Maryland Film Fest 2016 Takes Place May 4-8!

We've announced all of our 2016 features, and today are proud to announce our Opening Night Shorts and our Closing Night film! Advance online ticket sales are now active. Check back daily for more information on all titles. Download a PDF of our 2016 Program Guide here.

Closing Night: Hunter Gatherer (Josh Locy)

Hunter Gatherer takes us into the life of Ashley Douglas (Andre Royo), bursting with optimism and swagger as he returns to live with his mother after a prison sentence. When his desire to rekindle an old flame doesn’t go as planned, he throws his boundless energy into a bizarre new business enterprise with a younger new friend, Jeremy (George Sample III). Delivering a gripping and inventive mix of drama, warm humor, and magical realism, Locy’s film also boasts incredible performances from its leads. Royo (Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins on The Wire), took home a well-deserved Special Jury Award for Best Actor at SXSW, and Sample is nothing short of a revelation. Cast and crew expected to attend Closing Night include Josh Locy, Andre Royo, George Sample III, and producer April Lamb. Ticket holders also access our Closing Night party following the film!   Details and Tickets

Opening Night Shorts!

A Maryland Film Festival tradition, we're proud once again to devote our Opening Night to an exciting array of short films. The evening will be hosted by MDFF alums Lauren Wolkstein and Zach Clark, and each Opening Night filmmaker will be present for a Q+A following the screening. Our 2016 Opening Night Shorts are: 1985 (Yen Tan); Affections (Bridey Elliott); Doorcuts (Zachariah Tatham), Pickle (Amy Nicholson), and Soy Cubana (Jeremy Ungar and Ivaylo Getov). Admission to our Opening Night Shorts also gets ticket-holders into our Opening Night party following the screenings! Doors at 7pm, films begin at 8pm.    Details and Tickets

The Deep Blue Sea (hosted by John Waters!) (Terence Davies)

John Waters, the legendary filmmaker behind Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, is a MDFF board member, and has introduced a favorite film in each edition of the festival beginning with its inaugural year of 1999—sometimes a recent film, sometimes a classic or cult title, always an intriguing selection. This year's selection is Terence Davies’ gorgeous 2011 film The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston.   Details and Tickets

Alloy Orchestra Presents: L

L'inhumaine is a groundbreaking French Sci-Fi film (shot 3 years before Fritz Lang’s Metropolis), which brought together all the avant guard artists of Europe to create astounding sets and costumes. The film is a visual tour de force - building toward it’s finale of dizzying montages, flashing colors and the breathtaking stage set of a futuristic science lab, designed by artist Fernand Leger.

Alloy's score is one of their most audacious, and perfectly matches the tone and atmosphere of this strange film.   Details and Tickets

Always Shine (Sophia Takal)

The director of Green (MDFF 2011) and star of Wild Canaries (MDFF 2014) helms this feminist psychological thriller, following two L.A. actresses on a weekend sojourn to Big Sur that takes a dark turn. Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin Fitzgerald star.   Details and Tickets

Apostate, The (Spain, Uruguay) (Federico Veiroj)

The director of A Useful Life (MDFF 2011) finds wry humor and quiet discoveries in telling the story of a determined man squaring off against the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church, seeking removal of all mentions of his name from their records.   Details and Tickets

Boone (Christopher LaMarca)

This experiential documentary gives us intimate access to three young farmers, recalling both the bucolic beauty of Sweetgrass and the visceral sweat and toil of Leviathan as it paints a heartfelt and intimate portrait of human beings’ relationship to animals and the soil.   Details and Tickets

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)

The fearless cinematographer of pivotal documentaries such as Two Towns of Jasper and The Oath reframes footage from previous projects into a radical personal essay about life and filmmaking.   Details and Tickets

Cemetery of Splendor (Thailand) (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

From the director of festival favorites Syndromes and a Century (MDFF 2007) and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (MDFF 2011) comes another mysterious and atmospheric masterpiece of slow cinema.   Details and Tickets

Chevalier (Greece) (Athina Rachel Tsangari)

When a group of men gather on a luxury yacht, a spontaneous mind game expands into an internecine struggle fueled by domination and shame. From the director of Attenberg (MDFF 2012) and producer of Dogtooth (MDFF 2010) comes this incisive, darkly comedic look at competition and male ego.   Details and Tickets

collective:unconscious (Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker, Lauren Wolkstein)

This strikingly original omnibus film, fresh from its premiere at SXSW 2016, probes the unfettered human imagination as few films before have. Five independent filmmakers take a dream by another member of the collective and bring it to vivid life as a short film, together interwoven into a hypnotic and compelling new whole.   Details and Tickets

