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Scenes from the 2019 Maryland Film Festival

John Waters and Marnie Ellen, Director of "HI I NEED TO BE LOVED" from Maryland Film Festival 2019 Opening Night Shorts program. (Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun)

Over five days, the Maryland Film Festival (MdFF) hosted over 100 screenings and brought 200 filmmakers to town.

The event has gained a reputation in film circles for being one of the best places to see independent cinema and the 21st annual festival delivered 29 premieres and films from dozens of countries around the world. The diverse range of films was mirrored by the creatives presenting their work and the eclectic crowds visiting the Parkway theater and the three MICA satellite theaters.

 
Dan Deacon, composer for WELL GROOMED and short film Skin of Man in Altered States program, Rebecca Stern, Director of Well Groomed, and Justin Levy, Producer of Well Groomed Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
L to R: QUEEN OF LAPA Producer Matt Grady, ONE MAN DIES A MILLION TIMES Director Jessica Oreck, Opening Night short GHOSTS OF SUGAR LAND Producer Farihah Zaman Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Baltimore’s own Phil Davis, Director of Programming and Rachel Bone, Operations Director for Sweaty Eyeballs. Phil created the animated trailer that played before films at this year’s festival and Sweaty Eyeballs presented an animation on the Saturday morning of the festival. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
From left: MdFF Projection/Tech Staff: Eric Maira, Zaida Souissi, Bri Merkel, Chris Hogan-Roy, Chas Phillips, Jeff Enssle Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Julius Onah, Director of Closing Night film LUCE. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Meredith Moore, member of the MDFF screening committee, and Lola Pierson, local playwright Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Christopher Black, left, director of Opening Night short film JIM and cinematographer Sean Conaty Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Connor Hurley, director of Opening Night Short DRYER Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun

From the opening night shorts program, which featured Baltimore-based Marnie Ellen Hertzler’s work among five other dynamic works, to the closing night film LUCE, directed by Julius Onah, a Nigerian American filmmaker based in New York City, the festival consistently offers an impressive range of programming that under their mission “film for all.” This gallery includes highlights from the festival with a focus on the filmmakers and people working behind the scenes to get independent films out in the world.

 
Aly Migliori, director of Opening Night short TWIST Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Matt Porterfield, MdFF Filmmakers’ Conference co-host, and Richard Brody, film critic for The New Yorker Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Kyle Scott, Development and Membership Associate, and Zion Douglass, Maryland Film Festival Programming Associate. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Director/Star/Co-Writer Hannah Pearl Utt and Co-Star/Co-Writer Jen Tullock. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
AMERICAN FACTORY Co-Producer Yiqian Zhang and Producer Jeff Reichert. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Albert Birney, Director of short film BUZZER from Animated Shorts and Becca Morrin, On Set Dresser for THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun
 
Director of Programming Scott Braid and Edward Hancox, Director of THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE BATHROOM from the Charged Spaces program. Jen Mizgata/For The Baltimore Sun

Photos and text by Jen Mizgata, a Baltimore-based photographer, who can be reached at mizgata@gmail.com. See more of her work at jenmizphoto.com.

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