Md. film festivals offered advance look at Oscar nominees

For The Baltimore Sun

Local film fans may have a leg up on the competition when it comes to their Oscar pools, thanks to the folks at the Maryland Film Festival and Chesapeake Film Festival.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild," which enjoyed a long run at The Charles Theatre last year, received four nods among the Oscar nominations announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles. The film had its Baltimore premiere June 5 at MICA, before an audience culled from members of the Maryland Film Festival's Friends of the Festival program. Screenwriter Lucy Alibar, Oscar-nominated for the film, was on hand for the screening and was interviewed afterward by WYPR's Tom Hall.

Festival-goers may also be familiar with the work of "Beasts" director Benh Zeitlin, who was also nominated; Some of his previous short films, including 2008's "Glory at Sea," have been shown at the Maryland Film Festival.

Meanwhile, audiences at September's fifth annual Chesapeake Film Festival in Easton had an early chance to see Kirby Dick's Oscar-nominated documentary on rape in the military, "The Invisible War," as well as hear the Oscar-nominated song, "Before My Time," from the documentary "Chasing Ice."

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