Beginning Thursday, October 3, the Chesapeake Film Festival will present a week-long extravaganza of outstanding cinema to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Subjects include a pro baseball player turned World War II spy; nine teens vying for the world title of best young scientist; the Apollo 11 voyage with never-before-seen footage and endangered species in the oceans and on land.
In all, the Festival will offer 62 extraordinary films, discussions led by the filmmakers and experts on the topics illuminated by the films, and opportunities to participate, network and socialize.
The festival opens with a star-studded evening at the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton and kicks off with The Cold Blue, Catherine Wyler’s tribute to her father and the heroic airmen of WWII. Wyler, the daughter of legendary film director William Wyler will be present for a Q & A following the screening. After a gourmet reception the evening continues with the Maryland premiere of the The Spy Behind Home Plate, directed by Aviva Kempner who will be present to discuss her new film with the audience. The Spy Behind Home Plate tells the story of Moe Berg, a major league baseball player and his secret life as a spy for the OSS during WWII.
“There is a tremendous ethos surrounding the Sundance Film Festival and it’s there for a reason”, said Cid Collins Walker, the artistic director for the festival. “The experience is so intense, so raw in terms of the power of the storytelling that takes place there each year. This year while scouting films I was able to procure six of Sundance’s finest films for the Chesapeake Film Festival.” Several of those films include the elucidating Bedlam directed by Kenneth Paul Rosenberg about the mental health crisis currently taking place in urban America, the modern narrative thriller Light from Light, directed by Paul Harrill where single mom Shelia, gifted with prophetic dreams, moonlights as a paranormal investigator, Apollo 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller that takes you straight to the heart of this intense scientific and human endeavor, sharing the atmosphere and action around the final moments of the preparation, liftoff, landing and return of the famed moon-landing mission. Sea of Shadows, directed by Richard Ladkani gives us an up-close encounter with Mexican drug cartels that have discovered the “cocaine of the sea,” a valuable fish called the totaba—which is at the center of a multimillion-dollar business with the Chinese Mafia executive produced by Leonardo di Caprio. And Tigerland which illustrates how shifting political realities in Russia and India created a lucrative poaching underworld that decimated the tiger population. Tigerland is directed by Academy Award winner Ross Kaufman who will be in attendance at the festival to answer questions from the audience about his new film.
Environmental films highlight the festival starting Friday evening, October 4 at the Avalon Theatre in Easton with a series of films about the Chesapeake Bay. The lineup includes premieres of new short works by festival favorites Tom Horton, Dave Harp and Sandy Cannon-Brown. On Sunday, October 6, the Festival will present a full day of environmental films at Gallery 447 in Cambridge including the festival favorite feature-length film The Tale of the Tongs with screenings of Sharkwater: Extinction and The Human Element later in the day.
On Wednesday, October 9 the Chesapeake Film Festival and the Oxford Community Center team up with Candle Light Cove and other corporate and non-profit sponsors to present, Art to Remember, about Mental Health and Dementia Awareness. A breakfast reception will open the day at 8:30am followed by the Irish animated short Late Afternoon. The feature-length film Away from Her starring Julie Christie will screen at 10:30. Following a lunch reception and panel discussion at 12:30pm also at the Oxford Community Center, the 2014 Sundance Audience Award-winning film, Alive Inside will screen at 2pm.
Closing the festival this year on Thursday, October 10 at 1pm at the Easton Premier Cinema will be festival favorite, The Bonobo Connection, directed by Irene Magafan. The festival will close this year with the beautiful and light-hearted film Swing Away starring John O’Hurley. Executive producer George Stephanopoulos and writer Paul Lingas of Swing Away will be in attendance to answer any questions the audience may have about this humorous feature-length film.
The Chesapeake Film Festival is generously supported by the Maryland Film Office, Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council, Talbot County Department of Tourism and Exelon. The Chesapeake Film Festival’s Media Sponsors include WRNR Radio, Attraction Magazine, WCEI Radio, What’s Up Media, MPT, Talbot Spy, Shore Home and Garden, Talbot Guide, Tidewater Times, Discover Easton, WBOC TV, Delmarva Public Radio, Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, WYPR and APG Chesapeake.