Death Penalty Documentary ‘In the Executioner’s Shadow’ Premieres at Film Festival October 12


In August, Pope Francis declared the death penalty wrong. His edict challenged Catholics who have argued that their church accepted capital punishment in some cases. As efforts to overturn capital punishment continue in the United States, people of all faiths are questioning their deepest beliefs about justice.

This debate over the death penalty is the focus of a powerful new documentary, In the Executioner’s Shadow. This profound film premieres in Maryland during the Chesapeake Film Festival at the Avalon Theatre in Easton on Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. and at Cambridge Premier Cinemas in Easton on October 13 at 1 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to

The film, co-produced by American University School of Communication professors Maggie Burnette Stogner and Rick Stack, casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories: the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to decide what justice really means; and the parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer.

Each screening will be followed by a panel and Q&A with Maggie Burnette Stogner and Rick Stack. They will be accompanied by Jerry Givens, retired Virginia executioner; Vicki Shieber, mother of a murder victim; and Diann Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Red Carpet Rolls Out October 11 for the Chesapeake Film Festival


The Chesapeake Film Festival, October 11-14, 2018 brings filmmakers and film lovers together for remarkable screenings, illuminating discussions, and tasty receptions.  Four days. Five locations. 48 films.

The excitement begins Thursday, October 11 at the Academy Art Museum in Easton with Whet Your Appetite as Festival attendees partake of scrumptious appetizers and desserts prepared by seven area restaurants: 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, Flying Fork Catering, and Scossa Restaurant and Lounge. (Thursday, October 11 at the Academy Art Museum 5 p.m.)

While the reception whets appetites for food, it also whets appetites for the opening night film at the Avalon TheatreNew Chefs on the Block, directed by Dustin Harrison-Atlas.  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 stars Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly…Pizza; and the director Dustin Harrison-Atlas are expected to be in attendance at the Opening Night events. There are cameos by legendary chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer, Mike Isabella, and Michel Richard, and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman. (Thursday, October 11 at the Avalon Theatre 7:30 p.m.)

The Festival continues at the Avalon Theatre on Friday, October 12, with a mix of three incredible and distinctive films.  The evening begins with a journey Into the Okavango, a river basin that covers 125,000 square miles across Angola, Botswana and Namibia.  Directed by National Geographic Society filmmaker Neil Gelinas, the film features stunning wildlife photography and aerial views of rarely seen vistas. Into the Okavango draws attention to an endangered wilderness while it mesmerizes viewers with its beauty. (Friday, October 12 at the Avalon Theatre 5:00 p.m.)

From African elephants in the wild, the Festival moves to the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, as sung by her friend, an old farm dog. The Elephant’s Song is portrayed in colorful, handcrafted animation created frame-by-frame with clay-on-glass by Lynn Tomlinson, an acclaimed animator and Towson University professor. A wine and cheese reception follows. (Friday, October 12 at the Avalon Theatre 7:15 p.m.; Sunday, October 14 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 3:00 p.m.)

Friday night, In the Executioner’s Shadow casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories: the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to define justice; and the Maryland parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer.  Directed by Maggie Stogner, In the Executioner’s Shadow illuminates the oft-hidden realities entangled in death row, the death penalty, and the U.S. Justice system at large. (Friday, October 12 at the Avalon Theatre 8 p.m.; Saturday, October 13 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 1:00 p.m.)

On Saturday, October 13, the Chesapeake Film Festival expands to five venues: The Avalon Theatre and Academy Art Museum in Easton, The Dorchester Center for the Arts and Cambridge Premier Cinemas in Cambridge, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.

Festival participants will have three opportunities to see the Maryland premiere of the magical Moving Stories about six New York dancers who travel the world to work with youth who have experienced war, poverty, sexual exploitation, extreme prejudice and severe trauma as refugees. This motivational documentary by Wilderness Films shows how dance has the soft power to support children hurt by political and social failures.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Avalon Theatre 4:30 p.m. and Dorchester Center for the Arts 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, October 14 at the Academy Art Museum 1:00 p.m.)

