Friday, May 09, 2008

Maryland Film Festival's 10th Anniversary Draws Legendary Filmmakers, Record-Breaking Crowds

Barry Levinson at MD Film Fest Opening Night
(photo by Jason Putsche)

L-R; Barry Levinson, MFF director Jed Dietz, MFF programmer Skizz Cyzyk
(photo by Jason Putsche)

Melvin Van Peebles, right, and assistant enter Charles Theatre for MFF 2008 Closing Night May 4, 2008
(photo by George Hagegeorge)

YEAST Q+A at MD Film Fest 08
left-to-right: Yeast producer Marc Raybin, co-star Benny Safdie, star Greta Gerwig, writer/director/star Mary Bronstein, host Matthew Porterfield (director of Hamilton)
(photo by George Hagegeorge)


Says the MFF in this press release:


The 10th Annual Maryland Film Festival drew to a close Sunday, May 4, 2008, having shattered all previous attendance records and drawing over 100 filmmakers to beautiful downtown Baltimore.

The festival opened Thursday, May 1st with its Opening Night Shorts Program, hosted by Oscar-winning, Cannes-bound native son Barry Levinson, and closed Sunday, May 4th, with indie-film legend Melvin Van Peebles hosting his Tribeca-smash comeback feature, Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha.

Maryland Film Festival brought filmmakers to town for each of the 50 features it screened. These filmmakers included Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (hosting both his new Hunter S. Thompson documentary Gonzo and a favorite repertory film, Dusan Makavejev's WR: Mysteries of the Organism); John Waters (who presents a favorite film within each MD Film Fest, this year selecting Claude Chabrol's Story of Women); and, representing four MFF 2008 films, Greta Gerwig (star of Baghead, Quick Feet, Soft Hands, and Yeast; co-writer, co-director, and co-star with also-attending Joe Swanberg on Nights and Weekends).

Other filmmakers presenting their work included Steve James and Peter Gilbert (At the Death House Door) David Redmon and Ashley Sabin (Intimidad), Ellen Kuras (The Betrayal a.k.a. Nerakhoon), David and Nathan Zellner (Goliath), Patrick Creadon (I.O.U.S.A.), Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), John Gianvito (Profit motive and the whispering wind), Emily Hubley (The Toe Tactic), Julie Checkoway (Waiting for Hockney), Josh Koury (We Are Wizards), James Spooner (White Lies, Black Sheep), and Mary Bronstein (Yeast).

The festival broke all of its attendance records, with advance sales breaking 2007's record by over 50%, more sold-out screenings than any prior year, and both box-office attendance and panel/workshop/demo attendance in the Maryland Film Festival Tent Village up significantly."

Go here for the MFF site.

- Sujewa

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