Like/Dislike: Martha Shane, Maryland Film Festival host

Documentary filmmaker Martha Shane, who will be appearing at the 2014 Maryland Film Festival.
Documentary filmmaker Martha Shane, who will be appearing at the 2014 Maryland Film Festival. (Handout)

Martha Shane may live in Brooklyn, N.Y., but she can always call the Baltimore area home. The Towson native and filmmaker will return to the Maryland Film Festival this year to co-host the opening night as well as the festival's Filmmakers Taking Charge Conference with filmmaker Alex Ross Perry.

Her feature documentary, "After Tiller," which followed the only four doctors in the United States who perform third-trimester abortions, was featured last year. Following the release of "After Tiller," she has two projects in the works, producing one and co-directing the other.


The 30-year-old's big break happened on the set of "Step Up" in Baltimore, where she worked as assistant to the producers.

In advance of the festival, Shane chatted with us about her love for karaoke, distaste for yogurt and more.


Worst pet peeve? People who only know Baltimore from "The Wire" and are afraid to visit.

Songs you are loving and hating right now? The songs that I've been listening to over and over lately are "Going Home" by Leonard Cohen and "Sadness Is a Blessing" by Lykke Li. As far as what songs I hate, I usually love even the worst pop songs (in moderate doses), so I guess the answer is none!

Last concert/gig you went to? Does karaoke count? I've been singing a lot of karaoke (a surprising joy/hazard of documentary filmmaking) but haven't been to a concert in the last few months.

Your worst habit? According to friends and family, spaciness! I guess it's true — I just had to spend a bunch of money to retrieve my passport, which I had left behind, for a trip to a film festival in Mexico.

Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Yogurt shops. I just prefer ice cream and wish it was as ubiquitous as yogurt.

Last movie you liked or disliked? The last movie I loved was my friend Robert Greene's new film "Actress," which is screening in the festival — go see it! And the last movie I disliked was "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (and I'm generally a Wes Anderson fan, so that was sad.)

TV shows you can't get enough of? Lately, I really enjoyed "Broad City."

Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Club Charles. When I was living in Baltimore, I was under the drinking age, so even now, it feels like a great coup to be able to walk in there and ask for a drink.

Best advice you ever got? I saw the great documentary "Particle Fever" recently, and a line from that has really stuck with me — something about how the key to success is "jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm."

Last great meal you had? Last night in a rainstorm I had deluxe nachos delivered to my apartment, and they were ... exquisite.

Favorite thing about Baltimore? I really love everything about Baltimore. Having grown up in Towson, just outside the city, I still think it's the coolest place on earth.


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