Goldthwait To Open Maryland Film Festival

Director To Host First Night's Shorts Program, Which Will Feature One Of His Movies

April 19, 2009|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

Director Bobcat Goldthwait will host the opening-night shorts program of the 11th annual Maryland Film Festival and will even bring along one of his short films.

Goldthwait Home Movies, spotlighting a fictional 40th-anniversary reunion of the cast of the "original" Goldthwait Home Movies, will be among the eight short films shown at the Maryland Institute College of Art's Brown Center on the festival's opening night, set for 8 p.m. May 7.

"It's unbelievably funny," says film festival head Jed Dietz, noting that Goldthwait's appearance jibes with the event's desire to showcase short films and the eclectic group of filmmakers who make and enjoy them. "I think he's just a wonderful follow-up to last year's host, Barry Levinson. We keep trying to underscore how important short films are to the art form, and I think this is just one more way to underline that."

This year's festival, scheduled to run at the Charles Theatre and environs through May 10, will also feature 16 films shot in other countries, most in languages other than English. That's an unusually high number, says Dietz, who is always looking for ways to separate the festival from the pack.

"The collection of films from around the world is way broader than we've been able to do before," he says. "We keep looking for ways, knowing that we're small, that we can contribute to the film community and advocate for filmmakers. Foreign films get sort of buried at many festivals."

Foreign films slated for the festival include Slovak director Juraj Lehotsky's Blind Loves, a documentary focusing on four blind people and their searches for love and happiness; Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke's Lake Tahoe, a comedy about a young driver's search for an auto mechanic; Rwandan director Lee Isaac Chung's Munyurangabo, the story of two teenagers traveling across rural Rwanda amid tensions left over from the genocide and lingering ethnic mistrust; and South Korean director So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain, a drama about two young sisters struggling to fend for themselves in an adult world.

Returning festival favorites will include a film introduced by John Waters (Christophe Honore's Love Songs, a musical in which two women and a man roam the streets of Paris), a silent film with live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra (Russian director Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera), and a 3-D classic from the 1950s (Roy Ward Baker's 1953 Inferno, with Robert Ryan left to die in the desert by scheming wife Rhonda Fleming).

For a full schedule and more information, call 410-752-8083 or go to mdfilmfest.com.

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