Image from Marvelous and The Black Hole. Left: Miya Check. Right: Rhea Perlman

If you have not already tuned in to the 9th annual Annapolis Film Festival (AFF) what are you waiting for!? The festival is currently underway and on day 7 out of 10, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy the 100+ films AFF has to offer this weekend. With the Festival being virtual this year, viewers can watch a majority of the films on-demand or catch a second screening, like the Opening Night Film Marvelous and the Black Hole, directed by Kate Tsang, starring Miya Cech, Rhea Perlman, and Leonardo Nam. Straight from the Sundance Film Festival, Tsang’s debut feature will screen again on Saturday, April 17th at 9:00 AM EST through Sunday, April 18th at 11:45 PM EST.

The festival offers a wide array of some of the latest film releases, including shorts, documentaries, and narrative features. AFF has partnered with the virtual platform, EVENTIVE, whose channel is available through ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. “We wanted to impact the viewer experience in an easier and more enjoyable way that would allow film lovers to see as many films as possible without feeling rushed. Much of this content we hope will be a breath of fresh air,” said AFF Co-Founder and Festival Director Lee Anderson. Many of the films are followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, so grab your bucket of popcorn, relax, and enjoy!




Narrative Feature
Directed BY: David Gutnik / Produced BY: Liz Cardenas, Emily McEvoy

City life has always piqued curiosity about who the stranger is on the street and this hauntingly original narrative answers the question by sifting through the complicated lives of four different women, bound together by a threatening NYC subway incident. Its title, Materna, (Latin for maternal), evokes the central theme of each of the stories where, like a door opening to a deeply intimate space, their hunger, vulnerability, and intricate battles about motherhood are revealed. Through the unique format of four distinctive vignettes, David Gutnik showcases deep, character-driven storytelling about inherently divisive topics that gradually builds to a crescendo. The powerhouse performances and striking cinematography have earned the film several prizes at film festivals last year.


HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La Bonne Epouse)

Narrative Feature
Directed BY: Martin Provost / Produced BY: François Kraus, Denis Pineau-Valencienne
Presented BY: Angela Peterman & Ed Ponatoski | ANNE ARUNDEL DERMATOLOGY

Juliette Binoche plays Paulette, a poised and disciplined woman who runs a traditional finishing school in France in the 1960s. After her husband’s sudden death, Paulette discovers that the school is on the verge of bankruptcy, all while the burgeoning sexual revolution and women’s liberation movements are changing opinions on what it means to be a proper wife. This charming and stylish comedy satire is filled with genuine moments of truth and revelation that prove how far we’ve come from the absurdities of the past. The film is nominated for several César Awards (the French Academy Award) this year and won the César for Best Costume Design.



Narrative Feature
Directed BY: Alex Camilleri
Produced BY: Ramin Bahrani, Rebecca Anastasi, Oliver Mallia, Alex Camilleri
Presented BY: Lynn Ohman & John Heinz

“Luzzu” is the word for the traditional colorful painted fishing boats in Malta…and with the usual pair of eyes painted on each bow, a boat can take on a personality of its own. In this film, it plays one of the main characters. This luzzu’s owner is a young fisherman trying to make an honest living to support his wife and newborn son. However, strict regulations, dishonest competitors, and a skeptical mother-in-law give him no choice but to enter Malta’s black-market fishing industry to try and make enough money to survive. Gorgeously filmed with authentic performances, this mesmerizing film illuminates the plight of independent fishermen and the diminishing fish population. Luzzu won the Special Jury Prize for acting at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.




Narrative Feature
Directed BY: Nikole Beckwith / Produced BY: Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Anthony Brandonisio, Tim Headington
Presented BY: Angela Peterman & Ed Ponatoski | ANNE ARUNDEL DERMATOLOGY

Matt is a middle-aged man whose business is clicking, but his biological clock is ticking. Anna is a young woman who needs extra cash to say “hasta la vista” to her job as a barista. These two disparate souls intersect when Matt (played by Ed Helms) hires Anna (played by Patti Harrison) to be his gestational surrogate. At first, the two have nothing in common in this purely transactional relationship, but they slowly begin to bond over prenatal classes, counseling sessions, and binge-watching episodes of Friends. Nikole Beckwith subverts the rom-com formula with her smart and snappy script to create a refreshing dramedy about falling in “like” with your platonic soul mate.




Narrative Feature
Directed BY: Sam Hobkinson / Produced BY: Jurgen Buedts, Poppy Dixon, Al Morrow, Matt Wells, Gregory Zalcman
Presented BY:  Faith Goldstein and Jesse Cunitz | TEMPLE BETH SHALOM | Martha Blaxall & Joe Dickey | Susan & Greg Walker | Lucy Spiegel & Phil Scrivener | Carol and David Stern

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but in the case of this documentary, fiction is stranger than truth. Misha Defonseca is a Belgian-born writer whose best-selling Holocaust memoir was published in 1997, was later adapted into a French film, and even caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey’s book club.  Misha claimed that when she was a young Jewish girl, she escaped from Nazi soldiers by hiding in the woods and survived by living with a pack of wolves and then walking across Europe to search for her deported parents.  But later when publisher Jane Daniel decides to investigate the true story of what happened to Misha, she reveals an audacious deception that was created to hide a darker truth. Using interviews, re-enactments, and archival footage, Sam Hobkinson directs this documentary with all the dramatic flair of an enthralling mystery story.

Ruth: A Little Girl’s Big Journey

An animated short film that brings to life the remarkable childhood journey of Dr. Ruth escaping Nazi Germany, as she faced the choices that made her who she is today.

BEST OF FEST 12:00 PM EST – Best of Fest Audience Awards winners will include: (2) Short Films, (1) Documentary Feature, and (1) Narrative Feature. Award Winners will be announced towards the end of the festival. Tickets available for $25 through

General Ticket and Event Information – The Annapolis Film Festival will screen virtually from through April 18th at 11:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at

Note – All Programs have been geolocated to the state of Maryland, Washington DC, and the “DC-Metro” area, and includes only these Virginia cities: Alexandria, Arlington, Crystal City, Falls Church, Fairfax, and McClean. If you are outside of any of these areas, you will be unable to view this program.

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