Two other Maryland premieres screen in Easton and Cambridge.  The Gardener, directed by Sebastien Chabot, is a luscious summer-time tour of one of the great private gardens of the world: Frank Cabot’s 20-acre Quatre Vents in Quebec. The film is as much about the gardener as the garden as Cabot, who died in 2011, appears in archival footage to share his quest for perfection. (Saturday, October 13 at the Avalon Theatre at 2:45 p.m. and Dorchester Center for the Arts 8:00 p.m.)

Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction is narrated by renowned marine scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle.  This inspiring documentary about the world’s rarest sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley, explains how humans pushed a healthy population to the precipice of extinction, and how humans now are slowly helping it recover. (Saturday, October 13 at the Avalon Theatre 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 14 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 5:00 p.m.)

Cinephiles will delight in the Maryland premiere of Searching for Ingmar Bergman. Considered one of the most important filmmakers of all time, Bergman would have turned 100 years old this year.  To commemorate his life, internationally known German director Margarethe von Trotta looks at the man and his work in a powerful new film. Actress Liv Ullman, Bergman’s lover who starred in 10 of his films and directed two of his screenplays shares personal stories.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Avalon Theatre 7:30 p.m.  An International Red-Carpet Reception precedes the film at 6:45 p.m.) Following this exciting feature presentation, Ben Simons, director of the Academy Art Musuem and Anke Van Wagenberg, senior curator will join Cornelia Ravenal and Mikael Sodersten, co-producers of Moving Stories for a panel discussion.

Five Seasons and Moving Stories

The Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, directed by Tom Piper, is a gorgeous, meditative documentary that immerses the viewer in the art of a revolutionary landscape designer. (Saturday, October 13 at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 14 at Academy Art Museum 4:45 p.m.)

First time filmmaker, Rudy Valdez, tells the very personal story of his sister, Cindy Shank, and the consequences of her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring.  The Sentence offers an intimate look into the agony of serving a harsh mandatory minimum sentence by someone who just happened to be in love with the wrong person at the wrong time.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Dorchester Center for the Arts 3:30 p.m.)

Millions of people know the music from The West WingWonder Years and thirtysomething, yet few know the journey, hardships and triumphs of the composer of those familiar songs. Infused with the music of W.G. Snuffy Walden, Up to Snuff features luminaries from television, film and music who share personal stories, laughs and insights about this generous soul who overcame the excesses of rock and roll to find success in television. (Saturday, October 13 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 2:30 p.m.)

Beer lovers will savor a double feature on Saturday afternoon.  The Local Oyster Stout, an 8-minute film directed by Mark Burchick, tells the story of a collaboration between an oyster farmer, a shucker, and a brewery to create Maryland’s first farm-to-table Oyster Stout beer. Poured in Pennsylvania, a feature-length film directed by Nate Kresge, captures the history of the beer industry in the Keystone state.  It also shows how beer has created opportunities for hop farmers, maltsters, and keg manufacturers. (Saturday, October 13 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 4:15 p.m.)

Five Days in August, directed by Nick Ruff, follows two teams competing in the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament, the White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, MD.  With a total of 353 boats battling for an unprecedented $4.9 million, the stakes couldn’t be higher. For these fisherman, everything is literally on the line.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Cambridge Premier Cinemas 7:00 p.m.)

Saturday at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a day devoted to outstanding environmental films of regional interest. An hour of environmental shorts at 1:00 leads an impressive line-up of five diverse films, including three East Coast premieres.

Tidewater and Current Revolution were directed by Roger Sorkin of the non-profit American Resilience Project, an organization whose impact campaigns help shape the narrative for practical solutions to our environmental problems.  Tidewater presents a frightening look at the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, an area with 14 military installations that are extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. Current Revolution tackles the challenges of modernizing our aging power grid to make it more secure and environmentally friendly and accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 2:45 p.m.)

Restoring the Clearwater, directed by Jon Bowermaster, and Edna E. Lockwood: Bottoms Up!, directed by local filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown, follow the restoration of two historic vessels with educational missions.  The sloop Clearwater was built to save New York’s Hudson River under the visionary leadership of musician/activist Pete Seeger. Edna E. Lockwood was the last bugeye to work the Chesapeake Bay.  After a three-year replacement of her log hull, the 1889 bugeye will be back on the Chesapeake Bay to share the history, culture and traditions of watermen and their boats. Edna will officially relaunch during OysterFest 2018 at the museum, two weeks after her story debuts at the Chesapeake Film Festival. (Saturday, October 13 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 4:45 p.m.)

