UPCOMING EVENTS
May 07, 2014

The 2014 Maryland Film Festival will take place May 7-11 in downtown Baltimore!

16th Annual Maryland Film Festival!
Apr 24, 2014

Sneak preview of WALKING WITH THE ENEMY at the Charles Theater at 7:30pm.  Free passes for Friends of the Festival!

WALKING WITH THE ENEMY Sneak Preview 4/24!
RECENT EVENTS
Apr 23, 2014

Sneak preview of NEIGHBORS starring Seth Rogen at AMC Owings Mills, 7:30pm!  Free passes for Friends of the Festival!

NEIGHBORS Sneak Preview at AMC Owings Mills!
Apr 22, 2014

Sneak preview of THE OTHER WOMAN at Cinemark Egyptian, 7:00pm.  Limited number of free passes for Friends of the Festival! 

THE OTHER WOMAN Sneak Preview 4/22!
Apr 21, 2014

MFF & JHU present UNMANNED: AMERICA'S DRONE WARS with Robert Greenwald at JHU's Hodson Hall, 7:30pm.  FREE for FOFs!

JHU & MFF Present UNMANNED: AMERICA'S DRONE WARS
FILM GUIDE
!ABUSE OF WEAKNESS, hosted by John Waters
Directed By: Catherine Breillat
Hosted/Presented By: John Waters

Beginning with its inaugural year in 1999, each Maryland Film Festival has included a favorite film selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker (and MFF board member) John Waters. This year’s selection is Abuse of Weakness, the latest feature from Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, Romance). The film stars Isabelle Huppert as a filmmaker who suffers a stroke and, on the path to recovery, welcomes notorious hustler Vilko Piran (French rapper/producer Kool Shen) into her life. This brave and extraordinary work tells a painful and very personal story that parallels Breillat’s own recent real-life experiences.

!BARBARELLA, 35mm print hosted by Matmos
Directed By: Roger Vadim
Hosted/Presented By: Matmos

Roger Vadim’s wild and irreverent 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella has been a source of direct inspiration for Baltimore-based electronic-music duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt): as part of Barbarella (Jane Fonda)’s mission, she must survive the decadent city Sogo’s evil slime, Matmos. Whether it’s your first time seeing this cult classic or your hundredth, join us in submitting to the irrepressible adventures of Barbarella and dashing rebel leader Dildano!

!HE WHO GETS SLAPPED, with live original score by Alloy Orchestra
Hosted/Presented By: Alloy Orchestra

Each Maryland Film Festival since 2003 has included a silent feature or short-film program presented with live music by Alloy Orchestra (Terry Donahue, Ken Winokur, and Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller). Victor Sjöström’s 1924 drama stars Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, and John Gilbert in telling the story of a scientist who, betrayed by his superior and abandoned by his wife, starts a new life as a circus clown outside Paris.

!LIQUID SKY, 35mm print hosted by director Slava Tsukerman
Directed By: Slava Tsukerman
Hosted/Presented By: Slava Tsukerman

1982 underground hit Liquid Sky is a high-concept science-fiction film set in Manhattan against a new-wave backdrop, telling the story of heroin-hungry aliens who discover that the human orgasm provides a kick stronger than any drug. Known for its eerie electronic soundtrack, brash neon post-punk aesthetic, and as a time capsule of a crucial moment in the downtown New York arts scene, the film was also ahead of its time in its unfettered exploration of sexuality and gender. Liquid Sky will be presented by director Slava Tsukerman from his own 35mm print, with filmmaker and Tsukerman colleague Clay Liford (Earthling, Wuss) moderating the Q+A.

!PUTNEY SWOPE, hosted by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky
Directed By: Robert Downey, Sr.
Hosted/Presented By: DJ Spooky

Robert Downey, Sr.’s countercultural landmark Putney Swope (1969) stars Arnold Johnson as the new head of a formerly conservative advertising agency, who transforms the company into the bold and revolutionary Black Power operation Truth and Soul, Inc. This special screening has been curated by musician, composer, multimedia artist, and author Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, who will introduce the film.

