Boosting state as site for moviemaking


Armed with "Maryland, More than You can Imagine" goody bags from the Department of Economic and Employment Development, Maryland's new film commission director, Mike Styer, and his deputy Jack Gerbes, flew to Park City, Utah, for the Robert Redford Sundance Film Festival.

"This festival is an excellent opportunity to network and hobnob with filmmakers from all over the world." Gerbes said. "It's rare that you have a chance to approach directors like Andrew Davis, 'The Fugitive,' Matty Rich, 'Straight out of Brooklyn,' and Jay Craven, 'The River Flows North.'

Others at the festival touting Maryland as an ideal place to make movies were members of the Producer's Club Jed Dietz, David Cordish and Blair Barton, who publishes the Maryland/DC Production Guide.

It also helps to have contacts like Jonathan Cordish, a filproducer and son of David, and Tom Rothman, (his dad, Donald, is a partner with the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander), president of World Wide Productions for Samuel Goldwyn productions.

There was lots of talk about the movie, "Threesome," which had its world premiere at the festival. This Tristar film about three college kids in the mid-'70s stars Baltimorean Josh Charles, son of Alan Charles, Trahan Burden & Charles; and Laura (Charles) Peyton; Stephen Baldwin, brother of Alec; and Lara Flynn Boyle, who was in "Twin Peaks."

Mike Styer thinks the movie, scheduled for an April release, will be one of the bigs hits of 1994.

And speaking of films, next Thursday night at the Senator Theatre you can see the Maryland premiere of "Faraway, So Close." Plus the film's highly acclaimed German director Wim Wenders will be there to introduce the film and to answer questions following the screening. I am told this is a sequel to his hit film, "Wings of Desire." This is a benefit for the Baltimore Film Forum and tickets are $15.


"Good Morning America," seen locally on Channel 13, is running five-part series on prostate cancer all next week and a Baltimore group will be featured. Us-Too, a local walk-in support group, which holds meetings on the first Monday of the month at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, will be in the final segment next Friday. An ABC camera crew will be at the monthly meeting, which is held in the hospital's conference center.


There are still a few tickets left to two important benefits you might be interested in.

A dinner honoring Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Thompson takes place at Stouffer Harborplace Hotel Feb. 12. Tickets for the black-tie event, which benefits the Alliance for the Chesapeake, are $150. Orioles owner Peter Angelos and ABC's Jim McKay are a few of the celebs going to honor Chuck. Call (410) 377-6270 for tickets.

Then the fabulous Gladys Knight is coming to Meyerhoff Hall Feb. 20 for a concert which will benefit a wonderful organization, Advocates for Children and Youth. Call (410) 547-9200 for ticket

prices . . .


What a small world . . . While wheeling a grocery cart about the Food Center on the island of St. Maarten, in the West Indies, an attractive woman walked up and asked if I were Sylvia Badger.

She turned out to be Baltimorean Marcia Yumkas who, with hehusband, David, had just arrived on the island with friends Elaine and Bernie Goodman. This foursome began a tradition about four years ago with an annual vacation to the French side of the island, St. Martin.


Actress Goldie Hawn has one, so does singer Wayne Newton. You can see one in the movies, "The Good Son," and "Mrs. Doubtfire." And former Colts coach Don Shula, now with the Miami Dolphins, bought three last year, one for himself and one for each of his children as Christmas presents.

Give up? All of this celebrity status is for custom-crafted mantels made by Baltimore's Readybuilt Products. Since 1925, this company has been turning out free-standing gas and electric fireplaces and creating custom-crafted mantels on McHenry Street.

Baltimore natives Debbie and Bob Decker recently bought 100 percent of the business which they haved helped run for 10 years.


Regardless of what happens in Lillehammer, the hottest tickets town are certain to be those for the 1994 Tour of World Figure Skating Championships at the Baltimore Arena on April 17. Tickets are expensive, $45 and $30, but I bet the good seats will go early because Nancy Kerrigan is scheduled to skate. Call the (410) 481-SEAT for tickets.

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