The 2014 Maryland Film Festival takes place May 7-11 around the Station North Arts District and other Baltimore area locations. The festival traditionally highlights international features, topical documentaries, local works and several shorts programs, among other special screenings.
The most high profile LGBT-themed film on the schedule this year is "The Case Against 8," which premiered at Sundance. The documentary, by Ben Cotner and Ryan White (who directed "Good Ol' Freda"), was shot over five years and follows the team who challenged California's Proposition 8, taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. (May 8, 4:30 p.m., Walters Art Museum; May 9, 11 a.m., UB Langsdale Auditorium)
Also on the lineup is the comedy "Appropriate Behavior," directed by and starring Desiree Akhavan as a Persian woman struggling to be a hip Brooklynite and politically correct bisexual while dealing with her family's traditions. (May 9, 6:30 p.m., Walters Art Museum; and May 11, 1:15 p.m., MICA Gateway Building)
This year's selection from director John Waters (an annual tradition) is "Abuse of Weakness," starring Isabelle Huppert as a filmmaker who suffers a stroke and welcomes a hustler (French rapper/producer Kool Shen) into her life as she recovers. Waters' selections are always entertaining, often educational and sometimes quite disturbing, but they're worth attending for his insightful and cheeky introductions, if nothing else. (May 9, 7 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
There are two coming of age stories in the opening night shorts program having to do with gender and sexual preference: "Easy" and "I was a Teenage Girl." (May 7, 8 p.m., MICA Brown Center)
There are also three LGBT offerings in the documentary shorts program, including "David Hockney in the Now," about the British artist. (May 8, 5 p.m. MICA Lazarus Graduate Studio; May 9, 2 p.m. and May 11, 2:30 p.m., The Windup Space)
Go here for a complete festival schedule.