The premiere of An Island Out of Time, by Tom Horton, Dave Harp and Sandy Cannon-Brown, is about an amazing couple, Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall, and about Smith Island where their family roots go back 400 years. Written by Tom Horton, the film – like his 1996 book, An Island Out of Time, is both celebration and elegy for a place beset with erosion, vanishing populations, and limited economic opportunities.  (Saturday, October 13 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 7:30 p.m.)

An Island Out of Time is preceded by a reception (6:00 p.m.), with crab cakes made by Mary Ada Marshall on Smith Island, and followed with a dessert reception (8:30 p.m.) featuring Mary Ada’s Smith Island cakes, now the state dessert of Maryland.  The crab cake reception includes wine and additional appetizers prepared and served by Gourmet by the Bay. That reception is free for ticket-holders attending the double feature of Restoring the Clearwater and Edna E. Lockwood: Bottoms Up! and/or the premiere of An Island Out of Time. The dessert reception is available only to ticket-holders for An Island Out of Time.

The Chesapeake Film Festival continues on Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre and Academy Art Museum in Easton and the Cambridge Premier Cinemas in Cambridge.

I, Matter is a feature-length docu-drama shot entirely on an iPhone by its writer and co-director Llysa Rie Lesaka and Shayne Pax. Llysa Rie as Gabbi Jones, tells the devastating and difficult story of living with HIV. (Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre 1:00 p.m.)

I, Matter is paired with a narrative short, Riverment, directed by emerging filmmaker Shayla Racquel, about a former civil rights activist who fears for the safety of her granddaughter who is determined to follow in her footsteps. (Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre 2:30 p.m.)

Voices/Peace, about Muslim, Christian and Jewish teens from the Jerusalem and the West Bank, and Boko Haram: Journey from Evil, about Nigerians overcoming a decade of conflict, create a poignant double feature by two award-winning directors: Amy DeLouise and Beth Mendelson, respectively. (Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre 3:15 p.m.)

The closing film of the Chesapeake Film Festival proves that fact can be stranger than fiction. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, directed by Alexandra Dean, is about Hedy Lamarr, the beautiful Hollywood actress of the 1930s and 40s. At night, after shooting her scenes on set, Lamarr works on a secret radio system that will allow the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-boats with deadly accuracy.  A chance encounter with an eccentric composer, George Antheil, enables her to transform her sketches into a brilliant technology that ultimately contributes to the security of wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth.  (Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre 5:00 p.m.)

The Chesapeake Film Festival calls it a wrap with a ticketed reception and awards ceremony. (Sunday, October 14 at the Avalon Theatre 7:00 p.m.)

The films and events listed above are only part of the total Chesapeake Film Festival experience. The Festival also features several programs of exceptional short films, and most screenings are followed by panel discussions and/or question-and-answers with the filmmakers and experts on the topic at hand. For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit Schedule subject to change.

The Chesapeake Film Festival Announces Its 2018 Cinematic Line-up


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

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

The 2018 Chesapeake Film Festival October 11-14


Join thousands of film lovers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at the Chesapeake Film Festival, where great stories begin. Thursday, October 11th to Sunday, October 14th, the Eastern Shore won’t just be the land of snails and oysters—it will be a sea of film! This long weekend is a celebration of storytelling and filmmaking including workshops, guest speakers, director Q&A’s and jam-packed cinematic discovery.

This year we bring to you an abundance of Maryland premieres, timely environmental films and provocative student films. There’s something for everyone with films that herald new chefs, exquisite gardeners, environmental heroes, a Hollywood movie starlet with a secret, teen grief, marlin fishing, Smith Island, sea turtles and so much more!

The films will be screened at a variety of venues on the shore, including the Avalon Theatre and the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD; the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD; and the Cambridge Premier Cinema and the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, MD.

Not only do you get scintillating film and discussion afterward, but come mingle with the filmmakers at our splashy opening night party at the Academy Art Museum, our environmentally themed event at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and our closing night Award ceremony and party.

