We’ve been reporting on the progress of filmmaker Lotfy Nathan’s documentary on Baltimore’s dirt bike gangs, 12 O’Clock Boys, for a while now. We cheered the movie on as it got picked to screen at SXSW, snagged a distribution deal, and got more and more buzz. So it’s nice to see that major media outlets — NPR, The Atlantic, the New York Times, among others — are finally catching on. Here’s what they have to say:
Tag: lotfy nathan
Every time I write about 12 O’Clock Boys, Lotfy Nathan’s documentary film about Baltimore’s dirt bike riders, a slew of comments ensue: These kids are exhibiting a blatant disregard for the law, making our streets unsafe, and even causing accidents that kill people.
Well, anti-dirt bikers, now’s your chance to start some beef with the New York Times, which featured an article about the 12 O’Clock Boys by Nathan in yesterday’s op-ed section.
This year, the Maryland Film Festival is the biggest it’s ever been: more nights, more movies, more advance tickets sold. From May 8 – 12, Baltimore will play host to around 50 of the most exciting domestic and international feature films and around 80 shorts, shown in screening packages according to genre.
The festival’s programming director, Eric Hatch, used his Facebook page to publish an FAQ for the event, giving tips on ticketing policy and alerting cinephiles to the Maryland-centric films playing this year — which include the Baltimore-based documentaries 12 O’Clock Boys and If We Shout Loud Enough.
12 O’Clock Boys Film Gets Distribution Deal; Expect Many More Heated Conversations About Dirt Bike Culture
If you were one of the 603 people who donated to help Baltimore filmmaker Lotfy Nathan take his film to this year’s South by Southwest film festival, you can pat yourself on the back: thanks to a well-regarded SXSW debut, the documentary about Baltimore’s dirt bike culture has been picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories, a distribution company started by a Beastie Boy and known for films like We Need to Talk About Kevin, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Meek’s Cutoff. Now the dirt bike debate can really get going.
Baltimoreans have mixed feelings about our city’s dirt bike culture (“total menace!” a commenter opined here at the Fishbowl last summer; “both intimidating and thrilling,” a New York Times reporter weighed in last weekend). Local filmmaker Lotfy Nathan has been documenting the city’s 12 O’Clock Boys for years, and his documentary film about a West Baltimore kid who joins up with the Boys, has just been selected to have its world premier at the South By Southwest film festival — one of only 8 films selected out of 905 submissions.
One sure sign it’s Sunday in Baltimore is the sweet sound of revving dirt bikes as Baltimore’s Twelve O’Clock Boyz wheelie their way through the city streets. It’s a classically Baltimore conundrum: the bikes are illegal, but, after a fatal high-speed crash a number of years ago, police aren’t allowed to pursue them, either. The Twelve O’Clock Boyz themselves have been both condemned as a gang and lauded as an informal social-support organization in a city without many other options, especially now that rec centers are closing down due to budget crunches. So, who are these dirt bikers of Baltimore? Heroes or villains? Criminals or mentors?