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Maryland Film Festival

Maryland Film Festival
Location Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Founded 1999
Language International

The Maryland Film Festival is an annual five-day international film festival taking place each May in Baltimore, Maryland. The festival was launched in 1999, and presents international film and video work of all lengths and genres.

Each U.S. feature screened within the festival is hosted by one or more of its filmmakers. The many internationally known filmmakers who have presented their work within Maryland Film Festival include Barry Levinson, David Simon, Kathryn Bigelow, Melvin Van Peebles, Lena Dunham, Lisandro Alonso, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Jonathan Demme.

In addition to forty or more new features and fifty or more new short films, each Maryland Film Festival includes one favorite film selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker and MFF board member John Waters. The films presented by John Waters within Maryland Film Festival have ranged from Joseph Losey's Boom! to Gaspar Noé's I Stand Alone.

Major names in contemporary music have presented favorite films within the festival, including Dan Deacon, Branford Marsalis, Marin Alsop, Ian MacKaye, Will Oldham, Jonathan Richman, Bill Callahan, and members of Animal Collective.

Additionally, personalities ranging from Harry Belafonte to Cal Ripken, Jr. have appeared at the festival alongside documentaries about their lives and work.

Each festival also includes a vintage 35mm 3D film and a silent film with a live score by Alloy Orchestra.

The festival also programs film events in and around Baltimore year-round, including the film component of Baltimore's annual summer Artscape festival and many events for its membership support group Friends of the Festival.

The 15th annual Maryland Film Festival took place May 8–12, 2013 in downtown Baltimore, using all five screens of the historic Charles Theatre as its anchor venue. The 16th annual Maryland Film Festival took place May 7–11, 2014 using seven screens in and around the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.


  • Festival history 1
  • The Parkway Theatre 2
  • Closing night films 3
  • John Waters picks 4
  • Guest-host presentations 5
  • Alloy Orchestra presentations 6
  • Vintage 3-D film presentations 7
  • List of features played at the festival 8
  • Gunky's Basement Film series 9
    • Night Zones with Jimmy Joe Roche 9.1
  • External links 10
  • References 11

Festival history

The first Maryland Film Festival screening took place Thursday, April 22, 1999, with an Opening Night presentation of Barry Levinson's documentary Diner Guys (about the real-life inspirations for his first feature film, Diner) at the historic Senator Theatre.

Full programming began April 23, 1999, using all five screens of the historic Charles Theatre. These screenings were the first public use of the newly renovated Charles, which had expanded from one to five screens.

In 2002, the festival dedicated its Opening Night to a collection of short films, and has done so each year since 2004.

In 2009, the festival expanded its offerings of international films, with the stated goal of expanding the scope of international films brought to Baltimore, and in future years bringing a filmmaker to host each foreign feature film screening as the festival does with all U.S.-made feature films.

In 2013, the festival announced its expansion to 5 days, shifting its Opening Night to Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Previous opening nights had taken place on Thursdays.

The festival currently employs a staff of five year-round, with several hundred volunteers working during each festival and in the weeks leading up to them.

The festival's feature-film programming has emphasized independent films represented by their filmmakers, as well as international works handled by such art-house and specialty film distributors as The Cinema Guild, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Factory 25, Milestone Films, Strand Releasing, and Kino.

The Parkway Theatre

In December 2013, the festival announced its plans to restore The Parkway Theatre, located at North Avenue and North Charles Street in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, for use as its year-round venue.[1] The Parkway was built for film exhibition in 1915, and became one of Baltimore's first art-house movie theaters in the 1950s, operating under the name Five West, but has not been in regular use as a movie theater since the late 1970s. Maryland Film Festival's plans for the Parkway will restore the original auditorium, and build two smaller screens in an adjacent space.