For more information, please go to or email us at

Very Special Event as Chesapeake Film Festival Presents Cafeteria Man


On Friday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m., The Chesapeake Film Festival’s new series REEL GEMS is presenting Cafeteria Man at St. Michaels High School. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or at the door.

In addition to the film, “larger than life” Tony Geraci, the star of the film; director, cinematographer and coproducer Richard Chisolm; and Deanna Deese Kilmon of Chesapeake Harvest in Easton will be on hand for a round table discussion afterward.


– One out of three children born in the United States in the year 2000 will develop diabetes.
– One third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
– The National School Lunch Program serves approximately 30.5 million lunches per day at a cost of $8.7 billion a year.
– Most of our food travels 1,500 miles before we eat it.

Cafeteria Man is a story of 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.

The feature documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to ‘green’ the public-school diet serving 83,000 students in Baltimore – and later, over 200,000 students in Memphis.

Leading the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city’s public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci’s bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, and nutrition education in the classroom. His mission is as audacious as it is practical.

“This has never been done before,” affirms Geraci, “but it makes perfect sense.”

The film follows Tony Geraci as a central character, introducing audiences to the dynamic assortment of human ingredients necessary for school food reform efforts to succeed.

Among the protagonists in this story are parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, chefs, and dozens of creative and motivated students. Their collective efforts are proof positive that a ‘village’ is indeed required to transform school food.

Over the course of several years, the film traces efforts to make healthy, nutritious meals available to all the city’s students. Viewers watch as inner city youth plant and harvest vegetables at the school system’s 33-acre teaching farm, now a national model. They witness what it takes to get local produce on school plates. And they watch as high school seniors develop practical job skills through a new citywide culinary vocational training program.

“If Tony makes this happen here the way he wants to, I think you’ll see this happening all over the country,” says best-selling author and food activist Michael Pollan in the film.

One of the crowning achievements of Tony’s tenure – Great Kids Farm – is a thriving, hands-on, educational resource. Since 2009, more than 5,000 students and teachers have benefited from the farm’s programs. (To learn more, visit: The Baltimore City Public Schools has continued to strengthen ties with local farmers, the After School Supper Program is reaching more parents/students, and a growing number of schools are incorporating salad bars.

In Easton, Sales and Marketing Director of Chesapeake Harvest, Deanna Deese Kilman, explains that her organization works on behalf of farmers to help them find marketing opportunities. She emphasizes that Tony values “Fresh” while her organization values both “local and community building to support the local economy.”

Curt Ellis, Executive Director, Foodcorps and Co-Producer, King Corn says, “Geraci is an inspiration. He proves that when you get students growing, cooking and eating healthy food, it’s not children’s lunch that changes—it’s children’s lives.” Richard Chisolm, the film’s director celebrates that we don’t have to live with a terrible situation and cites Tony’s “contagious optimism” and “evangelical” nature as helping to turn the situation around. “Tony thought that life could be better” and he made a change, Chisolm says and that why making this film was so important.

The Chesapeake Film Festival’s REEL GEMS will feature Cafeteria Man at St. Michaels High School (200 Seymour Avenue, St. Michaels, MD) on Friday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or at the door.

Chesapeake Film Festival Announces New Members to its Board of Directors


The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) is delighted to announce six new members to its Board of Directors.  The new directors—all Talbot County Residents—have immediately assumed their seats in preparation for the 2018 Chesapeake Film Festival to take place from October 11 – 14 in Easton, St. Michaels, and Cambridge, Maryland.

The new board members will facilitate new collaborations that are expected to increase CFF’s local and national outreach.  Their experiences also add to CFF’s bench of marketing and fundraising capabilities.  More information about the Festival can be found at

Richard L. Calkins is retired from managing international organizations for forty years in Washington, DC, and Europe.  For nearly ten years, Richard served as Executive Director of CINE in Washington, DC., which provided a platform for short and documentary filmmakers, including student filmmakers.  CINE worked with the USIA to provide content internationally through their network of television stations and theaters.  Its Golden Eagle competition and awards are well known in the documentary community.  While during his time with CINE, it was required to win a CINE award to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Short Documentary, Feature Documentary, Animated Short Subject, and Live Action Short Subject categories.  Richard was a regular judge at film festivals in Parma, Italy; Toulon, France; Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, and in Paris, and estimates that he has judged and watched some 600 documentaries annually.

