Posts Tagged 'Welcome to Leith'

Maryland Film Festival Announces Complete 2015 Lineup, Including Opening Night Shorts and Closing Night Film THE WOLFPACK

Maryland Film Festival (May 6-10 in downtown Baltimore) proudly announces our complete 2015 lineup today, unveiling our Closing Night film, the titles for our annual Opening Night Shorts Program, and a few late-breaking features.  Our Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule grids are also now live and available for download on our website.

Maryland Film Festival’s Closing Night film will be Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack, the mind-blowing buzz documentary that took home the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. MFF also announced 5 additional emerging features for its lineup, including new work from Joe Swanberg, Rick Alverson, and Andrew Bujalski; and two repertory screenings guest-curated by key figures in Baltimore’s cultural scene: musician Abdu Ali introducing Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, and Wham City’s Alan Resnick and Dina Kelberman introducing Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls.

Maryland Film Festival first devoted our Opening Night to celebrating shorts filmmakers in 2002, and we have done so each year since 2004. Opening Night will take place in the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Falvey Hall the evening ofWednesday, May 6th. Each Opening Night short will be hosted by its filmmaker.

MFF 2015’s Opening Night shorts are:

BAD BOY OF BOWLING (Bryan Storkel) From the co-director of Fight Church, a high-octane portrait of a bowling star with a plus-sized personality.

CHARLOTTE (Angel Kristi Williams) A coming-of-age story from the director of MFF 2012’s The Christmas Tree, a Baltimore native.

MELVILLE (James M. Johnston) A rapper struggling with personal pain finds release in music. Directed by the producer of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT (Michael Mohan) A couple sets up two friends for a romantic weekend. Winner of the narrative shorts jury award at SXSW.

SHARE (Pippa Bianco) A young woman returns to high school after being shamed by an explicit video. Winner of a special jury prize at SXSW.

Feature films announced for MFF 2015 today:

BEST_OF_ENEMIES_Robert-Gordon_Morgan-NevilleBest of Enemies (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville) In 1968, a ratings-starved ABC coordinated a series of debates between conservative journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal novelist and thinker Gore Vidal. The network garnered huge audiences—and perhaps a bit more than they bargained for, as high-level political discourse collided with name-calling and meltdowns. This Sundance-premiered documentary comes courtesy of Twenty Feet From Stardom director Morgan Neville, and author/filmmaker Robert Gordon (of MFF 2012’s Very Extremely Dangerous).

DIGGING_FOR_FIRE_Joe-SwanbergDigging For Fire (Joe Swanberg) When young parents Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt) agree to house-sit for a wealthy acquaintance, Tim finds something suspicious on the grounds—and an initial spark of intrigue becomes a consuming obsession. Joe Swanberg continues to take his unique working methods to the next level, with an amazing cast that includes Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Jane Adams, Sam Elliott, and Mike Birbiglia, all working together to deliver an infectious mix of comedy, drama, romance, and thrills.

DO_THE_RIGHT_THING_SPIKE-LEEDo the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989) Spike Lee’s modern classic, detailing racial tensions and police brutality on the hottest day of summer in Bedford-Stuyvesant, has never been more crucial and relevant.  With the sounds of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” blasting from boomboxes, this seminal film boasts cinematography from Ernest Dickerson, and an Academy Award-nominated screenplay (not to mention an iconic performance) from Lee; his phenomenal ensemble cast includes Ossie Davis, Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Rosie Perez, Joie Lee, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson. Selected and guest-hosted by musician, DJ, and curator Abdu Ali.

ENTERTAINMENT_Rick-AlversonEntertainment (Rick Alverson) Gregg Turkington, perhaps best known for his persona Neil Hamburger, stars as The Comedian, a beleaguered, Hamburger-ian performer who endlessly tours Grade-Z clubs and non-venues across America, shocking and dismaying audiences with his lewd and convoluted punchlines. At turns bleak, poignant, disturbing, and darkly hilarious, this fascinating and beautifully composed provocation from the director of The Comedy also features Amy Seimetz, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Lotte Verbeek, and Michael Cera.

PEOPLES_PLACES_THINGS_Jim-StrousePeople, Places, Things (Jim Strouse) In this thoughtful and hilarious rom-com, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows stars as a graphic novelist whose comfortable life is shaken after walking in on his wife with another man. Downgraded to a tiny apartment and weekends-only status with his twin daughters, a bright spot appears when a student in a college art course he teaches challenges him to be more social and adventurous.

