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CineBistro to host advance screenings of independent films as part of New York Film Critics Series

Beginning this month, Baltimore's new CineBistro movie theater will play host to the New York Film Critics Series, a monthly event offering advance looks at independent films that, in many cases, will not otherwise be shown in local theaters.

The inaugural offering for local audiences will be a May 24 screening of "The Drowning," a psychological drama starring Baltimore's own Josh Charles and Tracie Thoms, plus Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia and Leo Fitzpatrick.

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"This is an opportunity for a film to be seen on screens where they normally wouldn't," said New York Film Critics series founder Mark Ehrenkranz.

CineBistro, the upscale movie theater that opened at the Rotunda in February, will be the only theater in the region to host the series, Ehrenkranz said. It is offered in some 60 cities nationwide; the nearest other locations include Winchester, Va., and Ashburn, Va.

The New York Film Critics Series, begun in 1995, also features taped post-film discussions featuring cast and crew from the film. For "The Drowning," which is based on the novel "Border Crossing" by Pat Barker, the discussion will include Charles, Stiles and director Bette Gordon. Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers will serve as moderator for the discussion, which is being taped May 8.

Tickets to the 6:30 p.m. May 24 screening of "The Drowning" are priced at $50, with proceeds benefiting the Baltimore School for the Arts. They are available through bsfa.org.

CineBistro is located at 727 W. 40th St.

In the Baltimore area, the New York Film Critics Series joins the Maryland Film Festival's newly opened Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway and the Charles Theatre's weekly Cinema Sundays screenings as venues for movies that might not otherwise make it to area theater screens.

The Parkway, which opened with this week's 19th Maryland Film Festival, will offer a year-round venue for independent, often cutting-edge movies. Cinema Sundays offers previews of yet-to-be-released movies, hosted by local film figures and other experts in various fields.

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