From 1974 – 1986, Richard was Dean of the American College of Switzerland (which moved in 2010), and a consultant and VP of Special Projects for Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland and Paris. His annual business travel was to 40-45 countries on four continents.  From 1995 until his retirement in 2007, Richard was Executive Director of the International Student House in Washington, DC.

Since retirement in 2007, Richard has served on the Board of the St. Michaels Community Center as its Vice-President and Chair of the Development Committee.  In 2010, he joined the Board of the Talbot County Democratic Forum, became its President in 2011, stepped down in 2015, and is now chair of its Communications Committee.

Sandy Cannon-Brown, founder and president of VideoTakes, Inc., is an award-winning environmental filmmaker whose work has taken her to Central and South America, West Africa, the Northern Great Plains, and the Everglades. She was an associate director for the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, honored as CEF’s first senior scholar in 2013 and named AU’s adjunct professor of the year in 2011.  Among her other honors, Women in Film & Video DC (WIFV) honored Cannon-Brown as a Woman of Vision. She served as WIFV’s president 2011-12. Since 2012, Cannon-Brown’s films have focused on issues facing the Chesapeake Bay.  Her latest film, in partnership with writer Tom Horton and photographer Dave Harp, is High Tide in Dorchester.  This trio previously merged talents to create Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, a documentary inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay. 

Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Bill’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.  UMCES is comprised of three laboratories distributed across the watershed of Chesapeake Bay within Maryland: Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in Solomons and Horn Point Laboratory on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay near Cambridge as well as Maryland Sea Grant College in College Park, Maryland. UMCES also operates an Annapolis Liaison Office. Bill Dennison rejoined UMCES in 2002 following a ten-year stint at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He originally started at UMCES (then the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Science) in 1987 as a Postdoctorate/Research Assistant Professor based at Horn Point Laboratory. In Australia, Bill developed an active Marine Botany group at the University of Queensland with strong links to the Healthy Waterways Campaign for Moreton Bay. Bill obtained his academic training from Western Michigan University (B.A., Biology & Environmental Science), the University of Alaska (M.S., Biological Oceanography), The University of Chicago (Ph.D., Biology), and State University of New York at Stony Brook at Stony Brook (Postdoc, Coastal Marine Scholar).

George A. Nilson practiced law in the public and private sectors in Maryland from 1967- 2016.  Highlights of his law practice at DLA Piper LLP US (1968-1973; 1983-2006), include the representation of The Rouse Company in its development of Columbia and other new town developments; halting the interstate expressway in Baltimore City’s Leakin Park. His environmental litigation includes stopping the construction of an oil refinery on Chesapeake Bay in St. Mary’s County; closing two controversial landfills in the Baltimore metropolitan area and assisting an Eastern Shore county in continuing and eventually relocating its landfill.   Other work includes representing amicus in a case enabling public funding of Camden Yards sports facility; successful representation of Washington Redskins in a suit to block their stadium construction; and representation of Maryland Stadium Authority in legal representation disputes. Prior to his retirement from DLA Piper, he represented as either Legislative Agent or counsel several private and public clients with significant and highly visible issues pending before the Maryland General Assembly.

In 1973, he began his public sector for nine years in the Office of Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General where he briefed, argued and won three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Early in this time, he served as counsel to the General Assembly, creating modern-day office of counsel to the General Assembly. Additional highlights include serving as lead counsel for State in original school financing litigation and a landmark MARC case establishing right of all special needs children to free, appropriate public education.

George concluded his legal career serving as City Solicitor for Baltimore City from 2007-2016.

Carol Peach-Woods is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, MD.  The Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.  Carol manages a team of 8 and oversee 2 public relations agencies covering domestic and international markets—with the goal of broadening multi-generational appeal and expanding the drive market from 2-hours to 5-hours.

She oversees all transient, group and golf sales as well as meetings, events, and festivals for the 5,000 square feet of internal space and outdoor events on the 25-acre property and 18-hole Pete Dye golf course. Her team leverages social media and technology to create new business opportunities. Carol has doubled destination wedding revenues.  She was instrumental in gaining accolades to include Conde Nast 2017 Readers’ Choice Award, #1 in resorts New York State and Mid-Atlantic.