The Parkway restoration project is scheduled for completion on or around the theatre's 100th anniversary in the Fall of 2015.[2]

Closing night films

Year Film Hosted By
2003 Standing in the Shadows of Motown members of The Funk Brothers
2004 BAADASSSSS! Mario Van Peebles and Melvin Van Peebles
2005 Swimmers Doug Sadler
2006 The Eagle with live score by Alloy Orchestra Alloy Orchestra
2007 Rocket Science Jeffrey Blitz
2008 Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha Melvin Van Peebles
2009 The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal
2010 Mother and Child Rodrigo García
2011 Sing Your Song Harry Belafonte
2012 Dark Horse Todd Solondz and Jordan Gelber
2013 Mother of George Andrew Dosunmu and Bradford Young
2014 Little Accidents Sara Colangelo

John Waters picks

Within every Maryland Film Festival since its launch in 1999, filmmaker and Maryland Film Festival board member John Waters has selected one film to present to an audience. His selections have ranged from vintage cult and camp titles to contemporary ribald comedies and art-house dramas.

Festival Year Film Title Film Director Year of Release Notes
1999 Boom! Joseph Losey 1968
2000 Clean, Shaven Lodge Kerrigan 1995
2001 Baxter Jérôme Boivin 1989
2002 Fuego Armando Bó 1969
2003 I Stand Alone Gaspar Noé 1998 Waters also joined in the MFF 2003 presentation of Noé's Irréversible.
2004 Dog Days Ulrich Seidl 2001
2005 Porn Theater Jacques Nolot 2002
2006 Head-On Fatih Akın 2004
2007 Sleeping Dogs Lie Bobcat Goldthwait 2006
2008 Story of Women Claude Chabrol 1988
2009 Love Songs Christophe Honoré 2006
2010 United 93 Paul Greengrass 2006
2011 Domain Patric Chiha 2009 Waters was joined in his presentation by director Patric Chiha.
2012 Wanda Barbara Loden 1970 This screening took place from UCLA's restored 35mm print on the evening of Friday May 4, 2012.
2013 Paradise: Faith Ulrich Seidl 2012 This screening took place the evening of Friday, May 10, 2012. Waters was joined in his presentation by star Maria Hofstätter. This marked the first time Waters has repeated a director in making his selections since the launch of MFF in 1999.
2014 Abuse of Weakness Catherine Breillat 2014

Guest-host presentations

In addition to forty or more new features and a favorite film presented by John Waters, each Maryland Film Festival has invited guest-hosts to present a favorite film. Guest hosts have generally been known best for work outside the world of film and have frequently been musicians, but have also included politicians, athletes, authors, journalists, activists, and visual artists. The guest-host program has also included some film directors hosting revival screenings of their earlier works.