ACTRESS
Directed By: Robert Greene

Brandy Burre had a recurring role on HBO’s The Wire before giving up her career to start a family. When she decides to reclaim her life as an actor years later, the domestic world she’s carefully created crumbles around her. The latest non-fiction film from the director of Fake It So Real (MFF 2011).

APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT
Directed By: Amanda Wilder

This documentary recalls the pioneering early work of Frederick Wiseman as it embeds viewers in the inaugural year of a democratic free school where classes are voluntary and children and staff have equal votes in creating the rules.

ART AND CRAFT
Directed By: Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman

For several decades, gifted and incredibly prolific forger Mark Landis compulsively created impeccable copies of works by a variety of major artists, donating them to institutions across the country and landing pieces on many of their walls. Art and Craft brings us into the cluttered and insular life of an unforgettable character just as he finds his foil in an equally obsessive art registrar. 

AUCTION, THE
Directed By: Sébastien Pilote

This poignant character study from Quebec follows a sheep farmer who’s stayed true to the way of life he inherited from his father even as, one by one, his neighbors sell off their farms to developers. As he reaches old age, his two daughters come back into his life in ways that change him forever.

BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE
Directed By: Mary Posatko, Emily Topper

One night in 1972, a murder rocked a Baltimore family. Years later, Emily Topper returns to the city, seeking closure for a crime that has haunted her family over 40 years—and uncovers complex issues of race and class in the process.

BUZZARD
Directed By: Joel Potrykus

In the unnerving and darkly comic tradition of Frownland and Bad Fever comes the story of Marty, a bored and angry office worker who takes his penchant for cheating the system over the edge. Fresh from screenings at SXSW and New Directors/New Films.

CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU
Directed By: Chris LaMartina

Baltimore-based D.I.Y. horror helmer Chris LaMartina’s latest tells the Lovecraft-inspired story of a virginal artist who falls in love with a call girl that turns out to be the chosen bride of the alien god Cthulhu.

CASE AGAINST 8, THE
Directed By: Ben Cotner, Ryan White

With the passing of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, the right for same-sex couples to marry was repealed. A very unlikely pair of lawyers—Theodore Olson and David Boies, who faced off during Bush v. Gore—decided to challenge Prop 8, and take their case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. This riveting documentary offers remarkable access as it follows that fight from day one to its emotional conclusion. 

CELESTIAL WIVES OF THE MEADOW MARI
Directed By: Aleksey Fedorchenko

From the writer/director team behind 2010’s Silent Souls comes this frank exploration of the sex lives of female members of the Meadow Mari, a western Russian ethnic group that prizes fertility, beauty, and happiness.

CLUB SANDWICH
Directed By: Fernando Eimbcke

Poignant drama, gentle comedy, and a hint of transgression mix brilliantly as we observe the coming of age of a 15-year-old teen vacationing with his single mother in a sleepy Mexican beachfront resort. From the director of Lake Tahoe and Duck Season.

 

DEEP CITY: THE BIRTH OF THE MIAMI SOUND
Directed By: Dennis Scholl, Marlon Johnson, Chad Tingle

While the soulful sounds of Detroit and Memphis are celebrated worldwide thanks to influential labels like Motown and Stax, the 1960s and 1970s saw explosions of soul and funk scenes throughout the country. Deep City mixes wonderful music and archival footage with new interviews as it documents the songwriters, performers, and entrepreneurs behind a vibrant Miami record label that should’ve been huge. 

 

Screening with THE HIGH FIVE - Directed by Michael Jacobs

The origin of the seemingly most instinctual of celebratory gestures can be traced to a spontaneous moment between Los Angeles Dodgers Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke on October 2nd, 1977.

 

EVERYBODY STREET
Directed By: Cheryl Dunn

More than a dozen photographers (including Ricky Powell, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper, and Boogie) are the subject of this visually rich documentary celebrating artists who have given us new ways to see both the streets of New York and the colorful characters that populate them. 

EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL
Directed By: Darius Clark Monroe

In this gripping blend of documentary, true-crime, and personal essay, a filmmaker confronts his past, dissecting the circumstances that led him to commit a bank robbery as a young man, and his journey since that act. Executive-produced by Spike Lee.

 

FIGHT CHURCH
Directed By: Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel

Christianity and the world of Mixed Martial Arts collide in this thought-provoking and expectation-challenging documentary from Academy Award Winner Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel.

 

FORT TILDEN
Directed By: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers

Winner of the grand jury award for narrative feature at SXSW 2014, this satire of Brooklyn hipsters making their way to a day at the beach takes on Samuel Beckett-esque barbs as ordering coffee and locking a bicycle become almost insoluble dilemmas.

 

FREEDOM SUMMER
Directed By: Stanley Nelson

In the summer of 1964, a thousand civil-rights volunteers worked to combat segregation in Mississippi. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders; Jonestown: The Life & Death of Peoples Temple; The Murder of Emmett Till) tells their story.

 

GLENA
Directed By: Allan Luebke

This rousing documentary follows Glena Avila, a woman who, despite no background in the sport, gave cage fighting a try. In the process, she discovered a deep passion and strong talent—but also put new pressures on her finances, love life, and relationship with her teenage son.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

Following his breakthrough hit Drinking Buddies, Joe Swanberg re-teams with star Anna Kendrick and cinematographer Ben Richardson (Beasts of the Southern Wild) for an insightful look at family and friendship centered around a Chicago Christmas. Cast includes Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

HELLION
Directed By: Kat Candler

Juliette Lewis, Aaron Paul, and newcomer Josh Wiggins shine in this drama following a Southeast Texas teen trying to find himself amidst a group of hell-raising friends and a father tormented by his own personal demons. A feature developed from Candler’s short of the same name, which screened within the festival in 2012.

HIP-HOP FELLOW, THE
Directed By: Kenneth Price

The points of intersection between hip-hop culture and academia are explored in this documentary following Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder’s tenure at Harvard University. Interviewees include Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Kendrick Lamar, Young Guru, Phonte, and DJ Premier.

 

I PLAY WITH THE PHRASE EACH OTHER
Directed By: Jay Alvarez

The first feature film composed entirely of cellphone calls centers around Jake, a young neurotic who moves to the city to live with his friend Sean, a fanatical poet who survives by swindling inexperienced Craigslist customers. Winner of a Special Jury Prize for Original Vision at Slamdance 2014. 

KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER
Directed By: David Zellner

The Zellner brothers (Goliath, KID-THING) bring their unique mix of resonant drama and offbeat comedy to an expanded canvas, following a young Japanese woman who believes her worn VHS copy of Fargo contains instructions to recover that film’s buried treasure.

 

MANAKAMANA
Directed By: Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez

This new feature from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (Leviathan, Sweetgrass) offers immersive access to an ancient journey now taken in a modern cable car, as viewers ride along in real-time with pilgrims and tourists bound for Nepal’s Manakamana temple.

 

MEND, THE
Directed By: John Magary

Shades of Cassavetes’ Husbands and Mike Leigh color this revelatory mix of comedy and drama, as estranged brothers (Josh Lucas and Stephen Plunkett) reconnect at a moment of crisis and embrace increasingly wild and impulsive behavior.

MILITANT, THE
Directed By: Manolo Nieto

A wave of exciting films from Uruguay has hit the festival circuit over the last decade, evidence of a rich film culture previously under-represented on U.S. screens. As with Gigante and A Useful Life (MFF 2011), films that share beautiful camerawork from The Militant’s Arauco Hernández Holz, this film focuses on an idiosyncratic loner struggling to find his rhythm with the people around him—in this case, a taciturn student organizer who relocates from the big-city university to a rural outpost after his father passes away.