Nancy Tabor has more than 25 years of marketing, promotion, web management, and event planning experience.  She has held senior marketing and event planning positions at T. Rowe Price, Zurich Insurance Group and University of Maryland, Baltimore. In 2004-06, she was the marketing chair of the annual fundraiser for the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. She has won top awards from the International Association of Business Communicators, The Insurance Marketing Communication Association and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Currently, an Adjunct Professor teaching Communications at Chesapeake College, she has taught Communications, Public Speaking, and Oral Interpretation at various Maryland Colleges. They include Salisbury University, Notre Dame University of MD, University of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, Stevenson University and the Community College of Baltimore County.

Mark the Date: 10th Chesapeake Film Festival to Begin on October 27


The 10th Anniversary Chesapeake Film Festival brings filmmakers and a diverse audience of film enthusiasts to Easton for the region’s only weekend event that features independent films. Some critics call independent films the most important art form of the 21st century. Audiences have the chance to engage in critical discourse about the film, often with the filmmaker present.

The Avalon Theater is the Chesapeake Film Festival headquarters, with satellite venues at the Academy Art Museum, Talbot County Public Library, and Easton & Cambridge Premier Cinemas. Tickets are reasonably priced, $12 per film; $50 for one day; and $85 for an all-access pass. A special opening film and party is $30. For further information about all films, day and all-access passes, special events, and tickets please visit

Opening night, October 27th, begins at the Troika Gallery with a Greek-themed cocktail party before a short walk to the Avalon Theatre to enjoy the comedy Swing Away. Filmed mostly in Greece, it is about professional golfer Zoe Papadopolus who travels to her grandparent’s village in Greece to escape the harsh spotlight of the women’s professional golf tour. Actor John O’Hurley (remember Seinfeld’s Mr. Peterman?) stars in the movie. An avid golfer himself, upper level Festival sponsors are invited to play golf with O’Hurley at the Talbot County Country Club.

Because environmental concerns are integral to the Eastern Shore across the political spectrum, Saturday, October 28th is a full day of documentaries with climate change as a common theme. A partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy brings substantive expertise to the film discussions. Viewers will see the power of documentary filmmaking in understanding this widely discussed and often contentious topic. Discussion will be interspersed between films moderated by Stuart Clarke, Executive Director, Town Creek Foundation. Experts include Maryland Secretary of the Environment, Benjamin H. Grumbles; Dr. Donald Boesch, Professor of Marine Science and president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, 1990-2017; Dr. William C. “Bill” Boicourt, Professor Emeritus, Horn Point Laboratory, UMECS; and Brian Ambrette, Coastal Resilience Manager at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

The film sequence begins with National Geographic’s, Before the Flood, produced by Martin Scorsese, in which actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists worldwide to discuss the impacts of climate change. From the Ashes presents the voices from all sides of the debate about the coal industry as alternative energy gains steam. The coal industry provides tens of thousands of jobs to America’s blue-collar backbone. Regrettably, it is also the single largest source of the carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global warming, and public health officials warn of the myriad risks of mining and burning coal.

High Tide in Dorchester, written and narrated by Tom Horton, directed by Dave Harp, and produced by Sandy Cannon-Brown addresses the lack of adequate planning needed to meet the imminent challenges of living on the edges of a rising tide. Two shorts, The Ballad of Holland Island House produced by Lynn Tomlinson and The Waterman produced by Jess Jacklin, are touchingly intimate portrayals of our local legacy.

On Sunday, October 29th at the Art Academy Museum, the Festival will screen AlphaGo about an artificial intelligence; hosts a student film showcase featuring young filmmakers from Easton High School who are learning filmmaking under the guidance of instructor Garnette Hines. Hines will join Lori Snyder, Executive Director of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS), and filmmakers to discuss student engagement in this art form. The Festival closes with William Wyler: The Films & The Music, presented by Dr. Rachel Franklin. After the last film, an awards ceremony and cocktail party will close the Festival.

The Chesapeake Film Festival welcomes public support with sponsorships and program advertisements.

