Maryland Film Fest: Recap (part 1)

I’ve never been to a real film festival before (the IMAX thing back in January was just a publicity event), but since it was going on right across the highway from me in Station North, I figured I had nothing to lose. Besides, I could write a few reviews and maybe squeeze a couple blog posts out of it (as I’ve been horribly neglecting this blog lately, sorry)…at the very least, it was something to check off that so-called “Baltimore bucket list.”

The festival itself started on Thursday night with a bunch of fancy “industry parties” that I wasn’t to, but the regular public screenings started on Friday. I had given my editor at The Baltimore Guardian plenty of time to pick me up an “All-Access” pass, yet on Thursday night, I get an e-mail saying:

“Box office is closed. You don’t mind buying tickets yourself do you?”

YES – I gave you a whole fucking week to do this! But hey, why not, I’m already paying for $33 theatre tickets out of pocket, what’s another $70 in movie tickets? Chump change when you’re making a whopping zero dollars per story!

Anyway, I leave the apartment the next day to get tickets for my show; it was over at MICA Brown Center so I had to buy tickets over there. I got there about an hour before the show was slated to start and rather easily found the table where they were selling tickets, but the woman sitting wasn’t going to make this easy.

“I need two tickets for today’s shows.”

“Tickets are available at the ticket both across from the Charles Theater.”

“Unless the show is at the MICA Brown Center, in which case, I have to buy tickets there.”

“Are you SURE you’re show is actually at the Brown Center?”

(Fist-palm) “I’m here to buy one ticket for Frankenstein at the MICA Brown Center at 1pm, and one for Convento at 7pm also in the MICA Brown Center.”

“Oh, both are indeed playing here…but we haven’t finished setting up yet so if you come back in a half-hour we’d glad to sell you tickets.”

“You’re kidding me, right?”

“Nope, go out, get a quick lunch and when you come back we’ll have tickets ready to purchase.”

“Actually,” a woman sitting next to her said. “There’s no reason we can’t give him his tickets now.” She takes my money and digs the two tickets out of a small box on the table behind her, but suggests I get lunch anyway until they begin seating.

It took me a minute or so to think of a place I could get to and come back from before seating began. I didn’t want coffee or that sub shop at Sutton Place so that left the burger place near the elementary school.

I finished lunch and made my way back to the MICA campus where I shared their cavernous auditorium with maybe a dozen or so other people. There was an introduction by incoming Centerstage artistic director Kwame Kei Armah and then the Baltimore premiere of Frankenstein at the Royal National Theatre commenced.

After the show, there was a brief Q&A session with and then I returned to the apartment to begin working on my review (which you can read: here). I logged on Facebook, checked my e-mail, eat dinner, and then it was time to head back for my second\third movies of the day. It was a combined feature – two drastically different movies in one sitting and once again it ended with a Q&A (and I have posted reviews for both Convento and Hillvanderbeek on The Guardian’s website).

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Categories: Baltimore Guardian, entertainment, festivals, movies, writing | Leave a comment

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