The first film we showed in the first Maryland Film Festival, 18 years ago, was a film by Barry Levinson. It was the first screening of a documentary he’d been making about the guys he grew up with and later fictionalized in the first film Barry both wrote and directed, Diner. The film was a critical sensation, and launched the careers of an amazing list of actors—Ellen Barkin, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, and Daniel Stern, to name a few.
Discovering actors and drawing out great performances has been a hallmark of Barry’s career. An extraordinary number of actors have been nominated for awards in Barry Levinson films, and you will often notice yet-to-be discovered stars in smaller roles (an 18-year-old Kristen Stewart as De Niro’s daughter in 2008’s What Just Happened is one more recent example).
Since that opening night, we have been honored to bring Barry back to his home town for screenings of a number of his films, and for two memorable MdFF fundraising events: the first time Barry, David Simon and John Waters were ever together; and the 30th Anniversary Diner event with Barry and cast members.
We are honored that Barry Levinson’s most recent film will be the first to screen in the Parkway. HBO Films’ The Wizard of Lies examines Bernie Madoff ’s Ponzi scheme–his deception, lies and cover-up, all as the financier’s wife and sons are catapulted into a harsh and unrelenting spotlight. The film debuts Saturday, May 20th on HBO. (Jed Dietz)
Courtesy of HBO Films
For sold-out screenings standby tickets will be available in-person at the venue. Please arrive early to increase your chance of standby entry.