Chesapeake Film Festival, Coming Soon to Easton


Opening October 27th at Easton’s historic Avalon Theater, the 9th annual Chesapeake Film Festival brings a wide-ranging variety of distinctive documentary, narrative, comedy and short films to the Chesapeake region. Q&As with filmmakers explore their creative processes. Expert panels add to the film experience with context and interpretation of a film’s purpose. Films will appeal to audiences who desire to deepen their experience of new cinema thinking on the film industry. Over four days, 39 films will be shown at the Avalon Theater, Easton Premier Cinema, and the Academy of Art Museum.

Schedule of events:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

THE AVALON THEATER, Opening Night Gala 5:30 p.m.

A cinematic treat with a special screening of three sailing films, two directed by world class sailor Gary Jobson, the pre-eminent ambassador for sailing in the U.S. Jobson leads a Q & A after the films. The third maritime film will be a film directed by Alexis Andrews.

The Magic & Mystery of Sable Island; Ted Turner’s Greatest Race: 1979 Fastnet; Vanishing Sail, The Story of a Caribbean Tradition (directed by Alexis Andrews)

Friday, October 28, 2016


• ARREO, directed by Tato Moreno, 4:00 PM
• John Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, 6:00 PM, Q & A with John Avildsen and Derek Wayne Johnson, 8:00 PM

SPECIAL EVENT, 7:00 PM – Chesapeake Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award awarded to Oscar-winning director John Avildsen. VIP Cocktail Party follows at the Tidewater Inn.

• Awakenings, directed by Bargav Saikia, 8:45 p.m.
• Awakening, directed by Rolf Lindblom, 9 p.m.
• Night, Night, directed by Justin Doecher, 9:15 p.m.
• Runoff, directed by Kimberly Levin, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 29, 2016,


• The Angel Within, 10:00 a.m.; Q & A at 11:15 a.m. with director Robert Thayer, Kessler
• City of Trees, 11:45 a.m.; Q & A at 1:00 p.m. with director Brandon Kramer and producer Lance Kramer and cast members of the film.
• Hungry, directed by Jillie and Thomas Simon, 1:20 p.m.
• Lean On Me, directed by John Avildsen, 1:45 p.m.; Q & A with John Avildsen, 3:45 p.m.
• Priceless, directed by Peter Callahan, 4:15 p.m.; Q & A with Peter Callahan, Stacey Brumbaugh and cast at 4:45 p.m.
• Zoo (Volkerschau), directed by Monda Webb, 5:00 p.m.; Q & A with Monda Webb at 5:45 p.m.
• The Ride, directed by Callie Cagwin, 5:00 p.m.; Q & A at 5:45 p.m. with Callie Cagwin
• Tick Tock Clock, directed by Gail Reaben, 5:00 p.m.; Q & A at 5:45 p.m. with Gail Reaben
• Thornbird, directed by Jonathan Stutzman, 5:00 p.m.; Q & A at 5:45 p.m. with Jonathan Stutzman
• TRI, directed by Jai Jamison, 6:30 p.m.; Q & A at 8:15 p.m. with Jai Jamison, Ted Adams, Kimberly Skyrme, Dave McGillivray, Gerry Boyle and Peter Paris.
• The Runaway, directed by Nick DeRuve, 8:45 p.m.


• Crashing the Party, directed by David Sigal, 12:00 Noon; Q & A at 1:30 p.m. with Al From
• Sharks of War: Truth, Tales, & Terror, directed by Robert Cantrell, 1:45 p.m.
• In the Name of the Moon: A Sailor Moon Documentary, directed by Anthony Jacoway and Tiffany Lewis 2:45 p.m.
• Breaking Through the Clouds, directed by Heather Taylor, 4:00 p.m.; Q & A with Heather Taylor at 5:50 p.m.
• Nighthawks on the Blue Highway, directed by Michael Streissguth, 6:15 p.m.
• Need Change, directed by Rob Waters, 7:45 p.m.


SPECIAL EVENT – Karate Workshop, Saturday, October 29, Talbot County Free Library, 9:00 a.m.; Q & A with actor Chris Dyer, 12:15 p.m.

• Karate Kid, directed by John Avildsen, 9:45 a.m.

