The third annual African-American Film Festival gets under way Thursday in the Baltimore Museum of Art's Meyerhoff Theatre with the screening of an American satire and a Senegalese adventure story.
"Oreos with Attitude," a 30-minute satire about a black urban professional couple who adopt a white child to promote racial harmony, opens the festival. It will be followed by "Touki Bouki" (hyena's voyage), a Senegalese film about a young African couple who go to Paris.
On Friday, the festival will show three films: "Tongues Untied," described as a "disturbing yet thought-provoking account" of black gay life; "Anemone Me," a film about a blind bodybuilder; and "If She Grows Up Gay," the story of an African-American woman trying to raise her daughter with her lesbian lover.
The festival -- co-sponsored by the Baltimore Film Forum, public radio station WEAA-FM and the BMA's Joshua Johnson Council -- continues June 13-14 and June 20-21. Scheduled those days are Oscar Michaux's 1935 film "Murder in Harlem" (June 13), Bill Gunn's 1973 film "Ganja and Hess" (June 20) and this year's "Small Time," about a young black man's life of petty crime.
Screenings begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $5; $4 for BFF and BMA members, seniors and students. For more information, call 889-1993.
The Maryland Institute, College of Art will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday at 10 a.m. to mark the construction of a new student housing complex. The Maryland Institute Commons, in the 100 block of McMechen Street between Mount Royal and Park avenues, is scheduled for student occupancy in the fall of 1992. Plans call for the housing of 350 students in two- and three-bedroom apartments, with 17 shared art studios. For information, call 225-2300.
Japanese art lectures
Christine M. E. Guth, a lecturer and consultant on Japanese art, will give the first of a series of three lectures on "Traditions of Japanese Art" at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Walters Art Gallery.
The lectures, presented in connection with last month's opening of the Hackerman House Museum of Asian Art, will give a chronological survey of Japan's major art forms from the sixth through the 19th centuries. They will continue June 11 and June 18.
Tickets for the series are $12; $10 for Walters members, seniors and students. Single lecture tickets are $5 and $4. For information, call 547-9000.
"An Evening of Lillian Hellman," a staged reading of excerpts from Hellman's plays and autobiography, will be presented Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 p.m. by the Vagabond Players, 806 South Broadway in Fells Point.
The production, the fourth in a series of salutes to great American playwrights, is being presented as part of the Vagabonds' 75th anniversary season. Admission is free. For more information, call 563-9135.
Grants to local groups
Two local choruses and two art galleries were recent recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Baltimore Choral Arts Society got $5,100 from the NEA to support singers' fees in the 1991-'92 season, while the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Chorus got $5,900. Also, the School 33 Art Center received $12,500 to support its exhibitions and programs and Maryland Art Place got $7,500.
In all, the NEA awarded $435,000 to 37 choruses from 18 states and the District of Columbia. It also gave $1.8 million to 124 organizations founded and run by visual artists in 26 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
The Avalon Theatre Company of Catonsville, today at 2 p.m., for a production of "Sarcophagus," at the Catonsville Community Career Center, 106 Bloomsbury Ave. Needed are 20 adult male and female actors. Call 242-6416.