Chesapeake Film Festival rolls out red carpet
EASTON — The 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival is set for this weekend, with a record 48 films to be shown.
The 11th annual festival will be held Oct. 11 to 14 at the Avalon Theatre and Academy Art Museum in Easton; the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels; and Cambridge Premier Cinemas and the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge.
In addition to the movies, the festival will offer opportunities to meet filmmakers, participate in discussions and attended receptions and other events.
The documentary “New Chefs on the Block” will open the festival on Thursday, Oct. 11.
Two chefs in Washington, D.C., struggle to open and maintain their first restaurants. Against all odds, one becomes Bon Appetit Magazine‘s Best New Restaurant in America. The other is forced to redefine success. The film, directed by Dustin Harrison Atlas, stars Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly ... Pizza, with cameos by chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer (Shake Shack, Union Square Café) and Mike Isabella (Bravo “Top Chef” Allstar), and Washington Post food writer
Tim Carman. The festival will host an all-star reception with local gourmet chefs at the Academy Art Museum before the screening at the Avalon Theatre. Businesses providing hors d’oeuvres and desserts will include Gourmet by the Bay, The Wylder Hotel, Stars Restaurant from the Inn at Perry Cabin, Limoncello Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Bistro St. Michaels and Flying Fork Catering.
Friday, Oct. 12, at the Avalon will start with a clayon-glass animation, “The Elephant’s Song,” directed by local artist Lynn Tomlinson. From the animated short, the festival will move to a stunning feature-length documentary, “Into the Okavango,” which tells the story of a NATGEO expedition to Botswana with a mission to help preserve the delta, all the animals and land surrounding it, and the people who live there.
The finale of the day, “In the Executioner’s Shadow,” casts a look at the consequences of the death penalty through three stories, including the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person. This film will be screened again Saturday at Cambridge Premier Cinemas. The filmmakers and the subjects of the film will lead discussions after the screenings.
Making Waves at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
The Chesapeake Bay will be the focus of a full day of environmental filmmaking curated by filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The day will conclude with the premiere of a new film by Tom Horton, Dave Harp and Cannon-Brown, “An Island Out of Time,” about Smith Island. The icing on the cake, figuratively and literally, will be a reception with Maryland’s state dessert, the Smith Island multi-layer cake.
The environmental program also will include a double feature of films by Roger Sorkin and the American Resilience Project, including the East Coast premiere of a new film about the transformation of America’s electric grid, “Current Revolution.” The other film, “Tidewater,” looks at the ravages of climate change, sea level rise and erosion on the military
installations in the Tidewater area of Virginia.
The CBMM lineup also includes a sneak preview of a short film by Cannon-Brown, “Edna E. Lockwood: Bottoms Up!,” about the three-year restoration of an 1889 nine-log bugeye in the museum’s shipyard. Edna will relaunch two weeks after the Chesapeake Film Festival, during the museum’s Oct. 27 Oysterfest.
Saturday in Easton
The Avalon and Academy Art Museum will offer a mix of stories on Saturday.
Features at the Avalon: “Boko Haram: Journey from Evil,” which goes beyond the headlines to profile the efforts of everyday Nigerians to stand up against the terrorist group, which has killed, kidnapped and displaced millions of people; “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” is a meditative documentary that immerses viewers in the work of a revolutionary landscape designer; “Moving Stories” brings us six dancers from an acclaimed New York company who travel the world to work with youth who have experienced war, poverty, sexual exploitation, extreme prejudice and severe trauma as refugees; and “Searching for Ingmar Bergman” is an intimate profile of a director who is considered one of the most important filmmakers of all time.
At the Academy Art Museum: Two programs of shorts will bookend the documentary feature “Saving Sea Turtles.” Narrated by marine scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, it highlights the work that is being done to save a species from extinction. The lineup of shorts includes “Riverment” by Shayla Racquel, a government employee by day and award-winning student filmmaker by night. Her film is the story of a former civil rights activist who fears for the safety of her granddaughter, who is following in her footsteps. In “Othello-san,” a young African-American actor is cast as the lead in Shakespeare’s “Othello” at a prestigious theater school in Japan, but his dreams of stardom are tempered by an intemperate instructor.
At the Dorchester Center for the Arts and Cambridge Premier Cinemas
At the Dorchester Center for the Arts, the evening feature of “Moving Stories” will provide a second venue for lovers of dance. The afternoon selections will include a series of shorts and a feature, “The Sentence,” focusing on social justice. Shorts will include “Othello-san” and “Jabari Keating,” a firstperson narrative that explores personal reflections about life as an African-American in America today.
The documentary “In the Executioner’s Shadow,” which will be screened Friday in Easton, will come to Cambridge Premier Cinemas Saturday afternoon. Lighter fare will continue throughout the day with “Up to Snuff,” about American musician and composer W.G. Snuffy Walden. If you don’t the name, you know his music from such TV shows as “The West Wing,” “The Wonder Years” and “Thirtysomething.” “Poured in Pennsylvania” is about the redeveloped beer industry and its impact in Pennsylvania. And there’s “Five Days in August,” which follows two teams competing in the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament — the White Marlin Open in Ocean City.
Highlights of Sunday, Oct. 14, will include “I, Matter,” produced by festival board member Alexis Nichols and directed by its star, Llysa Rie, who will share her story of living with AIDS on screen and on stage at the Academy Art Museum.
Beauty and brains are the subjects of two films at the Avalon. The afternoon will start with “The Gardener,” a walk through the gardens of Les Quatre Vents with influential gardener and horticulturalist Frank Cabot.
The closing night film tells a story that sounds like fiction but isn’t. “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” is about the astounding, but little-known, talents of a Hollywood bombshell off-screen. Lamarr helped develop a secret radio system that allowed the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-Boats with deadly accuracy. The nephew of her partner in the invention, musician George Antheil, will share anecdotes with the audience after the film.
An awards ceremony and reception will close the festival.
Tickets are $12 for a single movie. One-day passes (Saturday or Sunday) are $40.
A pass allowing access to all screenings is $95. New this year, the Super Inclusive Film and Reception Pass, which provides entry to all films and receptions, is $150.
For the full schedule and tickets, visit www. chesapeakefilmfestival.com.
“Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” will be screened during the 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival in October.
“Riverment” will be screened at the 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival in October.
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” is the closing night selection of the 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival.
“Saving Sea Turtles” will be screened at the 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival in October.