Festival Year Guest Host Film Title Film Director Notes
1999 Kurt Schmoke The Godfather Francis Ford Coppola
1999 Marc Steiner The Cool World Shirley Clarke
2000 Jonathan Richman Cyrano de Bergerac Michael Gordon
2000 Joyce Scott The Long, Hot Summer Martin Ritt
2000 Taylor Branch One-Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando
2000 J.D. Considine The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle Julien Temple
2000 Scott Erickson Predator John McTiernan
2001 Will Oldham The World's Greatest Sinner Timothy Carey
2001 Herschell Gordon Lewis The Gore Gore Girls and 2,000 Maniacs Herschell Gordon Lewis
2001 Martin O'Malley Into the West Mike Newell
2002 Julian Bond Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song Melvin Van Peebles Bond was joined in his presentation by director Melvin Van Peebles, who delivered his own print of the film for the screening.
2003 Barry Levinson On the Waterfront Elia Kazan This screening was the Opening Night selection for MFF 2003, held in the historic Senator Theater.
2003 Margaret Carlson Notorious Alfred Hitchcock
2004 Marc Steiner The Battle of Algiers Gillo Pontecorvo
2005 Dorothy Hamill Mary Poppins Robert Stevenson The audience was encouraged to sing along with the songs for this screening.
2005 Harvey Pekar The Bicycle Thief Vittorio De Sica
2005 Barbara Mikulski To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Mulligan
2006 Branford Marsalis The Scent of Green Papaya Tran Anh Hung
2007 Lodge Kerrigan A Sense of Loss Marcel Ophüls
2007 Henry Rollins Maxed Out James Scurlock
2009 Ian MacKaye Nina Simone: La Légende Frank Lords The famed post-punk musician (of Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, and Dischord Records) presented a rare screening of this 1992 French documentary about Nina Simone.
2009 Laura Lippman Funny Bones Peter Chelsom
2010 Bill Callahan Faces John Cassavetes Callahan (formerly known as Smog), read an original, poetic appreciation piece for this landmark 1968 independent film. He was joined in his presentation by Al Ruban, the film's cinematographer and frequent Cassavetes collaborator.
2010 Dan Deacon Total Recall Paul Verhoeven This screening led to a subsequent year-round Maryland Film Fest series called Gunky's Basemement featuring 35mm prints of films selected and hosted by Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche.
2011 Marin Alsop The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Sergio Leone A 35mm presentation of this 1966 Sergio Leone spaghetti western noted for its Ennio Morricone score, hosted by the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
2011 members of Animal Collective The Boxer's Omen, aka Mo Chih-Hung Kuei Avey Tare, Deakin, and Geologist hosted this 1983 Shaw Brothers production, and noted that another favorite film of the group was House.
2013 Frank Bruni Absence of Malice Sydney Pollack
2014 Matmos Barbarella Roger Vadim The Baltimore-based electronic-music duo will present the film from which they derived their band name.
2014 DJ Spooky Putney Swope Robert Downey, Sr.
2014 Slava Tsukerman Liquid Sky Slava Tsukerman This repertory screening will be presented by the director from his own 35mm print.

Alloy Orchestra presentations

A recurring highlight within each Maryland Film Festival since 2003 has been a silent film presented with Alloy Orchestra performing their new, original scores for these vintage films. Alloy Orchestra has also presented films at Maryland Film Festival stand-alone events throughout the year; this list is limited to presentations within the annual festival weekend.

Festival Year Film Title Film Director Year of Original Release
2003 The Black Pirate Albert Parker 1926
2004 Speedy Ted Wilde 1928
2005 Blackmail Alfred Hitchcock 1929
2006 The Eagle Clarence Brown 1925
2007 Nosferatu F. W. Murnau 1922
2008 Underworld Josef von Sternberg 1927
2009 Man with a Movie Camera Dziga Vertov 1929
2010 Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack 1927
2011 "Masters of Slapstick" Shorts Program Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton 1916-1920
2012 From Morning Till Midnight Karlheinz Martin 1920
2013 The Lost World Harry O. Hoyt 1925
2014 He Who Gets Slapped Victor Sjöström 1924

Vintage 3-D film presentations

Beginning in 2002, each Maryland Film Festival has presented a vintage 3D film in the two-projector 35mm format. Each screening has been hosted by Baltimore Sun film writer Chris Kaltenbach.

Festival Year Film Title Film Director Year of Original Release
2002 House of Wax André de Toth 1953
2003 Creature from the Black Lagoon Jack Arnold 1954
2004 Fort Ti William Castle 1953
2005 Gorilla at Large Harmon Jones 1954
2006 The Mad Magician John Brahm 1954
2007 Man in the Dark Lew Landers 1953
2008 Miss Sadie Thompson Curtis Bernhardt 1953
2009 Inferno Roy Ward Baker 1953
2010 Jesse James vs. The Daltons William Castle 1954
2011 The Stranger Wore a Gun André de Toth 1953
2012 Those Redheads From Seattle Lewis R. Foster 1953

List of features played at the festival

This film-related list is ; you can help by .

Each Maryland Film Festival has presented forty or more feature films, with the screenings of each U.S. film hosted by one of its filmmakers.