MOEBIUS
Directed By: Kim Ki-duk

South Korean maverick Kim Ki-duk returns with perhaps his most shocking and darkly humorous exploration yet of the connections between pleasure, penance, spirituality, and the human impulse for violence.

OBVIOUS CHILD
Directed By: Gillian Robespierre

When a 20-something Brooklyn comedian gets dumped, her comedic material and personal life both head in impulsive new directions, leading to an unwanted pregnancy and an appointment at Planned Parenthood. Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, and Richard Kind star in this comedy that mines a divisive issue for surprisingly warm and hilarious returns. 

PING PONG SUMMER
Directed By: Michael Tully
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris, and Robert Longstreet

The director of Septien returns with a sweet and hilarious love letter to summers spent in Ocean City, MD during the golden era of hip-hop, boasting a cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris, and Robert Longstreet.

 

POINT AND SHOOT
Directed By: Marshall Curry

When Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke traveled to Libya to join the rebels who were taking up arms against Gaddafi, his experiences became international news. His stranger-than-fiction story is told by the director of MFF documentaries Street Fight, Racing Dreams, and If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

 

SEPTEMBER
Directed By: Penny Panayotopoulou

After a seemingly solitary woman’s beloved dog passes away, she becomes overwhelmed by her loneliness. In her search to ease the pain of losing her best friend, she unexpectedly connects with a sympathetic family that lives in her neighborhood. This expertly crafted and warmly human film from Greek director Penny Panayotopoulou signals her triumphant return after a decade-plus hiatus from filmmaking.

 

SHORTS: ANIMATION
Directed By: Various

Cutting edge animated short films from across the globe!

ALFRED JARRY & ‘PATAPHYSICS Directed by Skizz Cyzyk  2 minutes
THE ALLIGATOR  Directed by Alexandra Barsky  2 minutes
CAVEIRÃO (THE MASTER’S VOICE) Directed by Guilherme Marcondes 10 minutes  Brazil
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH  Directed by Leah Shore  4 minutes
LORD I: THE RECORDS KEEPER  Directed by Lori Damiano  15 minutes
MOVE MOUNTAIN Directed by Kirsten Lepore  11 minutes
THE ORPHAN AND THE POLAR BEAR  Directed by Neil Christopher  9 minutes  Canada
SYMPHONY NO. 42  Directed by Réka Bucsi  10 minutes  Hungary
UNICORN BLOOD  Directed by Alberto Vazquez  9 minutes  Spain
YEARBOOK   Directed by Bernardo Britto  5 minutes
 

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SHORTS: AVANT-GARDE

Films that explore the boundaries of cinematic form and content.

DEAD RATS OF BALTIMORE Directed by Jimmy Joe Roche  8 minutes
EAGER  Directed by Allison Schulnik  8 minutes
HOME NEAR WATER Directed by Christopher Lange 16 minutes
THE NOVICE CLAIRALIENT  Directed by Tom Borax  10 minutes
PULL/DRIFT Directed by Margaret Rorison  10 minutes
REAL ETHEREAL  Directed by Evan Mann  14 minutes
THROUGH THE HAWTHORN  Directed by Anna Benner, Pia Borg, Gemma Burditt  8 minutes
A TONGUE SILENT LIKE YOUR WORDS  Directed by Vita Hsu  6 minutes  Taiwan
XXX   Directed by Julie Orser  4 minutes
 

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SHORTS: CHAOS REIGNS
Directed By: Various

A program of short films from the edge of reason!

