"The Wire" alum Andre Royo will be back in town for next week's Maryland Film Festival, as the star of the closing-night movie, "Hunter Gatherer."
The first film from writer-director (and Virginia native) Joshua Locy, "Hunter Gatherer" stars Royo as Ashley Douglas, an exorbitantly optimistic ex-con looking to reclaim his life and the girlfriend he left behind, only to discover she has moved on. But that doesn't mean he won't continue trying.
The movie, which will be shown at 7:15 p.m. May 8 at the Maryland Institute College of Art's Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival. Royo, known for playing Bubbles on "The Wire," received a Special Jury Award for his acting.
Others in the cast include Kellee Stewart, George Sample III, Alexis DeLaRosa and Ashley Wilkerson. Royo, Locy and Sample, as well as producer April Lamb, are scheduled to be on hand to introduce the film and field questions afterward.
The festival has also announced the lineup for its opening night short films program, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Brown Center. Directors and festival alums Lauren Wolkstein and Zach Clark will host the evening.
The five opening-night shorts, along with descriptions provided by the festival, are:
"1985" (Yen Tan): A dying man prepares to move in with his estranged mother. He makes an appointment with a beauty consultant to hide his symptoms.
"Affections" (Bridey Elliott): This dreamy and understated character study follows Bridey, a young woman bored with her long-term relationship and looking for a change. She finds it in the form of a handsome vagabond and the two lost souls spend a day together at the beach where Bridey's desperation comes to a head. This funny and introspective investigation of tedium and longing is inspired by the great female performances of independent 1970s cinema.
"Doorcuts" (Zachariah Tatham): Short-cutting time and space takes some stretching.
"Pickle" (Amy Nicholson): "Pickle" is an ode to man's capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted existence until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate demise.
"Soy Cubana" (Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov): The Vocal Vidas are a female a cappella quartet from Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of Afro-Cuban music. This documentary explores their unique sound and tells the story of crafting a musical career in a society in which artistic merit is not measured solely by economic success.