naming Gift for Parkway Theater!

Artist's Conception of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center. (Rendering courtesy of Ziger/Snead Architects)

Artist’s Conception of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center. (Rendering courtesy of Ziger/Snead Architects)

We are thrilled to announce that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $5 million to Johns Hopkins University, enabling Maryland Film Festival, JHU, and the Maryland Institute College of Art to transform Baltimore’s historic Parkway Theater into a center for the study, production, and exhibition of film.

The new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center will be a cinema showplace with three screens, 600 seats and live performance space. Scheduled to open in late 2016, it will help to anchor the Station North neighborhood’s developing role as a Baltimore arts destination, supporting cultural and economic growth in the area.
“With the new state-of-the-art Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center, the Maryland Film Festival will greatly expand its reach,” said MFF director Jed Dietz. “The center will enable us to bring more great films and filmmakers to Baltimore, host a broad range of arts programs, serve as a cultural anchor for the film community, and continue to market Baltimore as a leading location for film and TV production.  The center will be a thriving hub for film culture and creative film-making on the East Coast.”

“This is a once-in-a-generation moment for Johns Hopkins and our partners at MICA and the Maryland Film Festival to reclaim a part of Baltimore’s storied cultural history and transform it into the heart of our community’s vibrant, dynamic future,” Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said.  “With the visionary support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, we are seeding artistic and economic opportunities for our students, our neighbors, and our city.”

The 420-seat Parkway Theater, built in 1915 near the corner of Charles Street and North Avenue, was a classic American movie palace patterned after the West End Theater in London and the Strand in New York. It closed in the urban decline of the 1970s, but in recent years the corner of Charles and North has become a key component in planning for the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

Maryland was one of the first states to create arts and entertainment districts as an economic model and Station North was Baltimore’s first, generating significant economic development, tax revenue and employment since its inception in 2002.

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is firmly committed to supporting community development such as that at the Station North Arts and Entertainment District and excited to partner with this unique alliance of academic and cultural institutions in Baltimore,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the board of directors of the foundation. “We believe the combination of universities and arts organizations is a great untapped resource for improving our cities, and seek to provide support for the best initiatives such coalitions develop. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center will be one of these.”

MFF & JHU Present UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS with Director Robert Greenwald 4/21!

UnmannedMFF and Johns Hopkins University are pleased to present a screening of the documentary UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS on Monday, April 21st at 7:30pm in JHU’s Hodson Hall. The screening will be introduced by Linda DeLibero of JHU and followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bernadette Wegenstein of JHU with director Robert Greenwald, philosopher David LaRocca and MFF director Jed Dietz.

Film Synopsis: UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS, the eighth full-length feature documentary from Brave New Foundation and director Robert Greenwald, investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad through more than 70 separate interviews, including a former American drone operator who shares what he has witnessed in his own words, Pakistani families mourning loved ones and seeking legal redress, investigative journalists pursuing the truth, and top military officials warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life.

Event Info:
Monday, April 21
7:30 PM
Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus
3400 N. Charles Street Hodson Hall 110 (click here for campus map)
Free for Friends of the Festival; RSVP requested!

HOW TO GET TWO FREE TICKETS TO THIS EVENT (must be a current Friend of the Festival to qualify): email with your NAME and “UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS” to reserve a spot for two.  To join or renew your Friends of the Festival membership, click here.


MFF Staff with Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil at SUN DON’T SHINE

Scott Braid, Eric Hatch, Jed Dietz, Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil.

Scott Braid, Eric Hatch, Jed Dietz, Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil.

MFF staff including Programming Administrator Scott Braid, Director of Programming Eric Hatch, and Director Jed Dietz with Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil at the screening of SUN DON’T SHINE last night.  Zachary Treitz’ short film WE’RE LEAVING screened in the MFF 2011 Opening Night Shorts Program.  Kate Lyn Sheil starred in SUN DON’T SHINE and has acted in several other MFF-screened films including THE COMEDY, V/H/S, EMPIRE BUILDER and THE COLOR WHEEL, among others.

Photo from the MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series Screening of THE SOURCE FAMILY

L to R: WYPR's Tom Hall, Jodi Wille, Explosion the Aquarian, and MFF Director Jed Dietz.

Left to Right: Tom Hall, Jodi Wille, Explosion the Aquarian and Jed Dietz.

Last night the Maryland Film Festival/WYPR Spotlight Series returned with THE SOURCE FAMILY (MFF 2012), with special guests co-director Jodi Wille and Source Family member Explosion the Aquarian.  The event took place at the MICA Brown Center’s Falvey Hall.

The MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series showcases the best of independent film and unites filmmakers with audiences. Each Spotlight Series film features a conversation between WYPR 88.1FM’s Tom Hall and the filmmaker, followed by a Q & A with the audience. Past titles in the series include BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, THE INTERRUPTERS and THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE.