Year Films
1999 Arlington Road, The Brandon Teena Story, The Cool World, Crime Wave, Divine Trash, Hands on a Hard Body, Lovers of the Arctic Circle, Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore, My Son the Fanatic, Radiohead: Meeting People Is Easy, The Saltmen of Tibet, Without Limits
2000 The Corner, Forbidden Zone, I Am Cuba, Kill by Inches, King Gimp, Panic, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, Wattstax
2001 The American Astronaut, Investigation of a Flame, Mutant Aliens, Plaster Caster, Portrait of Jason,, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, Unfinished Symphony: Democracy and Dissent
2002 Blue Vinyl, Charlotte Sometimes, Cyberman, Derrida, The Execution of Wanda Jean, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, How to Draw a Bunny, Paperboys, Soft For Digging
2003 BaadAsssss Cinema, Capturing the Friedmans, Funny Ha Ha, Horns and Halos, Hukkle, Irréversible, L'Auberge Espagnole, Melvin Goes to Dinner, The Mudge Boy, Stevie, Unprecedented
2004 The Agronomist, BAADASSSSS!, Born into Brothels, High Tension, Imelda, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, The Saddest Music in the World, Saved!, Travellers and Magicians, Word Wars
2005 9 Songs, The Aristocrats, The Boys of Baraka, The Edukators, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Mad Hot Ballroom, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Murderball, Mutual Appreciation, Palindromes, Street Fight
2006 12 and Holding, Darkon, Head-On, The Guatemalan Handshake, Hamilton, LOL, My Country, My Country, We Go Way Back
2007 Brand Upon the Brain!, Crazy Love, Frownland, Great World of Sound, Hannah Takes the Stairs, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, Killer of Sheep, The Last Days of Left Eye, Murder Party, My Nappy Roots, On a Tightrope, Quiet City, Silver Jew, Sleeping Dogs Lie, Syndromes and a Century, Viva, War/Dance, Zoo
2008 American Teen, At the Death House Door, Baghead, Bamako, Beautiful Losers, The Betrayal, Bi the Way, The Black List, Chop Shop, Goliath, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I.O.U.S.A., Medicine for Melancholy, Momma's Man, My Effortless Brilliance, Nights and Weekends, Woodpecker
2009 Alexander the Last, The Beaches of Agnès, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, Daytime Drinking, Garbage Dreams, Greek Pete, The Hurt Locker, Lake Tahoe, Make-out with Violence, Modern Love Is Automatic, Munyurangabo, Nollywood Babylon, Not Quite Hollywood, Stingray Sam, Treeless Mountain, World's Greatest Dad
2010 12th & Delaware, And Everything Is Going Fine, Beijing Taxi, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Cold Weather, Cyrus, Daddy Longlegs, Dogtooth, Freedom Riders, La Pivellina, Liverpool, Night Catches Us, The Oath, Putty Hill, Tiny Furniture, Until the Light Takes Us, Wheedle's Groove
2011 Better This World, The Catechism Cataclysm, The Color Wheel, The Dish & the Spoon, If a Tree Falls, The Interrupters, Last Days Here, Magic Trip, Meek's Cutoff, My Joy, Ne Change Rien, Nostalgia for the Light, Restless City, Septien, Silver Bullets, Terri, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, A Useful Life, Viva Riva!, Weekend, We Were Here
2012 Attenberg, Come Back, Africa, The Comedy, Compliance, Dark Horse, Ethel, Detropia, Gayby, God Bless America, Jeff, Kid-Thing, Love Free Or Die, Lovely Molly, LUV, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Oslo, August 31st, The Patron Saints, Pilgrim Song, Porfirio, Reconvergence, Save the Date, The Source Family, Sun Don't Shine, Supporting Characters, Tchoupitoulas, This Is Not a Film, The Turin Horse, Under African Skies, V/H/S, Vito, Volcano, Wild in the Streets, Wuthering Heights
2013 Museum Hours, Paradise: Faith, Paradise: Hope, Paradise: Love, The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, Pit Stop, Post Tenebras Lux, Prince Avalanche, The Rambler, Remote Area Medical, Swim Little Fish Swim, A Teacher, This Is Martin Bonner, Touchy Feely, V/H/S/2, Watchtower, We Always Lie to Strangers, White Reindeer, Willow Creek, Zero Charisma
2014 Baltimore, Buzzard, Call Girl of Cthulhu, The Case Against 8, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, Club Sandwich, Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound, Everybody Street, Evolution of a Criminal, Faults, Fight Church, Fort Tilden, Freedom Summer, Glena, Happy Christmas, Hellion, The Hip-Hop Fellow, I Play with the Phrase Each Other, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Manakamana, The Mend, The Militant, Moebius, Obvious Child, Ping Pong Summer, Point and Shoot, September, Positive Force: More Than a Witness, The Strange Little Cat, Stray Dogs, Summer of Blood, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga, Water Like Stone, Welcome to Deathfest, Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, Who Took Johnny, Wild Canaries, Young Bodies Heal Quickly

