Hollywood in Bel Air

October 13, 2011

Harford County is hardly Tinsel Town. The closest places to Bel Air named Hollywood are in St. Mary's County on Maryland's very lower Western Shore and in Carbon County, Pa., not too far from Scranton, backdrop for the hit TV series "The Office."

Yet Bel Air, for the third year in a row, will be the scene of a film festival come the weekend of Oct. 21-23, and it will feature fare found at the Sundance Film Festival and other venues that specialize in celluloid offerings of a more cerebral timbre than the typical summer smashes and seasonal blockbusters. And each of the offerings will be accompanied by a guest speaker.

It's a nice change of pace: Dinner and a movie — and a lecture.

Such things are not for all of us. There is, after all, a reason blockbusters are blockbusters: art house films have limited audiences and foreign films seem to most Americans to be, well, foreign. Still, a little culture for those of us who enjoy such things is nice, especially when it doesn't involve spending a lot of money or driving to Baltimore, Philadelphia or Washington. In this case, it's possible to take in all the shows for $10 (or just one for $5) per person. Details can be found at townofbelairfilmfestival.com.

To be screened at the Reckord Armory in Bel Air, the festival's films may not offer something for everyone, but, then again, that's what TV and the multiplexes are for. It's nice to know something like this can be put together in Harford County for a relatively low cost and sustained over a span of years. Let's hope it continues for years to come.

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