Chesapeake Film Festival Series Launches at the Oxford Community Center

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Chesapeake Film Festival has selected ten of its most memorable films from past festivals to launch a winter/spring series. Justly called REEL GEMS, the series opens at the Oxford Community Center (200 Oxford Road, Oxford, MD 21654) with future screenings in St. Michaels and Easton. The series is generously supported by the Talbot County Arts Council.

For each film, filmmakers will be on hand to discuss the script, cinematography or whatever interests you about the film. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at chesapeakefilmfestival.com or at the door.

“The REEL GEMS Film Series will help keep the Chesapeake Film Festival and our mission in the public eye, at the same time offer quality cinematic programming year-round. This film series is primarily dedicated to selections from our archives of some of the best films that have previously shown at the Chesapeake Film Festival and we are glad to have the opportunity to share them again with our audiences.”

Cid Collins Walker
Artistic Director
Chesapeake Film Festival

March 16, 2018
Film: Arc of Light: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss
Oxford Community Center
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Film and Q&A 6:00- 7:30 p.m.

ARC OF LIGHT: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss is about an artist, architect and designer who has devoted her life to the creation of works of art that explore the complex intersections between art, technology, science, nature, poetry, mathematics, and architecture. The film looks at the astonishing range of Bliss’s work, from small painterly and digitally based studies of color and light to architectural site commissions of immense scale. It also puts her work in art-historical context and traces her Modernist influences, including the Bauhaus artists of the 1920s. The film includes compelling interviews with the artist’s husband, architect, and furniture designer Robert Bliss; filmmaker Judy Hallet; and professor of architecture Stanley Hallet.

Filmmaker, Cid Collins Walker in attendance. Cid is the founder of Black Opal Productions and is a resident of Oxford. Her husband Richard wrote the screenplay for ARC OF LIGHT. In addition to documentary filmmaking, Cid has extensive experience in television and film production, creative direction, animation, print design and brand management. Her awards in television and film include four Telly Awards for her work in production design. She also served on the Board of Directors of Women in Film & Video, Washington DC.She is currently working on her first book and second screenplay.

March 22nd
Film: Flash of Genius
Oxford Community Center
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Film and Q&A– 6:00-8:30 p.m.

When college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear) develops an intermittent windshield wiper, he believes he, his wife (Lauren Graham) and their children will be set for life. Though the invention is a big hit with automakers in 1960s Detroit, Kearns finds himself forced out of the picture. Determined to collect the recognition and financial reward due him, he wages an arduous legal battle with the auto industry.

Filmmaker Tim Kearns in Attendance. Tim Kearns is the son of Robert Kearns who is the featured subject of the film. The Kearns family reside in Oxford and provide a wonderful Q&A about the actual invention as well as the making of the film.

April 20, 2018
Film: Swimmers
Oxford Community Center
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Film and Q&A– 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Swimmers is a 2005 American independent drama about Will Tyler who struggles to hold on to his livelihood on the Chesapeake Bay. He and his wife suffer from the financial woes of a poor fishing season, the sudden loss of Will’s boat and Will’s fierce pride in not having to ask for handouts.

Filmed in Oxford, Swimmers premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2005, and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New American Film from the Seattle International Film Festival. The title and theme of the film were inspired by the Latin name for the Chesapeake Bay’s indigenous Maryland blue crab – Callinectes sapidus – Callinectes translates as “beautiful swimmers.”

Filmmaker Doug Sadler will be present. Raised in Oxford, son of Ken and Sarah Sadler, Doug filmed this movie in Oxford and sold the rights to Netflix to enjoy a successful career as filmmaker and as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins/MICA.

April 27, 2018
Film: TRI
Oxford Community Center
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Film and Q&A– 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Natalie, an ultrasound tech with a history of not finishing things, is inspired by a cancer patient to sign up for a Triathlon. Natalie is introduced to the strange (and aerodynamic) world of triathletes and meets a colorful cast of characters as she trains for the Nation’s Triathlon. With the support of her new teammates, she digs deep to discover just how far she can push her mind and body.

Filmmaker in Attendance: Co-Producer and Casting Director Kimberly Skyrme will be in attendance. Kimberly is a Chesapeake Film Festival Board Member and frequently films on the Eastern shore. She is a Casting Director – Producer – Writer – Director – in short, A STORY TELLER! Her work includes Independent and Hollywood Feature Film, Television Series, Government Agency Content and Commercials. She recently completed directing “Proof of Concept” pieces for The Domesticators and Ward 8, two series that are in development with storylines and plans to shoot on the East Coast.

“Local Fare” at St. Michaels High School when REEL GEMS will also show two films at St Michaels High School located at 200 Seymour Avenue, St. Michaels, 21663. Doors open for all films at 5:30 pm and films begins at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at chesapeakefilmfestival.com or at the door.

Friday, May 11
Film: Cafeteria Man
St. Michaels High School
Doors open 5:30 pm
Film starts at 6 pm

Cafeteria Man is a story of a positive movement that shows what’s possible in our nation’s schools. It’s about the aspiration of activists and citizens coming together to change the way kids eat at school. It’s about overhauling a dysfunctional nutritional system. And, it’s the story of what it takes, and who it takes, to make solutions happen.

“A truly inspiring film about reform in school cafeterias. It’s evidence that we CAN make a difference in our communities and overcome the forces of gigantic agri-businesses who want us to keep eating pre-packaged sawdust. Watching this made me happy.” Anonymous reviewer

Post Film Discussion will include Director, Richard Chisolm and Denna Deese Kilmon, Sales and Marketing Director of Easton’s Chesapeake Harvest.Chesapeake Harvest seeks out farmers who show their commitment to regenerative agricultural practices that protect the future of the Chesapeake Bay.

