Film Capsules (a To Z)

2004 Maryland Film Festival

Special Pullout Guide

May 06, 2004

For information on the shorts programs, visit www.mdfilmfest.com / 2004.

Afghanistan Unveiled: The first female journalists trained in Afghanistan in more than a decade produced this documentary as part of a groundbreaking training program. It captures the stories of women in Afghanistan, describing their lives under the Taliban and their hopes for the future.

The Agronomist: Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme's latest film is a celebration of the life of Haitian journalist, broadcaster and human rights activist Jean Dominique. He and his wife, Michele Montas, have worked to bring objective media coverage to all of Haiti's people through Radio Haiti Inter, the oldest radio station in Haiti.

Albert Alcalay: Self Portraits: A documentary about the life and art of Alcalay, who was introduced to painting while in a concentration camp in Italy during World War II. Alcalay reflects how his life experiences and environment have influenced his art as it has evolved through his time in Europe, his immigration to the United States and his current health difficulties.

Archangel: Chicago Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has chosen Guy Maddin's tale of obsessive love in the Arctic Russian town of Archangel, where Bolsheviks, White Russians and German Huns converge during World War I.

Baadasssss!: Mario Van Peebles directs and stars (playing his father, Melvin Van Peebles) in the story of the making of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, the groundbreaking 1971 independent film. Against unbelievable odds, every part of Song reflects its filmmakers' vision. In his film, Mario tells one of the greatest stories about independent filmmaking ever told. Mario and Melvin Van Peebles will be in attendance. Ticket includes admission to the closing night party immediately after the screening in the Festival Tent.

The Best Thief in the World: Director Jacob Kornbluth follows up Haiku Tunnel with his second feature, the story of a young boy who looks to escape the troubles of his own world by breaking into others'. Developed at the Sundance Labs and winner of the Maryland Filmmaker's Fellowship.

Big City Dick: A captivating documentary exploring the world of a savant street musician and his lifelong struggle to become a successful recording artist and be loved.

Born Into Brothels: Documentarians Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski gave the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's red-light district photography lessons and cameras. Given a creative outlook, the children's photographs show not only artistic talent but also expose art as a transforming force.

Chuck Statler: Music Video Pioneer: A retrospective program of legendary filmmaker Chuck Statler, who is perhaps best known for the cutting-edge music-films he made with DEVO years before the rise of music videos.

Citizen King: Documentary filmmakers Orlando Bagwell and Noland Walker explore the last five years of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. through archival footage, personal recollections and eyewitness accounts.

Containment: Life After Three Mile Island: Twenty-five years ago, America suffered its worst nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, near Middletown, Pa. Containment covers the accident and the efforts of area residents to keep the unaffected reactor closed.

Deadline: After Northwestern University journalism students uncovered evidence that proved that death-row inmate Anthony Porter was innocent, Republican Gov. George Ryan launched the legal process to look into the credibility of Illinois' death penalty. Ultimately, Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 criminals on death row to life in prison.

Dear Pillow: An ex-porn filmmaker introduces a 17-year-old to the world of writing for porn magazines.

Death & Texas: Barefoot Bobby Briggs, the greatest wide receiver in pro-football history, sits on death row in Texas, while the Austin Steers get ready to play in the annual Mega Bowl, minus their wide receiver. The Texas governor has a controversial furlough to consider if he wants his state to win the big game.

Dog Days (with host John Waters): During the dog days of summer in the suburbs of Vienna, six interwoven stories unfold, revealing a world of disillusionment, loneliness and frustration. While the days are lazy and melancholic, spent sunning, the nights, steeped in alcohol, sex and song, unleash a fury of violence and raw emotions.

Easy: Jamie Harris has been unlucky in love, jumping in bed with one jerk after another. In a matter of when it rains, it pours, she meets not one, but two men who seem to be promising candidates to break her loser streak.

The End: Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick gave cameras to five families of patients in hospice care in Los Angeles. The result is an intimate, moving and profound portrait of the end of life.

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