Chesapeake Film Festival continues today
EASTON — It’s big weekend in the area for movielovers, celebrity followers and name-droppers.
The 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival has film buffs ducking in and out of theaters in Cambridge, St. Michaels and Easton, and the fun continues through Sunday.
A record 48 films over four days are being shown, 38 of which have never been screened in Maryland before. There also is one sneak preview.
Thursday evening, the festival opened with a gala reception at the Academy Art Museum and film showing at the Avalon Theatre that featured a few Hollywood directors and movie stars.
And it was all about food — the reception, the guests, the stars and the opening movie. Movielovers noshed on gourmet treats and sipped on cocktails from Bistro St. Michaels, Flying Fork Catering, Gourmet by the Bay, Limoncello, Stars
Restaurant at the Inn at Perry Cabin, Scossa Restaurant and Lounge, Wydler Hotel and Hair o’ the Dog.
The opening night movie in Easton was “New Chefs on the Block,” a Maryland premier showing. Chef Drew Adams and restaurant founder Frank Linn were among the film’s celebrities present in the audience.
The film’s director, Dustin Harrison-Atlas, followed the showing with a special appearance and discussion.
“We are very fortunate to have the filmmaker here,” said Jack Gerbes of the Maryland Film Office. “You’re not going to get that opportunity sitting in your living room. So take advantage of this.”
“He had an opportunity to interview Barack Obama this evening,” the festival’s artistic director Cid Collins Walker said, “but he elected to be here with all of us.”
Actress Robin Wright, who most recently starred in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” also was in the audience. The series is filming its last season.
Since “House of Cards” is filmed in Mar yland, Gerbes gave some Mar yland Film Office statistics about how much money movie production can bring to an area.
He said during its six seasons, “House of Cards” has had an economic impact in the state of more than $740 million, created thousands of jobs, and purchased goods and ser vices from over 25,000 Mar yland businesses.
Wright has had a long, varied career with probably her most famous roles being Princess Buttercup in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride” and Jenny in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump.”
But it’s really the film buffs that the weekend is all about, Walker said.
“I also like to say that the silver screen is a different dimension than watching Netflix,” she said, “as much as I like Netflix.”
“Film is magical. It’s powerful, it brings us together, and I think more than anything, for me, it brings a dimension of emotion that no other medium has the ability to do,” Walker said.
“This is a four-day festival, and we have been fortunate to support the festival since its inception,” Gerbes said. “But its not just four days.”
He said festival Executive Director Karen Footner, Walker, President George Nilson and the rest of the board work 365 days a year to make it happen.
Collins specially thanked the festival partners Academy Art Museum, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Dorchester Center for the Arts and Cambridge Premier Cinemas.
Sunday, Oct. 14, the viewing will continue with movies being shown starting at 1 p.m. through the dinnertime hours at the Academy Art Museum, Cambridge Premier Cinemas and Avalon Theatre.
At the Academy Art Museum, the offerings will be a smorgasbord of short films with a question-and-answer segment until about 4:30 p.m., then the feature film “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf,” ending at about 6 p.m.
At Cambridge Premier Cinemas, an environmental shorts program with a panel discussion will begin the afternoon, followed by a feature and shorts combination of “The Elephant’s Song” and “Into the Okavango” with discussion. The final film in Cambridge will be the feature film “Saving Sea Turtle: Preventing Extinction” starting at 5 p.m.
At the Avalon Theatre, the short films “I Matter” and “Riverment” will start at 1 p.m. with questionand-answer segments, followed by shorts “Voices/Peace” and “Boko Haram: Journey from Evil” with discussion.
At 5 p.m., the festival’s only showing of the two-hour film “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” will cap the weekend.
A famous actress of the 1940s, most do not know Hedy Lamarr also was an inventor. The film will be followed by a discussion with the nephew of George Antheil, a friend of and co-inventor with Lamarr.
The festival’s closing reception and awards will begin at 7 p.m. at the Avalon.
The Chesapeake Film Festival is made possible by the Talbot County Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Maryland Film Office and Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
For information and tickets, visit www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com.
Cid Collins Walker, artistic director of the Chesapeake Film Festival, helps introduce the first film on Thursday evening, Oct. 11, at the Avalon Theatre.
Jack Gerbes of the Maryland Film Office helps introduce the first film of the Chesapeake Film Festival on Thursday evening, Oct. 11, at the Avalon Theatre.
Volunteers Carol Peach-Woods, left, and Victoria Willits are all smiles on opening night of the Chesapeake Film Festival, during the Academy Art Museum’s gala reception.