Do Not Resist (with short film Speaking Is Difficult) (Craig Atkinson)

The striking images of protests that emerged from recent protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and many other cities around the country brought into focus a startling phenomenon: the flow of large quantities of military equipment and weaponry to local police forces. This jaw-dropping documentary probes a disturbing nationwide trend—one with high financial stakes and powerful interests at its core.   Details and Tickets

Donald Cried (Kris Avedisian)

Fresh from its premiere at SXSW, this biting yet emotionally resonant dark comedy follows a Wall Street suit pulled back into his head-banging stoner past when he returns home to settle his grandmother’s affairs.   Details and Tickets

Fits, The (Anna Rose Holmer)

An 11-year-old boxer finds a new passion when she joins a dance drill squad—but as her new teammates start experiencing bizarre fainting episodes, her life takes a mysterious turn. Holmer’s meditative narrative-feature debut, which premiered at Venice and screened in Sundance 2016’s Next slate, offers a visionary coming-of-age story rich in atmosphere and visual poetry.   Details and Tickets

Fraud (screening with Collinsville Trade Day, 1988) (Dean Fleischer-Camp)

What IS Fraud? A home movie? A found-footage crime thriller? A documentary for the midnight-movie crowd? As video footage of a family unfolds at a breakneck pace and grows increasingly transgressive, we’re left with as many questions as answers—as well as one of the year’s most unforgettable viewing experiences. A HotDocs 2016 world premiere.

Screening with Colinsville Trade Day, 1988 - Directed by  Charles Keener, Jason LaRay Keener

A documentary about a small town market, shot on VHS by a curious grandfather in 1988.   Details and Tickets

Fresh (Presented by DeRay Mckesson!) (Boaz Yakin)

Each year Maryland Film Festival invites a cultural figure best known for work outside the world of film to select and host a favorite film. This year, activist and Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson will present a 35mm print of gripping coming-of-age story Fresh, starring Sean Nelson (of HBO’s The Corner) and Samuel L. Jackson.   Details and Tickets

Greasy Strangler, The (Jim Hosking)

In this deliciously deranged psychotronic comedy, an adult son and his grease-obsessed father live and work together in Los Angeles, leading walking tours of questionable landmarks in disco history. But could dad be the mysterious scourge who’s been slathering his body in grease and claiming lives at night?   Details and Tickets

Guys Next Door, The (Amy Geller and Allie Humenuk)

This warm and moving documentary follows married gay couple Erik and Sandro as they raise two daughters—both carried by their close friend Rachel, who herself has three biological children with her husband, Tony. As Erik and Sandro adjust to a recent move from the big city to Portland, Maine, viewers are treated to an intimate portrait of a warm, loving group of people who expand our sense of what family looks like.   Details and Tickets

He Hated Pigeons (Canada, Chile) (Ingrid Veninger)

Anguished Elias tries to cope with the death of his Canadian lover Sebastian in this moody and evocative road trip through the stunning countryside of Chile.   Details and Tickets

High-Rise (UK) (Ben Wheatley)

Ben Wheatley's arresting dystopian vision follow the residents of a new luxury apartment tower as they develop their own pecking order—one that quickly takes a precipitous dive into class warfare and chaos. Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss star in this adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, from the director of Kill List and A Field in England.   Details and Tickets

Hotel Dallas (U.S., Romania) (screening with short The Mink Catcher) (Livia Ungur, Sherng-Lee Huang)

Documentary and magical- realist fiction intersect in this look at the ripple effects of tv’s Dallas in Romania—broadcast there in the ‘80s with the intention of exposing corrupt American capitalism, but instead fomenting fantasies of materialist wealth and financial freedom.   Details and Tickets

How Heavy This Hammer (Canada) (Kazik Radwanski)

On the surface, married father-of-two Erwin looks like a functioning member of society. But the deeper we look into his life, from his obsessive marathon sessions of computer fantasy games to the extreme irritation with which he experiences most real-world interactions, we see a troubled man-child who’s barely getting by.  This brilliant character study, rendered in a uniquely claustrophobic visual style, earns comparisons to films like Ronald Bronstein’s Frownland (MDFF 2007) and the best work of Todd Solondz.   Details and Tickets

Ixcanul (Guatemala) (Jayro Bustamante)

This memorable feature debut, which won the prestigious Silver Bear Alfred Bauer award at Rotterdam, offers an intimate look at a young Mayan girl's hardscrabble existence on a coffee plantation. As she dreams of a life outside the plantation's volcano-sloped confines, she comes to realize that the big city may prove an even harsher reality.   Details and Tickets

