Chesapeake Film Fest rolls out red carpet
EASTON — Keep an eye out — you just might spot a movie star walking down Harrison Street or on the golf course at the Talbot Country Club Sunday. There are plenty of them to be found during this Chesapeake Film Festival weekend.
Friday night, Oct. 27, the festival opened with a reception at Troika Gallery, where film buffs hobnobbed with Hollywood greatness such as John O’Hurley, who flew in from Hollywood, Calif., just for the festival.
O’Hurley is one of the stars of “Swing Away,” a “dramedy” filmed in Greece about the power of love and golf.
He also is widely known from his longtime role on the TV show “Seinfeld” as Elaine’s eccentric boss J. Peterman.
He was joined by several of the film’s producers and writers on the red carpet Friday evening.
Producer George Elias Stephanopoulos, executive producer and writer Paul Robert Lingas and producers Stamatios Tom Hiotis and John Paterakis were in Easton, too.
“Swing Away” was the opening film of the festival, which organizers said was a light-hearted offering, but the general tone was set to get more serious on
Saturday, when the festival treated viewers to an entire day of films on climate change.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s film that he produced and narrated, “Before the Flood,” gives a scientific perspective on the enormity and implications of the warming of planet earth.
The Eastern Shore was showcased in films such as “High Tide in Dorchester,” “Waterman” and “The Ballad of Holland Island House.”
Viewers also got a chance to see the sequel to Al Gore’s 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” titled “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” which is not yet available for licensing.
“Our message this year is global,” said Cid Collins Walker, artistic director of the festival. “We’ve brought Leonardo DiCaprio’s film in this year, which is from Nat Geo.”
“We’re facing huge problems environmentally,” Walker said. “Serious rising tides, it’s affecting Dorchester. It’s affecting people. How do we solve it?”
She talked about the film “High Tide in Dorchester” with locals Tom Horton writing, David Harp directing and Sandy Cannon-Brown producing.
“This is a really important film for this region,” she said.
On this, the 10th anniversary of the festival, festival organizers are celebrating the festival’s popularity and what seems to be a steady supply of artistic genius in the medium of film locally, as well as nationally and internationally.
“A film festival is about the silver screen,” Walker said. “And it arches back to the ‘20s. It’s really, really important for American history. Not only for younger artists but for the future of cinema. All of these films are enduring. They are indelible marks.”
The films on climate change will be repeated for viewers to watch during Sunday’s schedule of the film festival.
While the reality of planet earth’s predicament is certainly profound, film has a way of satisfying the needs of many types of viewers and the Chesapeake Film Festival has something for ever yone.
Along with environmental films, the lineup Sunday features a smorgasbord of shorts and feature-length films, such as science fiction, fantasy, adventure and documentaries.
Some of the area’s most ardent filmmaking wannabees will be having a debut Sunday, as a whole block of student work will be shown at the Academy Art Museum at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday’s films will take place at the Academy Art Museum, Cambridge Premier Cinemas and Easton Premier Cinemas.
Those being shown at the Academy Art Museum on Sunday begin with “Emily Mason,” 11 a.m.; “Alpha GO,” 11:30 a.m.; a showcase of student films, including those from Easton High School, 1:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at 2:45 p.m.; “William Wyler: The Films and the Music,” 4:30 p.m.; and a 6 p.m. festival awards ceremony and reception.
Sunday’s films at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas start at 10 a.m. with a group of shorts: “When I Plant a Tree,” “Fishermen Without a Sea,” “The Next Epoch Seed Library” and “Last Boat Out.”
Environmental films will continue all day including “Before the Flood,” 11:15 a.m.; “From the Ashes,” 1:15 p.m.; a 3 p.m. cluster of shorts “Waterman,” “The Ballad of Holland Island House” and “High Tide in Dorchester;” “Oyster,” 4:30 p.m.; “The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague,” 6:15 p.m.; and the last film in Cambridge is “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Sunday’s festival lineup at Easton Premier Cinemas is “The Race of Gentlemen” and “Tinker,” both shown simultaneously at 10 a.m. in two auditoriums, followed by “Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Love Poems,” 11:30 a.m.; “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” 1:30 p.m.; “Before the Flood,” 3:30 p.m.; the four environmental shorts, 5:30 p.m.; three environmental shorts, 7:30 p.m.; and beginning at 8:30 p.m., the last film “The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague.”
The Chesapeake Film Festival is sponsored by the Maryland Film Office, Maryland State Arts Council and Talbot County Arts Council.
Other sponsors include the Talbot County Free Library, UMCES Horn Point Lab, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, Premier Cinemas Triton Entertainment, Academy Art Museum, Black Opal Productions, W. C. & A. N. Miller Realtors, Kimberly Skyrme Casting, Mid-Shore Community Foundation Artistic Insight Fund, Ravenal Foundation, Town Creek Foundation, Ted and Jim Pedas, and Mr. and Mrs. Angelo H. Magafan.
Media sponsors include Discover Easton, The Talbot and Chestertown Spy, What’s Up? Magazine, Attraction Magazine, The Star Democrat and WCEM Radio.
Award judges were Lamont Easter, Bonnie McDaniel and the programming committee.
For more information, visit www.chesapeakefilmfestival. com.
John O’Hurley, left, one of the stars of “Swing Away,” poses for the cameras with Chesapeake Film Festival Artistic Director Cid Collins Walker during the opening reception Friday at Troika Gallery. O’Hurley flew in from Hollywood and was in Talbot County for the festival. He was scheduled to play golf at the Talbot Country Club during the weekend.
Some of the principals who worked on the movie “Swing Away” smile for the cameras during the Chesapeake Film Festival. From left: producer George Elias Stephanopoulos, executive producer and writer Paul Robert Lingas, Maryland Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, actor John O’Hurley, producer Stamatios Tom Hiotis and producer John Paterakis. O’Hurley is widely known for his role in the TV series “Seinfeld,” portraying Elaine’s eccentric boss J. Peterman.