2019 FILM GUIDE

MARYLAND FILM FESTIVAL

May 8-12 in Baltimore's Station North

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Baltimore & Maryland

World & North American Premieres
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Opening Night Shorts
MdFF's signature Opening Night Shorts Gala is curated from the finest in short films that come into our orbit in a given year.

John Waters Presents: Mom and Dad
Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.

American Factory
In 2014, a Chinese billionaire opened a Fuyao factory in a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio. American Factory takes us inside the facility to observe what happens when workers from profoundly different cultures collide.

The Art of Self-Defense
The Art of Self-Defense stars Jesse Eisenberg and is set in the world of karate. Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic Sensei (Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself.

Before You Know It
A long kept family secret thrusts codependent, thirty-something sisters Rachel and Jackie Gurner into a literal soap opera. A journey that proves you really can come of age, at any age.

Being Impossible
A young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersex body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries.

Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine
Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine's wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld
A Danish filmmaker and private investigator team up to uncover the mystery behind the 1961 plane crash of United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, leading viewers down a wild rabbit hole.

Decade of Fire
In the 1970s, maligned and neglected by the city government, the Bronx was on fire. Bronx native Vivian Vazquez exposes the truth about the borough’s sordid history and reveals how her embattled community chose to resist, remain and rebuild.

Donbass
In eastern Ukraine, society begins to degrade as the effects of propaganda and manipulation begin to surface in this post-truth era.

Fig Tree
Ethiopian-Israeli writer-director Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian makes a startlingly confident feature debut with this story of lives torn asunder by civil war. Set in Addis Ababa in 1989, Fig Tree follows a teenage girl's harrowing coming of age.

Frances Ferguson
Discontent with her mundane life, a substitute teacher has an affair with a student in this dry black comedy (narrated by Nick Offerman).

Gospel According to Al Green
The story of R&B singer Al Green, who gave up a successful singing career to become a gospel minister.

Greener Grass
A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one.

Ham on Rye
A bizarre rite of passage at the local deli determines the fate of a generation of teenagers, leading some to escape their suburban town and dooming others to remain…

The Hottest August
A film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.

In Fabric
IN FABRIC is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences…

Knives and Skin
A tender, feminist teen noir that redefines the high school movie.

Manta Ray
A fisherman rescues and befriends an injured man with no name. When the fisherman disappears at sea, the man begins to assume his identity.

Mickey and the Bear
Faced with the responsibility to take care of her addict, veteran father, headstrong teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat. When she has the opportunity to leave for good, she must choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment.

Midnight Traveler
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows the danger of their odyssey and the tremendous love shared between them.

Mike Wallace Is Here
A look at the career of '60 Minutes' newsman, Mike Wallace.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
The life and career of musical giant and cultural icon Miles Davis, a true visionary, innovator and originator who defied categorization and embodied the word: cool.

The Mountain
A well known physician (Jeff Goldblum), in the decline of his career, takes a young man (Tye Sheridan) on a desperate tour of rural mid-century hospitals, advocating for a new controversial procedure.

One Man Dies a Million Times
A true story, set in the future. About seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, about hunger of all kinds. About what it means to be human, even when all your humanity is stripped away.

Other Music
For 20 years indie record store Other Music was an influential hub of music culture in NYC. Featuring Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Interpol and more, the film reminds us that the spirit of the much-loved destination will live on.

Pahokee
In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year.

Premature
The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider, Isaiah; and her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love against a changing Harlem landscape.

Ray & Liz
Photographer Richard Billingham returns to the squalid council flat outside of Birmingham where he and his brother were raised, in a confrontation and reconciliation with parents Ray and Liz.

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
Beginning in the 1970s, Marion Stokes recorded an incredible 70,000 VHS tapes of unfiltered daily television. Revisited through the lens of today’s media landscape, Stokes’ life’s work becomes an extraordinary archive of television—and American—history.

South Mountain
When her teenagers head off to camp and her husband abruptly leaves her to begin a new family, Lila is left to her own curious and chaotic devices for a summer in her rural home in the Catskill mountains.

Swarm Season
A sensory opus from the volcanic island of Hawaii, where honeybees, the original people's cosmology and a NASA project are all part of a thought-provoking ecosystem.

Tito
Paralyzed by fear of the outside world, a traumatized man seeks refuge in an abandoned house until the arrival of a cheerfully intrusive neighbor. Winner of the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award at South by Southwest.

Well Groomed
Follow four champion groomers and their gorgeous, vibrant dogs through a year in the life on the technicolor competition circuit, playfully exploring their creative process.

Who Let the Dogs Out
The origin story of the smash hit “Who Let the Dogs Out” goes back further than anyone could have imagined; steeped in legal battles, female empowerment and artist integrity, which beckons the question: will we ever know who let the dogs out?

Shorts: Altered States
MdFF 2019 presents a collection of mind-expanding short films guaranteed to take you on a psychedleic journey through the darkness and the light.

Shorts: Animation
A rich collection of animated shorts produced using a broad range of techniques, from the painstakingly handmade to the meticulously digital. These films bring visual pleasures and splendors unique to their respective mediums.

Shorts: Balti-Shorts
Comprised of five incredible Baltimore-made films (3 documentaries and 2 narratives), our first-ever Balti-Shorts program sees these films in conversation with one another about our beloved city.

Shorts: Chance Encounters
A program of shorts revolving around the random nature of life—the way chance encounters can effect change and create unintended consequences.

Shorts: Character Study
This captivating assortment of shorts focuses on incisive, character-driven narratives, showcasing an array of personalities and varied lives on screen.

Shorts: Charged Spaces
These dramatic gems envelop characters within contentious and powerfully resonant scenes. In them, figures combat physical threats, rehashed memories, and awkward exchanges.

Shorts: Comedy
Whether fueled by chuckles found in the absurd, or the painful truths hidden in dark humor, these shorts are sometimes funny haha and sometimes funny oh no!

Shorts: Diverging Forms
A progressive program of short films that boldly eschew the traditions of form, time and content; Diverging Forms shorts push the boundaries of cinematic creativity into breathtaking new directions.

Shorts: Documentary
An eclectic array of short-form non-fiction films.

Shorts: Narrative
This dynamic, globetrotting collection of shorts offers supremely enjoyable episodes of storytelling in brief. Those on the hunt for engaging tales told from beginning to end, need not look beyond this showcase of narrative skill and rigor.

Shorts: One WTFs, the Other Doesn’t…
Hilarious, perplexing, and boldly transgressive in equal measure, MdFFs signature WTF Shorts offer a uniquely invigorating ride that won't easily be forgotten.

Shorts: Unorthodocs
This innovative collection plays in the gray, showcasing works on the cusp of multiple genres. Beyond mere documentary, these works astutely blend aspects of narrative, animation, comedy, or the avant-garde into markedly nontraditional frameworks.