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Actor, producer returns to Harford to show most recent work, 'Howitz'

A short film produced by 2013 Harford Tech graduate Tim Torre will be screened Tuesday at the Liriodendron Mansion in Bel Air
A short film produced by 2013 Harford Tech graduate Tim Torre will be screened Tuesday at the Liriodendron Mansion in Bel Air (courtesy photo / Baltimore Sun)

A former Harford County resident is returning home next week to show the short film he recently shot here and hopes to premiere at Sundance Film Festival.

Tim Torre, a 2013 graduate of Harford Technical High School and 2014 graduate of Harford Community College with an associate's degree in theater, will be screening "Howitz," a 20-minute film he wrote and produced and filmed in Harford County. He's also the lead actor.

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The film will be shown Tuesday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Liriodendron. Two other short films will be shown before "Howitz," which will be followed by a question and answer session with Torre, who co-produced the film with its director, Phil Greenwood.

The showing is free for anyone involved in the cast and crew and "pay what you can" for anyone else interested in viewing it.

He did advise, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/events/159138621296357, the film has strong language and mature themes.

Torre, who grew up in White Hall and lived in Washington, D.C., before moving to New York City, said he was happy to return to Harford County.

"It was great getting to shoot in my hometown. There are so many beautiful locations in town," he said. "I found this in Harford County and I got to bring a piece of this to my film."

Making a film is commonplace in New York and Los Angeles, but people got excited about it in Harford. He used a lot of extras from Harford Community College and was able to bring a professional film to his hometown.

"This level of production is the same level of quality you see at Sundance and Cannes and Toronto, so be on the set and watch how it works as an emulation of the professional level, it's an incredibly educational experience of people around here as well as being exciting," Torre said.

He said it was a great set and he worked with "intelligent, trustworthy and connected people who knew what they needed to do and made everybody feel as important as everyone else the whole time."

The film is about a "gifted filmmaker" named Mark Howitz, whom Torre describes as being "stuck between living the life he has and the life he wants."

"He has a great job, great friends, yet he's unsatisfied," Torre said. "He's forced to experience the fragility of happiness and what it means 'good.' In the pursuit of being an artist, the best and worst parts of ourselves are personified and you can be gifted and decent at the same time. That's the less he has to learn."

Torre likened it the less Scrooge had to learn in "A Christmas Carol."

Torre's production company, Green Tower Productions, worked with Sympatico, a Baltimore-based production company, to shoot the film, which began in December 2016.

In addition to starring Torre, "Howitz" also features Dawn Ursula, who's been on "The Wire," as well as Sharinna Allen, Peyton Michelle Edwards and Taylor Rosen.

Torre's mom, Aimee O'Neill, also has a small part in the film, one of the funniest parts, he said, and he emjoyed working with her.

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"Oh my gosh, I wish I could put her in everything," he said.

After its showing at the Liriodendron, Torre is hoping to submit it to a slew of film festivals, and premiere it at Sundance.

After the festivals, he's hoping the film brings attention to him, his production company and his colleagues to show the quality of films they can produce to "go out and get investors for a bigger project, a feature, larger film," Torre said.

"It helps all our individual careers extremely as well as where our work is right now as artists," he said.

While he also produced "Howitz," Torre said he is primarily an actor.

"I've always sort of been a conduit as a storyteller. I want to tell really valuable and beautiful stories as often as I can and as quality as I can," he said.

He's working in the "national sphere" pretty consistently, he said, enough to feel good and help pay the bills.

"My dream is to do what I'm going reaching larger tiers, telling larger stories," Torre said. "I definitely want to keep writing and making my own stuff, but do it with people I trust and rely on and who want to tell stories as viscerally as I do."



Harford County’s “Choose Civility” campaign kicked off with a breakfast event at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp on Wednesday.
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