Richard Chisolm is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and cinematographer with thirty years of production experience. Based in Baltimore, MD, he has shot films and television program on a wide variety of subjects in the US and abroad.

Deeply committed to the value of real stories and the adventures of real people, Richard has worked for PBS, National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel, HBO, and other broadcast entities. He was a camera operator on the HBO series, “The Wire” and the Director of Photography for both of ABC’s “Hopkins” prime time medical documentary series (2002 & 2008). He is also the recipient of a Peabody Award, a Columbia DuPont Journalism Award, two Kodak Vision Awards, four CINE Golden Eagles, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Maryland.

Friday, May 18
Film: Wild Ponies of Chincoteague
St. Michaels High School
Doors Open 5:30
Film 6:00 pm

As the auctioneer yells “sold!” Sabrina Dobbins breaks down, with tears streaming down her face. She hugs friends and family as reality hits her: Dobbins is now the proud owner of a Chincoteague pony, her dream come true. But her filly is more than just a pony, it’s also a blessing.

“The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague” documentary chronicles the island’s famous Pony Penning week, including its Pony Swim and Pony Auction. Co-directors Kurt Kolaja and Tod Mesirow tell the story of three Feather Fund recipients, specifically Dobbins, whose Chincoteague pony helped save her from severe depression and self-harm.

“Things that interest me are stories like Sabrina’s and stories like ponies, and stories that don’t get shouted out,” Kolaja said.

The co-directors’ production process took a little more than three years and began as something completely different from the final film. Kolaja said they first headed to Chincoteague for a separate project, but when that fell through, Mesirow purchased the rights to the film the two had already shot.

Post film discussion will include Sabrina Dobbins, the young woman featured in the film.

REEL GEMS will also screen films at the Academy Art Museum (at 106 South Street, Easton, MD 21601). This series of three films is aptly titled “Inside Art!” as it makes visible the inner world of the art scene. Doors open for all films at 5:30 pm and films begins at 6:00 pm.Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at chesapeakefilmfestival.com or at the door.

Friday, May 11
Film: Heavy Weight Paint
Academy Art Museum in Easton
Doors open 5:30 pm
Film begins 6:00 pm

Heavy Weight Paint is a feature length documentary film about four figurative painters: Jerome Lagarrigue, Joseph Adolphe, Tim Okamura, and Taha Clayton. They are at different points in their careers, but share the struggle to survive the difficult, often grueling, challenges of the art world. Each artist faces unique obstacles, but the painters’ uncommon friendship provides the moral support to spur them onward. Their artistic efforts will intersect when the four painters attempt to pull off an ambitious collaborative show – putting the purity of their craft, and their ideals, to the test – but also bringing the potential to land them in the spotlight of the highly competitive New York art scene.

Director Jeff Martini has been involved in Film, Television, Music & the Web for over 15 years. He has worked as director, editor, producer, music composer, cinematographer, sound engineer, web developer, Foley artist and an instructor for artists, agencies, TV stations, Indie film houses & schools in and around New York City. He has recently relocated to Capitol Hill, Washington DC.

It is anticipated that the filmmakers will be present for a Q & A following the screening of the film.

Friday, June 22
Film: The Art of the Steal
Academy Art Museum in Easton
Doors open 5:30 pm
Film begins 6:00 pm

The Art of the Steal is a 2009 documentary about the controversial move of the Barnes Foundation, generally considered to be the world’s best collection of post-Impressionist art and valued in 2009 to be worth at least $25-billion, from Merion, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia. The move was disputed because Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who died in 1951, had specifically selected Lower Merion Township for its location. The collection was moved in 2012 to downtown Philadelphia. The film presents an account of the claimed breaking of Barnes’ will, which it presents as a decades-long process that was initiated by Philadelphians who were enemies of Barnes while he was alive, and that was continued by their heirs.

Friday, June 29
Film: The Guest of Cindy Sherman
Academy Art Museum in Easton
Doors open 5:30 pm
Film begins 6:00 pm

Analyzing his relationship with the reclusive artist Cindy Sherman leads filmmaker Paul Hasegawa-Overacker to confront his own identity in this personal and unexpectedly humorous documentary. Armed with a video camera, he attended art gallery openings, intriguing many with his candid, witty assessments and winning fans in the process. Among the latter was Cindy Sherman, the press-shy art superstar, who invited Paul to her studio for a series of exclusive filmed interviews. In these sessions, he gains insight into her artistic process and a romantic relationship blossoms as they fall in love. Their initial bliss takes a turn when Paul gets caught up in the aura of Cindy’s celebrity and he is subordinated to a role as Cindy’s guest at the star-studded openings and dinners she regularly attends.

Spanning over 15 years and with unprecedented access to the great artist, including interviews with a veritable who’s who of the art and entertainment world, the film paints a vivid picture of the contemporary art scene and provides a witty, illuminating look at celebrity, anxiety, and art.

The date and time of the tenth film in the REEL GEMS series will be announced at a later time.

The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) is the only film festival on the Eastern Shore to bring together filmmakers and diverse audiences of film enthusiasts for an annual weekend festival in Easton, MD and throughout the year in its series, REEL GEMS. CFF offers educational opportunity through cinematic presentations, lectures, and panel discussions of CFF initiatives. Visit us on Facebook or at www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com.

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