RESULTS_Andrew-BujalskiResults (Andrew Bujalski) High-octane personal trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders) works for her friend, fitness guru and entrepreneur Trevor (Guy Pearce)—both of whom have their lives turned upside-down when nouveau-riche couch potato Danny (Kevin Corrigan) arrives at their gym. The director of MFF 2013’s Computer Chess follows up that highly experimental work with something different: a romantic comedy with a stellar cast and a massive heart.

SHOWGIRLS_Paul-VerhoevenShowgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995) Intentional camp? Brilliant social commentary? A noble failure? Irredeemable trash? Books have been written exploring what Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers, The Fourth Man) was going for with this follow-up to mega-hit Basic Instinct. Starring Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, and Gina Gershon, this seedy, Vegas-set film was derided upon its release but has lived on as a midnight movie and cult favorite. Selected and guest-hosted by Alan Resnick and Dina Kelberman of Wham City.

WOLFPACK_THE_Crystal-MoselleThe Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) CLOSING NIGHT This extraordinary documentary brings us into the lives of the Angulo brothers, who grew up homeschooled and in extreme isolation from the outside world in a Lower East Side apartment. Home video became their only window into the outside world, and they took to recreating their favorite scenes and styling themselves after films such as Reservoir Dogs. But when one of the brothers escapes the confines of their apartment, all of their lives are forever changed. A sensation at Sundance, where it won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize, this is a documentary that delivers on the buzz, built on amazing access to a truly incredible story and unforgettable characters.

Previously Announced Feature Films for Maryland Film Festival 2015:

6 YEARS (Hannah Fidell)
BEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka)
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)
BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)
CALL ME LUCKY (Bobcat Goldthwait)
CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (Charles Poekel)
CROCODILE GENNADIY (Steve Hoover)
DEEP WEB (Alex Winter)
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (Douglas Tirola)
FIELD NIGGAS (Khalik Allah)
FOR THE PLASMA (Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan)
FRAME BY FRAME (Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli)
FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)
A GAY GIRL IN DAMASCUS: THE AMINA PROFILE (Sophie Deraspe)
GIRLHOOD (Céline Sciamma)
GOD BLESS THE CHILD (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck)
HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone) World premiere.
IN THE BASEMENT (Ulrich Seidl)
JAUJA (Lisandro Alonso)
KILLER JOE (William Friedkin, 2011) Hosted by John Waters.
LIMBO (Anna Sofie Hartmann) Hosted by Matthew Porterfield.
PROPHET’S PREY (Amy Berg)
THE REAPER (Zvonimir Juric)
REBELS OF THE NEON GOD (Tsai Ming-liang, 1992)
SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)
SON OF THE SHEIK (George Fitzmaurice, 1926) With a live original score by Alloy Orchestra.
STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)
TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)
TIRED MOONLIGHT (Britni West)
TWO SHOTS FIRED (Martin Rejtman)
UNCLE KENT 2 (Todd Rohal)
UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)
VENICE (Kiki Álvarez)
WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)
WESTERN (Bill and Turner Ross)
A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

MFF Unveils the First 10 Titles of Our 2015 Lineup!

We have begun unveiling the lineup for our 17th annual festival, which will take place May 6-10 in downtown Baltimore and include approximately 50 feature films and 12 short-film programs from around the world.

The first ten feature films announced for MFF 2015 include the area premieres of highly anticipated independent narrative and documentary features, including Stanley Nelson’s riveting Black Panthers documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; Kris Swanberg’s nuanced and emotionally resonant character study, Unexpected; Olivia Wyatt’s immersive look at Moken culture, Sailing a Sinking Sea; and Eugene Kotlyarenko’s delightfully anarchic rom-com, A Wonderful Cloud. Also just announced for MFF 2015 is the world premiere of Stephen Cone’s vibrant coming-of-age drama Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.

Lineup announcements will continue over the next 2 weeks. The first ten titles announced for MFF 2015 are:

BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson)

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson) Master documentarian Stanley Nelson has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to bring history to life with films such as Freedom Summer; The Murder of Emmett Till; and Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.  Here he turns his lens on the revolutionary Black Panther Party and the various cultural forces that worked to support or destroy the group, creating an essential portrait of a singular radical moment in the American experience.