BUFFALO JUGGALOS  Directed by Scott Cummings  30 minutes
FORMER THINGS  Directed by Adam R. Brown  15 minutes
GARY HAS AN AIDS SCARE  Directed by Joe Callander  17 minutes
MASTER MUSCLES  Directed by Efrén Hernández  14 minutes

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SHORTS: CHARACTER STUDY
Directed By: Various

An unbelievable array of characters populate these brilliant, artful short films filled variously with wry humor, wit, warmth, satire and a penetrating insight into human nature.
BE WITH ME (THE NOTEBOOK) Directed by Zach Clark  16 minutes
THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION Directed by Charlotte Glynn  17 minutes
I WILL PAINT YOUR SPIRIT  Directed by Jason Giampietro  6 minutes
NAILED IT   Directed by Jean-Paul DiSciscio  8 minutes
PERSON TO PERSON Directed by Dustin Guy Defa  18 minutes
SUPER SLEUTHS Directed by Benjamin Dickinson  14 minutes
 

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SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY
Directed By: Various

The best in short form documentary film from across the continent!

80 TO 90 FT Directed by Jason Kohl  8 minutes
BINGO NIGHT Directed by Conor Fetting-Smith  22 minutes
THE CHAPERONE  Directed by Fraser Munden, Neil Rathbone  13 minutes  Canada
CINEMA TIME CAPSULE  Directed by Scott Norwood  6 minutes
DAVID HOCKNEY IN THE NOW (in 6 minutes)  Directed by Lucy Walker  6 minutes
SILLY BASTARD NEXT TO THE BED Directed by Scott Calonico  11 minutes
THAT B.E.A.T.  Directed by Abteen Bagheri  9 minutes
WHAT KIND OF MAN  Directed by Kamau Bilal  13 minutes
 

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SHORTS: DRAMATIC
Directed By: Various

A stellar collection of dramatic short films!

BABY MARY Directed by Kris Swanberg  8 minutes
BIG GIRL  Directed by Lisa Melodia  16 minutes
FRUIT  Directed by Madeleine Parker  12 minutes  Australia
HOUSEKEEPING  Directed by Catherine Licata  16 minutes
SKUNK  Directed by Annie Silverstein  16 minutes

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SHORTS: DURING LAUGHTER COMES TEARS
Directed By: Various

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You might laugh 'til you cry. Or you might cry 'til you start laughing again.
 
CHOCOLATE HEART  Directed by Harrison Atkins  6 minutes
CRUISING ELECTRIC (1980)  Directed by Brumby Boylston   2 minutes
FUNNEL   Directed by Andre Hyland  7 minutes
PEEPERS  Directed by Ken Lam  6 minutes
RAT PACK RAT  Directed by Todd Rohal  18 minutes
SHAWNSEY’S REVENGE  Directed by Linas Phillips  Co-directed by Christian Anderson  5 minutes
VING RHAMES  Directed by Dean Peterson  10 minutes
WAITING FOR BERTA  Directed by Laimir Fano  14 minutes
WHIFFED OUT  Directed by Jason Giampietro  12 minutes
 

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SHORTS: FASTER, WTF SHORTS! KILL! KILL!
Directed By: Various

A mind-expanding, brain-melting shorts program for the adventurous viewer only!

BEASTS IN THE REAL WORLD  Directed by Sol Friedman  8 minutes  Canada
BEST SOUND  Directed by Josh Polon  6 minutes
BOX ROOM Directed by Michael Lathrop  15 minutes  Ireland
C#CKFIGHT  Directed by Julian Yuri Rodriguez  10 minutes
CHAPEL PERILOUS  Directed by Matthew Lessner  14 minutes
THE GREGGS  Directed by Bruce Bundy, Nigel DeFriez, Jessie Levandov, Robert Malone, Alex Mechanik, Kira Pearson, Jonathan Rosenblit  20 minutes
PINEAL WARRIORS Directed by Otto von Schirach, Egon von Schirach 10 minutes
WAWD AHP  Directed by Steve Girard  3 minutes
 

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SHORTS: INTERNATIONAL
Directed By: Various

A cross-section of stellar short films from around the world.
 