Kate Plays Christine (Robert Greene)

The director of Fake It So Real (MDFF 2011) and Actress (MDFF 2014) returns with another rich work situated at the intersection of documentary, artifice, and performance. Here, Greene and actress Kate Lyn Sheil reconstruct a stylized vision of the life of television host Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide on air in 1974.   Details and Tickets

Koza (Slovakia, Czech Republic) (Ivan Ostrochovsky)

A former Olympic flyweight boxer, already down on his luck, finds himself in a bind when he learns his girlfriend is pregnant. Out of shape and slowed by years of hard living, he sets out on a dark tour of cold Eastern Europe with a dubious manager, in search of fights for small fistfuls of cash.   Details and Tickets

Lamb (Ethiopia) (Yared Zeleke)

This elegant, moving, and cinematically rich film tells the story of Ephraim, a young Ethiopian boy who finds meaning in the company of a lamb after the loss of his mother—but must protect his new animal companion from being sacrificed at the hands of his uncle.   Details and Tickets

Legend of Swee Pea, The (Benjamin May)

As Lloyd Daniels rose from a streetball phenom to one of the top college basketball prospects the game has ever seen, NBA stardom seemed a sure thing—but struggles with addiction and the law threatened to destroy everything he’d worked so hard to achieve. This new documentary earns a place alongside b-ball docs like Hoop Dreams and Lenny Cooke in providing both poignant personal insight and an edge-of-your-seat ride through the incomparable ups and downs of this big-money and high-stakes sport.   Details and Tickets

Life, Animated (Roger Ross Williams)

Years after stopping all verbal communication, a young autistic child finds his voice again through his deep love of Disney movies in this sweet and insightful documentary from the director of God Loves Uganda and Music by Prudence (MDFF 2011).   Details and Tickets

Little Men (Ira Sachs)

From the director of Love Is Strange and Keep the Lights On, this poignant new drama follows two middle-schoolers, who both experience the effects of gentrification in Brooklyn, but in very differently ways. Greg Kinnear stars.   Details and Tickets

Little Sister (Zach Clark)

Clark, the warped mind behind such psychotronic-tinged outings as Modern Love Is Automatic (MDFF 2009) and White Reindeer (MDFF 2013), remains rooted in his love of cult cinema, while reaching new heights in this story of a young nun whose brother was deeply scarred by the Iraq War. Addison Timlin, Keith Poulson, Ally Sheedy, Peter Hedges, Kristin Slaysman, and Barbara Crampton star.   Details and Tickets

Love Witch, The (Anna Biller)

With 2007’s Viva, Anna Biller displayed a unique talent for channeling the look and feel of 60s and 70s cult cinema. Here she returns with a modern spin on 1960s Technicolor thrillers, centered on a beautiful young witch with an itch to kill. The only emerging film presented on 35mm in the festival!   Details and Tickets

Lovesong (So Yong Kim)

From the visionary director of Treeless Mountain (MDFF 2009), In Between Days, and For Ellen comes this insightful drama about motherhood and friendship. The remarkable cast includes Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, and Rosanna Arquette.   Details and Tickets

MA (Celia Rowlson-Hall)

Wielding intricately choreographed movement within stunning composition, art-direction, and vistas, Rowlson-Hall’s feature debut delivers a dynamic contemporary retelling of the pilgrimage of Mother Mary through the American Southwest. The director stars alongside Andrew Pastides and Amy Seimetz, and Brian McOmber contributes a beautiful score.   Details and Tickets

Master Cleanse, The (Bobby Miller)

When Paul (Johnny Galecki) bottoms out, he attends a self-help retreat—to his surprise, he finds himself purging something quite a bit stranger than tension and toxins. Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, and Oliver Platt co-star in this unique SXSW-premiered blend of fantasy and drama.   Details and Tickets

Morris From America (U.S.A., Germany) (Chad Hartigan)

This Sundance hit comes from the director of This Is Martin Bonner (MDFF 2013), with much-lauded performances from Craig Robinson and Markees Christmas in a heartfelt and funny story of a father and teenage son adjusting to their new life in Germany.    Details and Tickets

No Home Movie (Belgium) (Chantal Akerman)

The final work from master filmmaker Chantal Akerman stands as a strong companion piece to her pivotal early work News From Home. A series of conversations between the filmmaker and her mother, conducted both in person and over the internet, deliver a moving meditation on family and aging that has taken on new resonance after Akerman’s own recent passing.   Details and Tickets

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)

