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Oscar-winning 'Gimp' opens festival; Film: Subject Dan Keplinger will attend with filmmakers Susan Hadary and William Whiteford.; Film


"King Gimp," the Oscar-winning film by Baltimore filmmakers Susan Hadary and William Whiteford, will open this year's Maryland Film Festival. "Panic," the feature debut of former "Homicide" writer Henry Brumell, will close the festival, along with the previously announced "Spring Forward."

"King Gimp," which took honors for best documentary short subject at this year's Academy Awards, will have its Baltimore premiere at the festival on April 27 at the Charles Theatre. Dan Keplinger, an artist with cerebral palsy whose life is the subject of the film, will attend with Hadary and Whiteford, and they'll bring their two Oscar statuettes and Keplinger's paintings.

It will be the only chance for Baltimore filmgoers to see the movie before it's shown on HBO in June, and it will be "Panic's" only festival screening this year outside of Sundance, where it made its world premiere in January.

"King Gimp" will be preceded by the short film "A Whole New Day," directed by William Garcia and starring "Sopranos" stars James Gandolfini and Katherine Narducci. "It's one of these wonderful examples of a young filmmaker who hustles hard and gets something done," festival founder Jed Dietz said.

Recent additions to the festival include the 1980 cult movie "The Forbidden Zone"; artist Joyce Scott presenting "The Long, Hot Summer," Martin Ritt's 1958 adaptation of the William Faulkner story; Darryl LeMont Wharton presenting the 1975 film "Cooley High"; and "The Battle of City Springs," Jon Palfreman's documentary about the embattled Baltimore elementary school.

"Spartacus" has been added to the festival's 70 millimeter program. Guest speakers William Miller of the investment brokerage firm Legg Mason and Boston Globe film critic Jay Carr have agreed to present films.

The Maryland Film Festival will be held April 27 through April 30 at the Charles and Senator theaters. For information about programming and how to purchase tickets, call 410-752-8083, or visit www.mdfilmfest.com.

Maryland film memorabilia

Posters, costumes, scripts, sets and memorabilia will tell the story of a century of filmmaking in Maryland when the Maryland Historical Society opens its "Filming Maryland" show Saturday.

More than 350 objects from 40 films will be on display, including the notorious white shoes from John Waters' "Serial Mom," Ricki Lake's "cockroach dress" from Waters' 1988 movie "Hairspray," and a collection of neon signs from Barry Levinson's most recent film, "Liberty Heights."

The exhibit, which will be up through Oct. 8, explores the liberties taken with history on film, highlighting two movies about Betsy Patterson Bonaparte, "Hearts Divided" and "Glorious Betsy." It also explores the reasons movie-makers have chosen Maryland to film their stories, how the state has "played" other locations in films and how Maryland has been portrayed in films from "Marnie" to "The Blair Witch Project." The Historical Society also will be the site of this year's opening-night party for the Maryland Film Festival, April 27.

Exhibit curator Leith Johnson of the Wesleyan Film Archives will lead a discussion of the exhibit at the Historical Society on Sunday at 2 p.m. The society will also sponsor a film series of movies made in or about Maryland. The series starts May 5 at the New Embassy Theater in Cumberland and will take place at historic theaters throughout the state.

The society is located at 201 W. Monument St. Admission is free on Sundays; Tuesdays through Saturdays admission is $4 for adults and $3 for seniors, students and children 13 to 17.

Screening 'The Giraffe'

The Jewish Film Festival continues Saturday with a screening of "The Giraffe," Dani Levy's movie about an investigation into the murder of a Jewish woman in a New York hotel. Levy, Maria Schrader, David Straithairn and Jeffrey Wright star. Sun television critic David Zurawik will discuss the film after the screening.

"The Giraffe" will be shown at 8: 45 p.m. at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. in Owings Mills. For information, call Claudine Davison at 410-542-4900, Ext. 239.

'Terrorist' at the Charles

"The Terrorist," Indian cinematographer Santosh Sivan's feature debut about an ideologue's preparation for a suicide mission, will be the movie of choice this weekend at Cinema Sundays at the Charles. Cinema Sundays favorite Diane Finlayson will introduce the screening and lead the discussion afterward. The screening will begin at 10: 30 a.m., after coffee and bagels. Memberships for Cinema Sunday's spring series are still available for $77; mini-memberships may be purchased for $52. Individual tickets are available for $15 when doors open at 9: 45 a.m. Call 410-727-3464.

Love and laughter

Towson University's Film and Video Society continues its spring "Comedies of Romance and Marriage" series Monday with "Boomerang," the 1992 comedy starring Eddie Murphy. The movie will begin at 7: 30 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall on the Towson campus. Admission is free. Call 410-830-2787.

Eating 'Chocolate'

The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Office of Cultural Affairs continues its spring film series, "The Cultures of Eating," Wednesday with "Like Water for Chocolate." Alfonso Arau's 1993 film will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Mountcastle Auditorium of the Preclinical Teaching Building, 725 N. Wolfe St. Admission is free. Call 410-955-3363.

Harford's 'House'

Los Angeles filmmaker Larry Holden plans to shoot his independent feature film "My Father's House" in Harford County this summer. The film stars Jeremy Garrett, Paige Moss, Howard Keel and Mike White and will feature cameo appearances by Cameron Diaz and Josh Charles. Holden is still trying to cast four roles and encourages Maryland actors to send photographs and resumes. He is currently looking for a 13-year-old actor with brown hair and hazel/green eyes; a heavy-set male, 18 to early 20s; a handsome, physically fit male in his mid- to late-20s; and an African-American 18-year-old male who is "skinny as a rail" for one scene.

Send photos, resumes and/or tapes to Jim Dyer Casting, PMB #259, 9350 Snowden River Parkway, Suite F, Columbia, Md., 21045. People interested in being extras should send their pictures and resumes to Dougal Brothers Casting, P.O. Box 69-2053, West Hollywood, Calif., 90069. If you're interested in being a production assistant or an intern, fax an introductory letter or resume to oneofoursouth productions at 323-655-8697.

MPT's 'Independent Eye'

"Independent Eye," the seven-part Maryland Public Television series dedicated to local and regional independent film, will launch this year's series April 20 at 10 p.m. Rocker Joan Jett will play host for this year's program of shorts, narrative features and documentaries. Kicking off the series will be "Do You Wanna Dance," Robert Krantz's semi-autobiographical fiction film about a dance instructor who renews his belief in love and friendship while performing community service at a Catholic Church. For more information, visit www.mpt.org.

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