The pandemic can’t stop the Chesapeake Film Festival from giving their valued film enthusiasts and supporters another fabulous cinema experience in 2020. From October 1 – October 4, at NO COST to the audience, viewers will receive a four-day All Festival pass to watch any or all of 45 films selected from more than 200 submissions. It’s the festival’s gift to film lovers in the community, and beyond. Because the festival is virtual, viewers can watch the films anywhere in the world. All that is asked is that viewers consider a contribution to offset expenses.
Chesapeake Film Festival is bringing you an explosion of cinematic flavors, including dramas, comedies, environmental concerns, emerging artists, Maryland-made films, fascinating documentaries and pulsating animations. Right in your living room, engage in the fun, heartbreak, intellectual stimulation and edification of films like these:
Is Johns Hopkins trying to steal the Maryland Film Festival’s thunder? Probably not. It would be pretty hard at this point to outshine what’s become one of our city’s annual cultural highlights. But JHU does present its own four day film festival every year, and their selection of carefully-curated features, shorts, documentaries, animations, and experimental works from emerging filmmakers can be just what you need to prime yourself for the MFF a couple of months from now. Or to simply get you through these last dreary winter days.
The Johns Hopkins Annual Film Festival, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Film Society, begins tomorrow. The rest of the movies will be shown Shriver Hall on the Hopkins Homewood Campus. The festival highlights films from independent, international, and student filmmakers, seeking to promote the films and careers of visionary filmmakers via a highly selective showcase of about 20 films. Organizers have selected a few important, influential films to be screened on 35MM prints.
The feature presentations this year include Vincent Gallo’s original and disarming triple crown of indie filmmaking, Buffalo ‘66 (1998), at The Charles Theater (with a special dinner-and-a-movie deal presented by the festival and Lost City Diner), Arthur Penn’s brilliant milestone in American cinema, Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Albert Magnoli’s glorified-music-video of a cult classic, Purple Rain (1984), starring Prince, and Edward Sedgwick’s silent classic The Cameraman (1928), starring Buster Keaton. This is a rare opportunity to watch these films projected on 35MM on the third-largest screen in Maryland.
Two weekends ago, students and parents from around the region gathered in Gilman School’s Alumni Auditorium for its Third Annual Daniel A. Citron Film Festival.The first and second festivals were envisioned and organized by Citron, a former Gilman student and filmmaker who now attends Harvard. This year, the torch was passed to Festival Director John Chirikjian, a Gilman senior, who remarked that he was extremely impressed by the overall quality of the submissions, which were solicited from high school students around the city. Chirikjian lauded the efforts of students from other schools, not just Gilman, explaining that “it’s been a very Gilman-centric event in the past, but the wide variety of films that we received from such a wide range of schools helped bring a new perspective to the festival.”
Student-run with faculty advisors/judges, the festival received 44 submissions from K-12 students at area schools, including Bryn Mawr, Carver Vocational-Technical High, Friends, Gilman, Loyola, and Park. The event screened more than 30 films over three hours to an audience of nearly 350. Prizes ranged from an iPad Mini to $50 cash for categories such as Best Film (Grand Jury Prize) and Best Original Screenplay. (See clips of some of the prize-winning films below.)
Three days of nonstop movies, featuring nearly four-dozen feature films and 75 shorts. It takes place May 3-6 at the Charles Theatre, Windup Space and the Maryland Institute College of Art. More than 20,000 attended last year’s Maryland Film Festival, Director Jed Dietz estimates.
“Movie making in America is terms of volume and creativity is all concentrated now in the smaller and independent film,” Dietz says.
Foreign films, shorts across a variety of genres and two feature films made by artists who have connections to Baltimore are among the highlights of this year’s event.
With movies from Turkey, Iran and half a dozen other countries, the festival has one of its strongest selections of foreign films ever, Dietz says.
“A few years ago, a foreign film meant one from Western Europe,” Dietz says. “That world has changed completely.”
Dissident Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who is under house arrest, had to make his movie surreptitiously — hence the title, This is Not a Film.” Panahi had to smuggle it out of Iran by loading it on a USB flash drive hidden in a cake.
The opening night of the Maryland Film Festival will begin, as always, with a selection of shorts. The mini-movies come in a variety of genres throughout the festival: comedy, drama, documentary, experimental and something called “The Passion of the WTF Shorts.” The latter includes a “macabre depiction of a high school formal” and a peek at underground moped gangs in Richmond, Va.
The festival’s longstanding emphasis on short films is one of the reasons why the William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund has given it $230,000 since 2007, fund Executive Director Melissa Warlow says.
Short films bring out a lot of budding young filmmakers, which energizes the audience, Warlow says.