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer)

BREAKING A MONSTER (Luke Meyer) Viral-video sensation Unlocking the Truth, a teenage metal buzz-band from Brooklyn, navigate the bizarre current state of the record industry in this fascinating, fist-pumping, and often hilarious documentary. Fresh from its premiere at SXSW, this exceptional rock doc follows the band as they sign a major-label record deal and are suddenly caught up in an adult-driven world of contracts, tours, interviews, and branding. From Luke Meyer, co-director of MFF 2006 hit Darkon.

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall)

FUNNY BUNNY (Alison Bagnall) The writer/director of The Dish & the Spoon returns with this offbeat, infectious mix of comedy and drama. Kentucker Audley stars as an obesity-awareness canvasser who strikes up a friendship with a wealthy, emancipated 19-year-old named Titty (Olly Alexander) and the animal-rights-activist object of Titty’s desire, Ginger (Joslyn Jensen). Co-starring Josephine Decker, Louis Cancelmi, and Anna Margaret Hollyman.

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone)

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone)

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (Stephen Cone) A pool party celebrating the seventeenth birthday of Henry Gamble (Cole Doman), the son of a megachurch preacher (Pat Healy), sets the stage for this expertly observed ensemble drama. As sunny skies fade into moonlight, director Stephen Cone (The Wise Kids, Black Box) offers a subtle and insightful portrait of a community full of pressures and secrets —exploring identity, sexuality, and organized religion in the process. World premiere.

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt)

SAILING A SINKING SEA (Olivia Wyatt) This experimental documentary, which premiered at SXSW, looks at the traditional lifestyle of the Moken people, a seafaring community of Burma and Thailand. Olivia Wyatt’s gorgeous and immersive film transports viewers deep into the turquoise sea and onto thirteen different islands, giving us intimate access to a culture where shamans, mermaids, and sea gods collide with present-day practices. Executive-produced by Will Oldham.

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver)

STINKING HEAVEN (Nathan Silver) This ultra-dark comedy looks at a communal home for sober living in 1990s suburban New Jersey, which spirals into dysfunctional decline when an outsider arrives on the scene. Director Nathan Silver’s film boasts an uncompromising visual aesthetic that goes against the grain of contemporary indie filmmaking—not to mention a fantastic cast that includes Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Keith Poulson, and Eleonore Hendricks.

​TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)

​TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)

TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz) Top-notch documentary biographer Jeffrey Schwarz has captivated MFF audiences with definitive looks at iconic personalities William Castle, Vito Russo, and Divine. Now he delivers the warm and intimate story of 1950s Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter, who simultaneously balanced a stratospheric career on the silver screen with a secret life as a gay man. From his rise to stardom to his reinvention as a cult-film star with John Waters—and a number of fascinating surprises—it’s all here.

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg)

UNEXPECTED (Kris Swanberg) High-school science teacher Samantha (Cobie Smulders), already dealing with stress and uncertainty as her low-income school prepares to close, finds out she’s pregnant. When she discovers her favorite student Jasmine (Gail Bean) is also with child, the two form a tight and unconventional bond. From Kris Swanberg (whose earlier features Empire Builder and It was great, but I was ready to come home. both screened within MFF) comes this refreshing character study that mines honest emotions and the quiet battlefields of love and friendship for real beauty and insight.

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)

WELCOME TO LEITH (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker) This edge-of-your-seat documentary follows the arrival of notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb to a small town in North Dakota, where he promptly buys up land for like-minded collaborators and disrupts town council meetings, leading to fears that he plans a neo-Nazi takeover. As his behavior escalates further into the outrageous and threatens to get violent, a once-placid community must decide how to react.

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko)

A WONDERFUL CLOUD (Eugene Kotlyarenko) When his ex-girlfriend visits him in Los Angeles to resolve some lingering business entanglements, Eugene seeks to revisit old feelings, and introduces her to an LA populated by a wild cast of artists, scenesters, and eccentrics. Variety called this gleefully anarchic romantic comedy “a raucous, wholly improvised 21st-century Annie Hall.” Starring director Kotlyarenko (whose 0s & 1s had its world premiere at MFF 2010) and Kate Lyn Sheil (Sun Don’t Shine, House of Cards).