LA HIJA (THE DAUGHTER)  Directed by Jazmín Rada  5 minutes  Spain
LAMBING SEASON Directed by Jeannie Donohoe  15 minutes  Ireland
MORE THAN TWO HOURS (BISHTAR AZ DO SAAT)  Directed by Ali Asgari 15 minutes  Iran
PERFIDIA (GLOOM)  Directed by David Figueroa García  30 minutes  Mexico
TEUFEL (DEVIL)  Directed by Lisa Bierwirth  25 minutes  Germany
 

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SHORTS: NARRATIVE
Directed By: Various

AFRONAUTS  Directed by Frances Bodomo  13 minutes
AFTERMATH  Directed by Jeremy Robbins  20 minutes
JONATHAN’S CHEST  Directed by Christopher Radcliff  14 minutes
POSSUM Directed by Eleanor Wilson  17 minutes
STRAIGHT DOWN LOW  Directed by Zach Wechter  25 minutes
 

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STRANGE LITTLE CAT, THE
Directed By: Ramon Zürcher

This strikingly original film builds on Robert Bresson’s ideas of space and sound to create a moving-image sculpture inside a Berlin apartment during a family gathering. Notes of gentleness and tension merge to form a strange visual symphony.

 

STRAY DOGS
Directed By: Tsai Ming-liang

The first digitally shot feature from master director Tsai (whose films I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone and Walker screened within the festival) continues his unique 25-year collaboration with lead Lee Kang-sheng, this time situating him as the homeless guardian to two young children in Taipei.

 

SUMMER OF BLOOD
Directed By: Onur Tukel

Neurotic romance collides with bloody horror and the mixed blessing of immortality in this vampire comedy set in contemporary New York. Starring writer/director Tukel (co-star and co-writer of MFF 2011’s Septien) alongside Anna Margaret Hollyman (star of MFF 2013’s White Reindeer), Dakota Goldhor, and Dustin Guy Defa.

TBD
TBD
THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY
Directed By: Josephine Decker
Starring: Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstreet, Kristin Slaysman

Following her Butter on the Latch, which premiered at MFF 2013, Josephine Decker further explores themes of budding romance and psychological terror against a backdrop of bucolic beauty. Fresh from its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

 

VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA, THE
Directed By: Jessica Oreck

From the director of Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo and Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys, both of which screened within the festival, comes this mysterious feature that descends into Eastern Europe’s haunted woodlands to deliver a captivating mix of documentary, experimental film, folklore, and animation. 

WATER LIKE STONE
Directed By: Zack Godshall, Michael Pasquier

A documentary portrait of Leeville, Louisiana, a fishing village among the fastest-disappearing wetlands in the United States—and the unforgettable characters who call it home.

WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER
Directed By: Joe Berlinger

This documentary dissects legend from fact in investigating the story of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, uncovering a web of corruption in the process. From the director of Crude and co-director of Brother’s Keeper, Some Kind of Monster, and the Paradise Lost trilogy.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

WHO TOOK JOHNNY
Directed By: David Beilinson, Michael Galinsky, and Suki Hawley

When Johnny Gosch disappeared in 1982, his picture appeared on milk cartons, catapulting the issue of missing children into the public’s imagination. The team behind Horns and Halos and Battle for Brooklyn follows the search for answers over decades of stunning twists and turns, resulting in an unforgettable documentary experience that will have audiences questioning everything and everyone.

 

WILD CANARIES
Directed By: Lawrence Michael Levine

From the director of 2010’s Gabi on the Roof in July comes this captivating blend of comedy, romance, and mystery set in contemporary Brooklyn. The all-star indie cast includes Levine alongside Sophia Takal, Alia Shawkat, Annie Parisse, Jason Ritter, and Kevin Corrigan.

 

YOUNG BODIES HEAL QUICKLY
Directed By: Andrew T. Betzer

At once meditative and transgressive, this challenging art film shot in and around Maryland brings to mind the work of Harmony Korine and Bruno Dumont in telling its story of two young brothers on the run as they hope to reconnect with their estranged father, a key figure in a disturbing subculture. Cast includes Kate Lyn Sheil (Sun Don’t Shine, The Comedy) and Julie Sokolowski (of Dumont’s Hadewijch).