The annual Maryland Film Festival kicked off last night, and our heads are already spinning from the spoil of cinematic riches—with 45+ feature flicks and 80+ shorts on the packed schedule, it can be hard to know where to start! But the festival, which runs May 4-8, is well worth the effort. Featuring diverse, genre-spanning pictures from animation to avant-garde, the MFF offers a unique chance to hear from and interact with filmmakers across the country and discover stunning, under-the-radar cinema. Not to mention, you never know which celebrities will show up to a screening…
Check out STYLE’s top picks below, then head to the Maryland Film Festival site to see the full, fantastic schedule (and make your own must-watch list).
FRIDAY, MAY 6
Cameraperson: Well-known documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson presents a moving, meditative examination of the 40+ features she has worked on over the years. The film melds footage with philosophy and memoir, making for a perfectly meta first festival viewing. (4:35 p.m., Walters Art Museum)
John Waters presents The Deep Blue Sea: In this can’t-miss event, legendary Baltimorean John Waters introduces his annual festival pick: a sordid WWII-era romance rife with surprising directorial choices. (7 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
WTF Shorts: Part of the fun of film festivals is taking risks, so dive deep into the unknown with these 11 bizarre, experimental short films. (11:05 p.m., MICA Studio Center)
SATURDAY, MAY 7
Documentary Shorts: Enjoy bite-sized investigations and observations about everything from an aging Louisiana couple to failed presidential candidate Howard Dean’s infamous “I Have a Scream” speech. (2:40 p.m. at Baltimore Lab School)
DeRay McKesson presents Fresh: Mayoral candidate and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson presides over this screening of the critically-acclaimed 1994 Boaz Yakin film. (5 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
Lovesong: Jena Malone (“The Hunger Games”) and Riley Keough (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) star in a subtle, stunning exploration of relationships and intimacy. (8 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
SUNDAY, MAY 8
L’Inhumaine presented by Alloy Orchestra: Known as “The New Sound of Silent Films,” Alloy Orchestra will perform their original score for the French science fiction film. (11 a.m., MICA Brown Center)
Hunter Gatherer: Come catch the Festival’s closing night screening of “Hunter Gatherer,” starring “The Wire’s” Andre Royo (you may know him as “Bubbles”). Royo will host the event alongside other cast members and director Josh Lacey, and the showing will be followed with a closing night celebration featuring food, drinks and dancing. (Tickets: $50. 7:15 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
Tickets: $10 average per film, $345 for an all-access pass.