Click here for an archive of past Spotlight Series interviews.

We will be announcing our next MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series title shortly; stay tuned for details!

Check Out MFF Alum Skizz Cyzyk’s Maryland Film Festival Video for Artscape 2012!

MFF Alum and former Program Manager Skizz Cyzyk has crafted a video for Maryland Film Festival for Artscape 2012.  This video features interviews with MFF Staff members Jed Dietz, Eric Hatch, Scott Braid, and Rahne Alexander on the program Maryland Film Festival has put together for Artscape 2012, including a Friday night screening of GIRL WALK // ALL DAY with special guest Anne Marsen at 7pm at the Charles Theater, and shorts programs on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm at the Charles Theater.  All MFF programming at Artscape is FREE to the public! 

Click here for Maryland Film Festival’s full Artscape 2012 Schedule.

Click here for Skizz Cyzyk‘s video for Maryland Film Festival at Artscape 2012.

Maryland Film Festival Highlighted in Filmmaker Magazine!

Pictured above are, from left to right, Maryland Film Festival director Jed Dietz; director (Sun Don’t Shine) Amy Seimetz; director of photography Nandan Rao (The International Sign for Choking); and director Joe Swanberg (V/H/S)


Check out Scott Macaulay‘s coverage of the 2012 Maryland Film Festival in Filmmaker magazine!

“The Maryland Film Festival, which wrapped its 2012 edition on Sunday, is one of the East Coast’s most intimate and engaging film events. With 40 features, over 70 shorts and an amazingly healthy contingent of loyal filmmakers annually making the trip to Baltimore, Maryland functions as both a discovery festival and friendly pit stop for directors on the independent circuit. John Waters hosts a movie — this year Barbara Loden’s seminal and still influential Wanda — and takes the audience out partying afterwards; the Opening Night consists of shorts, not some star-bloated, sub-standard mini-major feature; and, for the second year in a row, replacing a day of panels is “Filmmakers Take Charge,” a private event gathering filmmakers, industry and press for a discussion of the state of our business. Among the attendees I got a chance to talk with in Baltimore last week were the Zellner brothers, Sophia Takal and Lawrence Levine, Shane Carruth, David Lowery, Matt Porterfield, Kate Lyn Sheil, Visit Films’ Ryan Kampe, the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody, Indiewire‘s Ann Thompson, and the Washington Post‘s Ann Hornaday.

Click here for Scott Macaulay’s full article in Filmmaker magazine!

2012 Maryland Film Festival Coverage Media Frenzy this Week!!

Illustration by Alex Fine, courtesy of City Paper.

The upcoming 2012 Maryland Film Festival has been all over the press this week with festival previews on the web, in the papers, on the air waves!

Baltimore magazine just released its 2012 Festival coverage in an a

rticle titled “The MFF: The Most Cinematastic Time of the Year!” with

Max Weiss‘ reviews for 2012 MDFF selections PILGRIM SONG; COME BACK, AFRICA; and VITO! 

Click here to read the full article in Baltimore magazine!

The City Paper‘s guide to the 2012 Maryland Film Fest, “Film Fest Frenzy,” was released online today, and will hit the streets in hardcopy tomorrow!

Here’s a taste of what the City Paper‘s 2012 Festival Guide has to say about our line up:

“The think pieces are flying regarding the future of film. Filmmakers and other cinephiles are shaking their heads about the fate of actual film stock-the digital revolution has finally overtaken 35 mm, bringing with it affordability and versatility and the prospect for easier distribution, but whisking away that almost alchemical magic of capturing light on chemical-coated celluloid and later projecting light through it. Meanwhile, the forces that forever altered the music business in the ’00s are starting to have the same game-changing effects on the movie biz, leaving the old system of blockbusters, wily indies, theatrical distribution, and back-end home-video profits gasping and scrambling to adapt. Depending on which pieces you read, the prognosis isn’t often rosy…”

Click here for the full City Paper article!

Bernadette Wegenstein

This Thursday, Maryland Film Festival Director Jed Dietz will be interviewed by Marty Bass for WJZ’s “Coffee With” program, along with Austrian linguist and filmmaker Bernadette Wegenstein.  Parts of the interview will air on news segments throughout the day, and the full interview will be posted on the “Coffee With” website.

On Friday, Jed Dietz and former Baltimore Sun film critic Michael Sragow will hit the radio waves with their monthly movie mash up on WYPR 88.1 FM’s Maryland Morning.  You won’t want to miss Friday’s show, which will focus on Jed and Michael’s picks for the upcoming 2012 Festival!

Tune in to 88.1FM from 9am to 10am on Friday, May 4th for the insider scoop on industry news, movies, and entertainment, and the must-see movies of the 2012 Maryland Film Festival!  If you miss the show, the podcast will be available on the Maryland Morning website.