SPECIAL EVENT – Karate Demonstration for John Avildsen, 12:00 Noon

• Cardboard Dreams, Saturday, directed by Andrew Harmon 12:45 p.m.
• Black Captains of the Chesapeake, directed by Professor Stephen Barry, 1:15 p.m.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


• Tale of the Tongs, directed by Judith Dwan Hallet, 12:00 Noon; Q & A with Judith Dwan Hallet, Stanley Hallet, Sandy Cannon-Brown, Tom Horton and Dave Harp 2:15 p.m.
• Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, directed by Sandy Cannon-Brown with producers Tom Horton and Dave harp, 1:15 p.m.; Q & A with Judith Dwan Hallet, Stanley Hallet, Sandy Cannon-Brown, Tom Horton and Dave Harp 2:15 p.m.
• For Whom the Bell Tolls – Recording of an Opera in Progress: Act I Scene 3, directed by Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, 2:45 p.m.; Q & A with Brian Wilbur Grundstrom and Rachel Franklin, 4:15 p.m.
• Moosehead’s Wicked Good Plan directed by Sarah Katz, 2:45 p.m.; Q & A at 4:15 p.m.; Q & A at 4:15 p.m.
• The Bonobo Connection Sunday, directed by Irene A. Magafan, 2:45 p.m.; Q & A at 4:15 p.m.
• Captain Blood, directed by Michael Curtiz, 6:30p.m., To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Olivia de Havilland and Halloween, anyone wearing a pirate’s costume will be admitted FREE.

SPECIAL EVENT – The Chesapeake Film Festival Award Ceremony to Honor the Filmmakers, The Avalon Theatre, 5:15 p.m.

The First Annual Chesapeake Film Festival Awards Ceremony honors the filmmakers of the 2016 Chesapeake Film Festival. In attendance will be members of the CFF board of directors, judges, and industry guests. The Festival will recognize exceptional talent in the categories of: best feature film, best short film, best student film, best actor & actress, among others.


• The Chalkboard Chronicles, co-directed by Tom Judd and Jeff Wolfe, Noon; Q & A following the film at 12:45pm


• Wind Carry My Tears, directed by Jiao Wang, Noon
• Cowlick, directed by Lindsey Sitz, 12:30 p.m.
• Extra School, directed by Cary Anderson, 12:45 p.m.
• Double Ply with Nowhere, directed by Judy Rifka, sound by Frank Rathbone, 1:00 p.m.
• Letters from Alcatraz, Directed by Madeleine Rozwat, 1:30p.m.

The Chesapeake Film Festival is funded in part by a grants from the Maryland Firm Office and the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council. for full program, All Access Passes, individual tickets

Chesapeake Film Festival Preview: “Farmland”


Remarkably, less than one percent of the nation’s 317 million people are farmers. It’s no wonder that despite the importance of farming for the nation’s fuel and food most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm. On Saturday, September 19, at 4 p.m. regional film lovers can gain a rare glimpse into the world of farming as the Chesapeake Film Festival presents “Farmland” at the Easton Premier Cinemas, 210 Marlboro Ave., Easton.

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and the Rural Maryland Foundation (Foundation) are sponsoring this film created by award-winning director, James Moll. It will be preceded by the special presentation of the short video “Rural Aspirations,” which was produced by the Rural Maryland Council through Foundation funding.

After viewing “Farmland” filmgoers will have an opportunity to interact with local farmers through a short panel discussion featuring farmers and area legislators, followed by a public reception with light hors d’oeuvres. Tickets for this special presentation are $10 and can be purchased online through September 16 at or at the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce at 101 Marlboro Ave., Ste. 53 in Easton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed from 12 to 1 p.m. for lunch. Tickets will also be sold at the Avalon Theatre, 40 E. Dover St., and the Easton Premier Cinemas during the festival on Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19.

“Bringing Farmland to the Chesapeake Film Festival through our sponsorship represented a perfect opportunity for RMC and the Foundation to engage a new audience in our message about the importance of our rural communities,” says Charlotte Davis, RMC’s executive director. “We are pleased to introduce some of our local farmers to the audience and give them the chance to talk about their passion for their vocation and way of life,” she adds.


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