Gunky's Basement Film series

Gunky’s Basement is an ongoing Maryland Film Festival series curated and hosted by musician Dan Deacon and video artist Jimmy Joe Roche. Each title has screened from a 35mm print and has been promoted in part with original screenprinted posters created by Baltimore-based artists.

Gunky’s Basement is a year-round extension of the Maryland Film Festival Guest-Host program, in which a person best known for work outside the world of film selects and hosts a favorite film. Prior to Gunky’s Basement, Dan Deacon was a guest host in Maryland Film Festival 2010, selecting Total Recall.

Date Film Title Film Director Year of Release
October 21, 2010 The Thing John Carpenter 1982
December 9, 2010 Repo Man Alex Cox 1984
January 27, 2011 Alien Ridley Scott 1979
March 3, 2011 Beetlejuice Tim Burton 1988
April 21, 2011 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Robert Zemeckis 1988
September 27, 2011 Starship Troopers Paul Verhoeven 1997
October 25, 2011 Videodrome David Cronenberg 1983
November 29, 2011 Dune David Lynch 1984
December 13, 2011 Groundhog Day Harold Ramis 1993
July 18, 2012 They Live John Carpenter 1988
August 15, 2012 The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme 1991
December 4, 2012 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me David Lynch 1992
January 9, 2013 Manhunter Michael Mann 1986
February 6, 2013 Die Hard John McTiernan 1988
March 6, 2013 Dead Man Jim Jarmusch 1995
October 30, 2013 In the Mouth of Madness John Carpenter 1995
November 13, 2013 Point Break Kathryn Bigelow 1991
December 4, 2013 Terminator 2: Judgment Day James Cameron 1991
February 26, 2014 Batman Tim Burton 1989

Night Zones with Jimmy Joe Roche

As an offshoot of Gunky's Basement, Maryland Film Festival and video artist Jimmy Joe Roche partnered for a series exploring Roche's love of horror films. As with Gunky's Basement, each title screened from a 35mm print in the Charles Theatre, and was promoted in part with original screenprinted posters created by a Baltimore artist.

Date Film Title Film Director Year of Release
September 26, 2012 Lifeforce Tobe Hooper 1985
October 31, 2012 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Tobe Hooper 1974
November 28, 2012 From Beyond Stuart Gordon 1986

External links

  • Official page for Maryland Film Festival
  • The New Yorker's Richard Brody discusses Maryland Film Festival 2011
  • "A Great Day in Baltimore" -- Filmmaker/Blogger Michael Tully discusses Maryland Film Festival 2011 for Indiewire
  • discusses Maryland Film Festival 2013New Yorker
  • discusses Maryland Film Festival 2013Artforum"Weird and Wonderful" --
  • Parkway Theater - Explore Baltimore Heritage


  1. ^ Jacques Kelly, "Parkway Theatre to get tax credit to help with planned renovations", The Baltimore Sun, December 20, 2013
  2. ^ Michael Dresser, "Five city projects receive historic tax credits", The Baltimore Sun, December 23, 2013
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