The Chesapeake Film Festival Announces Its 2018 Cinematic Line-up

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Featuring a record 48 films from around the world, the 11th annual Chesapeake Film Festival promises an unprecedented celebration of films and filmmakers. Travel around our own Chesapeake Bay, through the gardens of Europe, the deltas of Africa, and the heart of American communities to witness the universal spirit of our planet.

October 11 – 14, 2018

Easton, St. Michaels and Cambridge, MD

Ticket sales on www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com

Join thousands of film lovers on Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore this October at the Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF), where great stories begin. Our historic Maryland venues include the Avalon Theatre and the Academy Art Museum in Easton; the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels; and the Cambridge Premier Cinemas and the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge.

From Thursday, October 11 through Sunday, October 14, audiences will delight in the magic of extraordinary films, meet the filmmakers, participate in lively discussions, and enjoy receptions and events created to enhance the Festival experience.

New Chefs on the Block

The CFF 2018 has something for everyone: A festive opening night about – and with – food; investigations into pressing social issues; virtual visits to amazing spaces; up-close and personal profiles of icons of cinema; creative short films and animations, and much more.

Opening Night Extravaganza

New Chefs on the Block, “a foodie sensation,” opens the Festival on Thursday, October 11.  Two chefs in Washington, DC struggle to open and maintain their first restaurants. Against all odds, one becomes Bon Appetit Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in America. The other is forced to redefine success.  The film, directed by Dustin Harrison-Atlas, stars Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly…Pizza with cameos by legendary chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer (Shake Shack, Union Square Café), Mike Isabella (Bravo “Top Chef” Allstar), and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman.

To complement the cinematic portrait of chefs, the Chesapeake Film Festival will host an all-star reception with local gourmet chefs at the Academy Art Museum before the screening at the Avalon.  Businesses providing delectable hors d’oeuvres and desserts include Gourmet by the Bay, The Wylder Hotel, Stars Restaurant from the Inn at Perry Cabin, Limoncello Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Bistro St. Michaels and Flying Fork Catering.

Fabulous Friday

Friday at the Avalon begins with an amazing clay-on-glass animation, The Elephant’s Song, directed by local artist Lynn Tomlinson.  From the animated short, the festival moves to a stunning feature-length documentary, Into the Okavango that tells the story of a NATGEO expedition to Botswana with a mission to help preserve the delta, all the animals and land surrounding it, and people who reside there.

The finale of the day, In the Executioner’s Shadow, casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories, including the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person. This powerful film will be screened again Saturday at the Cambridge Premier Cinema. The filmmakers and the subjects of the film will lead discussions after the screenings.

Making Waves at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

The Chesapeake Bay is the focus of a full day of environmental filmmaking curated by filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown on Saturday, October 13 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM). The day concludes with the premiere of a new film by Tom Horton, Dave Harp and Cannon-Brown, An Island Out of Time, about Smith Island, MD.  The icing on the cake, figuratively and literally, is a reception with Maryland’s state dessert, the Smith Island multi-layer cake.

The environmental program also includes a double feature of films by Roger Sorkin and the American Resilience Project, including the East-Coast premiere of a new film about the transformation of America’s electric grid, Current Revolution. The other film, Tidewater, looks at the ravages of climate change, sea level rise and erosion on the military installations in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

The CBMM line-up also includes a sneak preview of a short film by Cannon-Brown, Edna E. Lockwood: Bottoms Up! about the three-year restoration of an 1889 nine-log bugeye in the museum’s shipyard.  Edna will officially relaunch two weeks after the Chesapeake Film Festival, during CBMM’s October 27 Oysterfest.

Five Seasons and Moving Stories

Saturday in Easton at the Avalon and Academy Art Museum…

The mix of stories at the Avalon Theatre and Academy Art Museum in Easton on Saturday, October 13, is sure to provide everyone with subjects of interest.

Features at the Avalon: Boko Haram: Journey from Evil, which goes beyond the headlines to profile the heroic efforts of everyday Nigerians to stand up against the terrorist group, which has killed, kidnapped and displaced millions of people. Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf is a gorgeous, meditative documentary that immerses viewers in the work of a revolutionary landscape designer. Moving Stories brings us six dancers from an acclaimed NY company who travel the world to work with youth who’ve experienced war, poverty, sexual exploitation, extreme prejudice and severe trauma as refugees. Cinephiles will appreciate Searching for Ingmar Bergman, an intimate profile of a director who is considered one of the most important filmmakers of all times.

At the Academy Art Museum:  Two programs of shorts bookend the documentary feature Saving Sea Turtles.  Narrated by renowned marine scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, this enchanting – yet disturbing – documentary highlights the work that is being done to save a species from extinction. The exciting line-up of shorts includes Riverment by Shayla Racquel, a government employee by day and award-winning student filmmaker by night.  Her film is the story of a former civil rights activist who fears for the safety of her granddaughter who is following in her footsteps. In Othello San a young African-American actor is cast as the lead in Shakespeare’s Othello at a prestigious theater school in Japan.  His dreams of stardom are tempered by an intemperate instructor.

Saving Sea Turtles and Riverment

…and at the Dorchester Center for the Arts and Cambridge Premier Cinemas

The Chesapeake Film Festival is honored to add the Dorchester Center for the Arts as partner in the 2018 Festival.  The evening feature of Moving Stories provides a second venue for lovers of dance. The afternoon selections include a series of shorts and a gripping feature, The Sentence focusing on social justice.  Shorts include Othello San and Jabari Keatinga candid, first-person narrative that explores his personal reflections about life as an African-American in America today.

The intense documentary, In the Executioner’s Shadow, which screens Friday in Easton, comes to the Cambridge Premier Cinemas Saturday afternoon.  Lighter fare continues throughout the day with Up to Snuff, about American musician and composer W. G. Snuffy Walden. If you don’t the name, you know his music from such TV shows as The West WingThe Wonder Years and Thirty something. A fascinating subject is featured with Poured in Pennsylvania about the redeveloped beer industry and its impact in Pennsylvania. And there’s Five Days in August which follows two teams competing in the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament—The White Marlin Open in Ocean City.

Poured in Pennsylvania and Bombshell

Sunday Specials

The Chesapeake Film Festival continues through Sunday in Easton and Cambridge. Highlights include I, Matter, produced by Festival board member Alexis Nichols and directed by its brave star, Llysa Rie who will share her story of living with AIDS on screen and on stage at the Academy Art Museum.

Beauty and brains are the subjects of two very different films at the Avalon. The afternoon begins with The Gardener, a walk through the gardens of Les Quatre Vents with influential gardener and horticulturalist Frank Cabot.  The closing night film tells a story that sounds like fiction, but isn’t. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is about the astounding, but little-known, talents of a Hollywood bombshell off-screen. Lamarr helped develop a secret radio system that would allow the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-Boats with deadly accuracy. The nephew of her partner in the invention, musician George Antheil, will share anecdotes with the audience after the film.  An awards ceremony and reception closes out the Festival.

This schedule is subject to change. For more information and tickets, visit chesapeakefilmfestival.com.

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