The team behind festival favorites The Boys of Baraka (MDFF 2005) and Detropia (MDFF 2012) turn their lens on a living legend who changed what television meant to millions of Americans, transforming the small screen forever.   Details and Tickets

Nuts! (Penny Lane)

This inventive documentary employs quirky humor and imaginative animation to tell the surreal true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who tried to treat impotence by transplanting goat testicles into human men—and went on to become a player in both state politics and the early days of radio. The director of Our Nixon returns with another fresh approach to a uniquely American subject.    Details and Tickets

Orange Sunshine (William A. Kirkley)

This action-packed documentary tells the story of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a mystic group of California surfers whose passion for LSD use led them to large-scale drug smuggling in the 1960s and ‘70s.   Details and Tickets

SALERO (U.S.A., Bolivia) (Mike Plunkett)

This sumptuous, meditative documentary transports viewers to Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. There we meet a traditional salt gatherer whose generations-deep lifestyle is on the brink of change, with the discovery of a precious mineral bringing international attention and big-money interests to the remote region.   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Animated Shorts (Various)

Bacon & God's Wrath Directed by Sol Friedman 9 minutes
Bob Dylan Hates Me Directed by Caveh Zahedi 6 minutes
The Creature Directed by Jesse Damazo 11 minutes
Glove Alexa Lim Haas, Bernardo Britto 6 minutes
Hi-Rage Directed by Circle Line Projects 3 minutes
The Itching Directed by Dianne Bellino 15 minutes
Love Directed by Réka Bucsi, France/Hungary 14 minutes
Perfect Houseguest Directed by Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter 2 minutes
Playdead Directed by Oscar González Luna, Mexico 3 minutes
Pussy! Directed by Ana Mouyis 4 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Avant-Garde Shorts (Various)

Anthem Directed by Robert Todd 3'
Banzo Directed by Pedro Henrique Brum Gossler 15'
Dark Logic Directed by Margaret Rorison 5'
The Domestic Life of a Housecat Directed by Marnie Ellen 4'
Hotel 22 Directed by Elizabeth Lo 9'
The Man From Hong Kong Directed by Karen Yasinsky 7'
One Document for Hope Directed by Margaret Rorison 8'
Open Hearing Directed by Brian Ashby, John Corbett, and Terri Kapsalis 10"
Peace In The Absence of War Directed by Theo Anthony 5'
Sentient 1 Directed by Ashley Sabin 4'
Sentient 2 Directed by Ivetta Kang & Ashley Sabin 4'
A Tone Halfway Between Lightness and Darkness Directed by Kelly Sears 8'
Writing History with Lightning Directed by Nadia Hironaka, Matthew Suib 10'   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: CH-CH-CH-CH-Changes Shorts (Various)

Adam Imitating Art Directed by Chris Hogan Roy 19 minutes
Dirt Directed by Darius Clark Monroe 7 minutes
Eden Directed by Andreá Venitucci 10 minutes
Fog Directed by Chelsea Woods 13 minutes
Hux Directed by Mageina Tovah 12 minutes
Minor Setback Directed by Augustine Frizzell 11 minutes
Pronouns Directed by Michael Paulucci 10 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Character Study Shorts (Various)

The Boardwalk Directed by Ougie Pak 13 minutes
Dogsbody Directed by Josh Crockett 8 minutes
Hang Loose Directed by Patrick Brice, Sammy Harkham 8 minutes
Last Tattoo Directed by Robert Redfern 9 minutes
Lewis Directed by Fantavious Fritz 14 minutes
Valeria Directed by Erin Vassilopoulos 20 minutes
Vincent Directed by Tati Barrantes 13 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Comedy Shorts (Various)

Dealing with Dana Directed by Nigel DeFriez 16 minutes
The First Men Directed by Benjamin Kegan 14 minutes
Join The Club Directed by Eva Vives 5 minutes
Just a Song Directed by Gina Hirsch 6 minutes
Killer Directed by Matt Kazman 20 minutes
Lancaster, CA Directed by Mike Ott 12 minutes
Savasana Directed by Brandon Daley 10 minutes
Thunder Road Directed by Jim Cummings 13 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Documentary Shorts (Various)

The Boatman Directed by Zack Godshall 14 minutes
The Champion Patrick McGowan and Brett Garamella 18 minutes
The Dean Scream Directed by Bryan Storkel 11 minutes
The Rocket On The Roof Directed by Josh Polon and Ryan Maxey 14 minutes
Two Cities Directed by Darius Monroe 13 minutes
The Unrelenting Charlie Davies Directed by Bryan Reisberg 16 minutes
When AIDS Was Funny Directed by Scott Calonico 8 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Every Short For Itself And WTF Shorts Against All (Various)

