It's official: The Maryland Film Festival will definitely happen April 22-25. And most of it will take place at the newly renovated and expanded Charles Theatre, where the press conference announcing the festival was held yesterday.
"We're going to open on April 16," said theater co-owner John Standiford. The theater's primary mission, Standiford said, will be as a "first-run art multiplex. But beyond that, we want to be a home for great films from the past and current-day curiosities for people who are particularly enthusiastic about film."
"Sweet Smell of Success," Alexander Mackendrick's classic 1957 movie about New York at its jazziest and most corrupt, will kick off the Charles' film calendar, which in the future will include movies from Universal Pictures' extensive film noir library, films by the Japanese director Ozu and a slate of documentaries by cinema-verite pioneers the Maysles brothers.
Four new theaters are being installed at the Charles, the biggest of which will seat 230. (The original auditorium is staying put.) Stadium seats, bathrooms and a custom-designed concession stand have yet to be put in. But yesterday, the building's striking original brickwork was visible on the interior walls, its Flemish Bond pattern clearly marking one of the theater's most attractive design elements.
"Every other theater has stadium seating," quipped Baltimore Development Corp.'s M.J. "Jay" Brodie at the press conference, "but no one will have Flemish Bond brickwork."
Dietz formally announced the availability of an all-access pass to the Maryland Film Festival, which will allow entry into every screening, panel and party during the four-day event. Passes can be purchased for $250 each by calling 410-752-8083.
Actors wanted for film
The Baltimore-based independent film "Sinsitivity" will hold auditions for actors on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Arena Playhouse, 801 N. McCulloh St.
"Sinsitivity," which will be directed by Kim Moir (whose play "Killing Memory" won the WMAR-TV/Arena Players drama competition in 1996), is "the redemptive story of a minister's son who pursues a relationship with a troubled stripper and the tragic consequences that follow," according to Moir, who wrote the script.
Applicants will be asked to provide an 8-by-10 head shot and resume and will be called on to perform a scene from the film's script. Casting requirements call for an African-American male aged 25 to 35; an African-American female aged 20 to 30; a Caucasian male aged 30 to 50; a Caucasian female aged 30 to 50 and an African-American male aged 40 to 50. For more information, call casting director Crystal Smith at 410-752-6682.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will show the film "Kitty: Return to Auschwitz" Thursday at 7 p.m. Filmmaker Peter Morley will lead a post-screening discussion of his documentary, which chronicles the return of Kitty Hart to the death camp 34 years after her internment there. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For ticket information, call ProTix at 800-400-9373.
Towson University's Film and Video Society continues its annual spring film series, "Robots, Androids, Cyborgs and Replicants: Artificial Life in Science Fiction Cinema," Monday with a screening of "Short Circuit," a 1986 comedy about a robot that is hit by lightning and thinks it's alive. Steve Guttenberg stars.
Screenings begin at 7: 30 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium on the Towson campus. Admission is free. For more information, call the Center for the Arts Box Office at 410-830-2787.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics continues its spring film series of Canadian films Monday with a screening of "Jesus of Montreal," Denys Arcand's 1990 movie about the staging of a modern-day passion play.
The movie will be shown at 4: 30 p.m. in Lecture Hall IV in the Academic IV Building on the UMBC campus. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-455-2109.
Pub Date: 2/19/99