Double feature in Anne Arundel

Two film festivals screen in county this weekend

October 29, 2003|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Oscar-winning filmmakers and the kid next door with a camcorder will be featured equally this weekend, as two film festivals turn Anne Arundel County into the preferred destination for area cinephiles.

The second annual Annapolis Film Festival opens Friday night with the Maryland premiere of In America, the latest from Irish writer-director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father). Earlier in the day, at 9 a.m., the first Maryland Fantastique Film Fest kicks off with a screening of 1933's King Kong, the monster movie to which all future monster movies owe allegiance.

The Annapolis festival, running through Sunday at the Crown Eastport Theater (919 Chesapeake Ave.) and Annapolis Cinema Grill (81 Forest Plaza), includes its share of studio releases, such as In America, the semi-autobiographical story of an Irish family whose joy at settling in the United States is tested by death, distance and despair.

Offerings also include Flyfishing (7 p.m. Saturday), a small U.K. film about two young men whose escort business lessens their indebtedness while mucking up their lives. But the festival's real emphasis is on even smaller films, the kind most likely to never make it past the festival circuit. Several shorts programs are also scheduled, as well as workshops and panel discussions.

At the Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park, the inaugural Maryland Fantastique Film Fest will dedicate its first day to classic films, an exhibit of movie posters and a dealers' room, and offer youngsters in costume the chance to be photographed with their favorite monster.

On Saturday, the festival's film competition begins at 10 a.m. Throughout the day, 19 films will be screened, with titles ranging from Dream of the Lizard (11:50 a.m.) and Bisarelle (3:20 p.m.) to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (12:30 p.m.) and Ghostwatcher (4 p.m.). At 7 p.m., awards will be presented in the categories of Best Film, Short, Documentary and Documentary Short Subject. Prizes will also be given to the best young filmmakers, ages 5-10, 11-13 and 14-7.

The festival ends with a reprise of the winning films, along with a screening of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from Baltimore-based filmmaker Mark Redfield.

Tickets for the Annapolis Film Festival range from $10 for individual screenings to $65 for Friday's opening; for a full schedule and ticket prices, call 410-263-2388 or visit www.annapolisfilm festival.com. Tickets for the Maryland Fantastique Film Fest are $10 a day, $15 for the weekend; for a full schedule, call 410-636-6597 or visit www. chesapeakearts.org/MFFF index.html.

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