The 16th Annual Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) promises to satisfy every film lover’s taste with a smorgasbord of tantalizing films and events. The two-day LIVE Festival (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1) and the VIRTUAL Festival (Oct. 2 through 8) include over 50 outstanding documentaries, narratives films, and animations, along with thought-provoking conversations with the filmmakers.
To whet your appetite for film, CFF invites you to the Academy Art Museum on Aug. 17 for a free screening of the film With Peter Bradley, an intimate series of conversations with the 80-year-old abstract painter by director Alex Rappoport. AAM Director Sarah Jesse is the guest speaker.
Another special event at AAM, this one on the opening day of the LIVE Festival (Sept. 30), literally whets your appetite with a VIP reception that includes freshly-shucked oysters in honor of the world premiere of A Passion for Oysters by CFF regulars Tom Horton, Dave Harp and Sandy Cannon-Brown. The $125 ticket covers the VIP reception and all films and events during the LIVE Festival.
The Live Chesapeake Film Festival begins at noon on Sept. 30 at the historic Avalon Theatre with the Maryland Premiere of Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection, a captivating and unvarnished documentary about the singer’s tragically short life and enduring musical legacy. The representatives of the film team, including Executive Producer Andy Streitfeld and Associate Producer Jon Gann will be present to answer questions.
Blocks of Documentary and Narrative Shorts, and the World Premiere of ICEMAN: Book One, fill your afternoon. This thriller by award-winning filmmaker and CFF Board Member Harold Jackson follows a newly retired organized crime fixer who is pulled back in deeper than he’s ever been.
The LIVE Festival continues with the VIP reception followed by an evening of environmental films, beginning at 7:30 p.m. with A Passion for Oysters. Disease, pollution, and overfishing have done their worst, but yet the oyster still hangs in there, helping the Bay, helping the economy and tasty as ever. Learn about the latest efforts to save the oyster – and the watermen who have depended on it for centuries.
Between the main attractions, Maryland Filmmaker Rob Simmons rides Caroline County backroads to see just how much trash is out there in his clever short, Rob & The Little Buggie.
CFF closes the evening with Windshipped by Jon Bowermaster, a writer, filmmaker, adventurer and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. Windshipped takes you on a voyage of the 65-foot Schooner Apollonia, which has been delivering goods along the Hudson River in the non-polluting, Amazon-way: by sail.
To cap the evening, Ryan Conrath, Associate Professor of English in the film program at Salisbury University will moderate a panel with Bowermaster, Tom Horton and Dave Harp.
On Sunday Oct. 1, the LIVE Chesapeake Film Festival moves to the magnificent Ebenezer Theater in the Prager Family Center for the Arts. This recently renovated theater offers state-of-the art technology in a building that dates back to 1856 when it was the Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church.
Comfortably immerse yourself in the ambience of the theater and the magic of films of all genres. Begin at noon with The Life and Legend of Jane Goodall directed by Judith Dawn Hallet about Goodall’s life-long work with chimpanzees. Hallet will lead a discussion about Goodall and making the film about her following the screening.
Your afternoon at the Ebenezer includes a special block of nine animated shorts, including The Flying Sailor, a 2023 Academy Award nominee. This bold blend of comedy, suspense and philosophy stars a sailor who is blasted skyward after two ships collide and an explosion shatters a city.
Another block showcases the phenomenal work of students. The adventures begin with A River Called Home, which follows the journey and challenges of four women who launch at the headwaters of the James River in Virginia and paddle to the Chesapeake Bay. Director Jess Wiegandt directed the film while she was a graduate student at American University.
The closing film, The Automat, is a national sensation that makes its Maryland debut in the LIVE Chesapeake Film Festival. The film tells the 100-year-story of the iconic restaurant chain Horn & Hardart, the inspiration for Starbucks, where generations of Americans ate and drank coffee at communal tables. Director Liza Hurwitz will join us from New York to answer questions from the audience.
The exciting experience of the 16th annual Chesapeake Film Festival continues Oct. 2-8 with a free VIRTUAL Festival. Among the treasures in the VIRTUAL trove is a beautiful film, Whitman Brook, about an abandoned apple orchard rescued by chance that thrives under the caring hands of the people driven to rejuvenate this Vermont hillside.
Other must-see films in the VIRTUAL Festival include Eroding History directed by Rona Kobell, Trashman by student Lawrence Green, Unheard Melodies by Brenna Mcdonough and Janna Allen, the immensely suspenseful Requiem by Emma Gilbertson from the United Kingdom, and Four Metagraph Animations by the talented cinematic artist Colin Goldberg.
For details about the 16th Annual LIVE and VIRTUAL Chesapeake Film Festival, please visit our website, chesapeakefilmfestival.com or contact CFF Executive Director Nancy Tabor at 443-955-9144.