Beacon Directed by Benjamin Wright Smith 6 minutes
The Bulb Directed by Calvin Reeder 12 minutes
Dear Cindy Directed by Jason Giampietro 5 minutes
Door on the Left Directed by Kati Skelton, Harrison Atkins 6 minutes
Gwilliam Directed by Brian Lonano 6 minutes
Ham Heads Directed by Efren Hernandez 11 minutes
My Last Film Directed by Zia Anger 9 minutes
New Vista Directed by Matthew Sullivan 8 minutes
The Procedure Directed by Calvin Reeder 4 minutes
Riot Directed by Nathan Silver 4 minutes
Stripper Wars Directed by Giancarlo Loffredo 7 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Genre Shorts (Various)

The Child and the Dead Directed by Marc and Karina Ripper 18 minutes
A Film By Vera Vaughn Directed by Sorrel Brae 11 minutes
Lightning In The Hand Directed by Joey Grossfield 16 minutes
The Morrigan Directed by Colum Eastwood 16 minutes
The Puppet Man Directed by Jacqueline Castel 10 minutes
Sisters Directed by Chris Osborn 21 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: International Shorts (Various)

Four Corners of a Circle aka Las cuatro esquinas del circulo Directed by Katarina Stankovic, Germany/Mexico/Serbia 25 minutes

In / Out aka In/Ut Directed by Olivier Guerpillon, Sweden 22 minutes

The Pain Directed by Ali Asgari, Iran/France 16 minutes

Semele Directed by Myrsini Aristidou, Cyprus/Greece/USA 14 minutes

You and Me aka ÞÚ OG ÉG Directed by Asa Hjörleifsdóttir, Iceland 14 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Narrative Shorts (Various)

Baby Teeth Directed by Stephanie Ellis 14 minutes
The Confidential Informant Directed by Stephen Kinigopoulos 21 minutes
Forest Born Directed by Josh Peterson 23 minutes
Mountain Low Directed by Andy Bruntel 18 minutes
Vamonos Directed by Marvin Bryan Lemus 12 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHORTS: Shorts Quartet (Various)

Bev Directed by Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik 26 minutes
Canary Directed by Marie Schlingmann 12 minutes
La Espera Directed by Juan Pablo González 19 minutes
Oh My Father Directed by Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck 11 minutes   Details and Tickets

SHU-DE! (Michael R. Faulkner)

FRIDAY SCREENING ADDED! 11:10am Friday 5/6, Baltimore Museum of Art! When Baltimore-based beatboxer and vocal percussionist Shodekeh meets the Alash Ensemble, masters of the art of Tuvan throat singing, his life and art take on an exciting new dimension. This joyous, exploratory documentary follows him on his travels to Kyzyl, Tuva to study their music and culture, and participate in a prestigious music festival—with many exciting musical collaborations along the way.    Details and Tickets

Slash (Clay Liford)

Two high-school students—shy and awkward Neil (Michael Johnston) and brash, confident Julia (Hannah Marks) form a unlikely bond when they find they both publish work in an adult forum for erotic fan fiction. But their relationship becomes more complex once they both come to the attention of the site’s moderator, Denis (Michael Ian Black). This tender, sly, and hilarious new film from the director of Wuss (MDFF 2011) offers a warm look at a rich subculture.   Details and Tickets

Stray, A (Musa Syeed)

When Adan accidentally strikes a dog while on the job as a deliveryman; he feels a responsibility to the animal, even as his beliefs lead him to see it as impure. What follows is an insightful and direct slice of contemporary neo-realism set in Minneapolis’ vibrant Somali population.   Details and Tickets

Trapped (Dawn Porter)

In many states, particularly in the South, laws have been passed under the pretense of regulating reproductive-health services that have in effect made it nearly or fully impossible for abortion providers to keep their doors open. The providers in this documentary explain their motivations for the work they do, and for maintaining their practices under new constraints.   Details and Tickets

Under the Shadow (Jordan/Qatar/UK) (Babak Anvari)

During the Iran-Iraq war, a mother seeks to calm and protect her young daughter. But when a missile hits their apartment building, tension turns to terror in this fresh and inventive horror film.   Details and Tickets

Untouchable (David Feige)

This challenging documentary brings nuance and complexity to an issue that too often has none: sex-offender laws and registries. Examining particularly punitive laws, it argues that measures that may have been intended to protect are sometimes themselves obstacles preventing redemption, closure, and functional lives.   Details and Tickets