A weekend of "inspiring and thought provoking" films from around the country will be part of the sixth annual Town of Bel Air Film Festival Oct. 16-18 at the Bel Air Record Armory.
The armory, at 37 N. Main Street in Bel Air, will be transformed into a movie theater to show four films throughout the three days.
The film festival traditionally has been on a Friday-to-Sunday schedule, but planners have altered it this year with a Thursday-through-Saturday schedule.
"Because of [Baltimore] Ravens games on Sundays, we found that that conflicted with our movie schedule," Economic Development Director Trish Heidenreich explained during a recent meeting of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners.
Mayor Robert Reier praised the efforts of Heidenreich and the members of the Cultural Arts Commission to put the festival on, saying they have "worked tirelessly to select some great documentaries and films for this year."
Opening night features "Fed Up," a film which turns everything you've been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years upside down. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of "An Inconvenient Truth") and director Stephanie Soechtig, "Fed Up" will change the way you eat. Special guest host is Dr. Robert J. Reier, chiropractor and the mayor of Bel Air. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 7:30 p.m.
Reier, a chiropractor, praised the film.
"[It was] pretty enlightening, to say the least, as far as the recommendations and the policies that have been put in effect by government, as well as other industry, and why we currently are experiencing the health care crisis that we are today in this nation," Reier, who saw the film over the previous weekend, said.
Friday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. features "Glena." Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office, and Town Commissioner Susan Burdette, will kick off the evening with special guest host Rosanna "Rosanimal" Garcia, a mixed martial artist.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. showing of "Glena," an official selection of the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival.
Glena Avila is a single mother in her 30s whose dream is to become a professional mixed martial artist. Glena was living the American Dream: successful career, two happy children, long-term relationship, a beautiful family home. Then one day, with no background or training, she decided to give cage fighting a try. And she was good…really good. But Glena's world begins to unravel. Glena is a real-life Rocky story, a one-in-a-million tale about a woman who risked it all for her shot at the big time.
"If you like sports it's a really interesting movie," Heidenreich said.
Saturday, Oct. 18, features "Wicker Kittens," an official selection of the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, at 4 p.m. and "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey," an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and AFI/Discovery Channel HotDocs Festival, at 7:30 p.m.
"Wicker Kittens:" Open the box. Dump out all the pieces. And scramble for your lives. Because this is competitive jigsaw puzzling. And it'll turn even the mildest of mannered Midwesterners into stone-cold competitors. Every January, the top teams in the game gather at the St. Paul Winter Carnival in frigid Minnesota to determine the fastest puzzlers in the country. Choose your favorite contestants – the returning champs, the upstart challengers, the sunny family or the dark horse team with nothing to lose – and watch them try to put the pieces back together. Special Guest Host is the film's director, Amy Elliott. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" follows the real life rock 'n' roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for the American rock band Journey. Having overcoming a lifetime of hardships, Arnel must navigate the pressures of replacing a legendary singer and leading a famous band on its most extensive world tour in years. The film's producer, Capella Fahoome, is the special guest host for the evening, when doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person and include one complimentary soda and popcorn. A $10 all access pass is also available. Children under 10 years old are free. Comfortable table seating is available and attendees can bring their own snacks and blankets. Free snowballs will be available on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of Sharon's Hawaiian Shaved Ice of Bel Air.
The Festival's main sponsors include the Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission, Bel Air Economic & Community Development Commission, Maryland Film Office and Maryland State Arts Council. Co-sponsors include the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, Full House Marketing, Harford County Cultural Arts Board and Sharon's Hawaiian Shaved Ice of Bel Air. Honorary sponsor is the Maryland Film Festival.