Hollywood Comes to Annapolis in March

AFF_logo-blk-loresWho said neon lights and movie premieres can only take place in Hollywood? Next month, Annapolis will play host to the third annual Annapolis Film Festival (AFF) as it brings some bling to town from March 26th through the 29th. Movie lovers will get to see some edgy and intelligent films as Annapolis showcases some of the best independent features, shorts and documentaries.

St. John’s Key Auditorium will host Opening Night with the Loews Annapolis Hotel as Festival Central and O’Callaghan’s Hotel as the main venue for Panels and Workshops; the Festival screening venues include Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, St. John’s College – Key Auditorium, Asbury United Methodist Church on West Street, St. Anne’s Parish Hall and Annapolis Elementary School.

Special showcases will include films by and about the African-American, Jewish and LGBT experience, and the Student Showcase which will feature 12 shorts. Other film topics include sailing, comedies, veterans, mental health, global politics, world cinema and conversations with surprise industry guests.

“Coffee Talks with…” is an intimate opportunity for VIP pass holders to hear behind-the-scenes talk about the business of directing, acting and producing. These breakfasts with muffins and coffee take place at Crush Winehouse, 9-10 am, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Show your support for this wonderful showcase by reserving your seats now. Annapolis Film Festival adult tickets are $12; senior and student tickets are $8. The four-day Festival Passes are currently $95 but will increase to $105 March 1. Four-day student passes are $40. All four-day passes include the Opening Night film, the After Party and unlimited films and panel discussions. One-day festival passes are available for $40.

Festival Passes can be purchased at www.annapolisfilmfestival.com. There are a limited number of passes available, once sold out, they are gone. Tickets will be available online after March 1 when the full schedule is released on the website. Visit the website for times and locations of all events. Up-to-the-minute changes in schedule can be followed on the AFF Facebook Fanpage and Twitter. For more information, subscribe to our weekly e-blast by signing up on the website.

The full-length features and documentaries (confirmed to date) in our 70 film line up are:

Narrative Features

Adventures in Comedy, directed by Tom McCaffrey. This mockumentary shows the cut-throat world of stand-up comedy and follows the struggles one comic faces as he gives his dream one last shot.

Appropriate Behavior, directed by Desiree Akhavan. Shirin struggles to become an ideal Persian daughter, a politically correct bisexual and a hip young Brooklynite. But she’s not quite Persian enough, not quite gay enough, not quite anything enough. After being dumped by her girlfriend, this endearingly superficial narcissist plots to win back her ex.

Behind Closed Doors, directed by Audrey Estrougo. Nathalie is a 30-something Parisian with a simple and joyous life. She likes her job, adores her colleagues and is about to move in with the man she loves. But one night, a lift home from a co-worker ends in a terrifying event that changes everything.

FELIX AND MEIRA_catalog image
Felix and Meira

Felix and Meira, directed by Maxime Giroux. Felix is an eccentric French Canadian, who has devoted his life to rebellion against his wealthy family. Meira is a young Hasidic mother burdened with the feeling that something essential is missing from life. A quirky love story set against the backdrop of Jewish Montreal.

Five Star, directed by Keith Miller. Gang leader, Primo, has been a member of the Bloods since the age of 12. John, a fatherless teen, grapples with entering this life while Primo decides whether to leave it all behind. Distinctions between fiction and real life are left intentionally ambiguous.

Gabriel, directed by Lou Howe. Rory Culkin delivers an electrifying performance as Gabriel, a troubled young man, convinced that reuniting with his first love will bring him the stability and happiness he craves.

Little Accidents, directed by Sarah Colangelo. A teenage boy goes missing in a small town devastated by a recent mining accident and three strangers are drawn together in a tangle of secrets, lies and collective grief.

Midnight Sun, (U.S. Premiere) directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Set amongst the ice fields of Northern Canada, a young boy defies nature to reunite an abandoned polar bear cub with its mother.

The Mystery of Happiness, directed by Daniel Burman. This romantic comedy features Santiago and Eugenio who are inseparable friends and business partners enjoying everything life has to offer. When Eugenio suddenly disappears, Santiago reluctantly engages Eugenio’s neurotic wife in the search.

Night Has Settled, directed by Steve Clark. In 1983, Oliver Nicholas (age 13) is poised to enter the precocious teenage world of first-sex, vodka and possible love in New York City. When an unexpected trauma occurs, what was supposed to be an exhilarating rite of passage becomes skewed by an incomprehensible depression, and a house of interior horrors.

Runoff, directed by Kimberly Levin. The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. Matriarch Betty (Joanne Kelly, TV’s Hostages) confronts some harsh realities and meets the challenge when presented with an illegal but well-compensated job offer.

Secrets of War, directed by Dennis Botts Tuur and Lambert are best friends in a Nazi-occupied Dutch village who pass their days playing soldiers, mimicking a war that seems far removed from their everyday life. When Maartje joins their class, the young girl stands out as different from her classmates and they form a unique bond with her based on adventures, mischief and shared confidences.

Set Fire to the Stars, directed by Andy Goddard. Elijah Wood stars as the neurotic and artistic college professor John M. Brinnin who, in 1950, brings Dylan Thomas (Ceylin Jones) to New York for a now-famous tour, praying he can successfully keep his hell raising hero out of jail long enough to make it to the stage.

Wildlike, directed by Frank Hall Green. Mackenzie (age 14) flees to the Alaskan wilderness, helpless and alone, when the safety and trust of family is suddenly ripped away from her. A chance connection with a loner backpacker offers the key to her survival.


The Zero Theorem, directed by Terry Gilliam. Christoph Walz, two-time Academy award winner for Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, stars in this movie from legendary director Terry Gilliam as an eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst.


Above and Beyond, directed by Roberta Grossman. Just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots secretly smuggled planes out of the U.S. They trained behind the Iron Curtain and flew for Israel in its War of Independence helping turn the tide of the war. This tells about their personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride.

All American High – Revisited, directed by Keva Rosenfeld. In 1984, a time of legwarmers, neon and Aqua Net, a young filmmaker sets out to document the life of a typical high school student. This honest and humorous look at 80’s teen life is told through the eyes of a visiting exchange student.

Angkor’s Children, directed by Lauren Shaw. Arising through poverty and genocide, three young Cambodian women are turning the 30 year ‘killing fields’ legacy of Cambodia on its head. Breaking from their traditional roles, a singer, a contortionist and a leader of a grassroots protest band, use their unique artistic abilities to help a fresh and exciting, albeit struggling, new culture to emerge from the ashes.

Back on Board, directed by Cheryl Furjanic is a candid glimpse into the life of four-time Olympic champion, Greg Louganis chronicling his rise from a difficult upbringing to his pioneering role as an openly gay athlete with HIV.

Burden of Peace, directed by Joey Boink follows Guatemala’s first female Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz as she battles the system, sacrificing everything to bring justice to those responsible for a devastating civil war in which nearly 200,000 Mayan Indians were systematically massacred.

The Circle (Der Kreis), directed by Stefan Haupt. The Circle was a gay publication published in Zurich in the 1940s and 50s. This docudrama tells the story of Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp, a schoolteacher and a drag entertainer who enter into a lifelong romantic relationship through their involvement in the group.

Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi, directed by Neal Broffman. This Mid Atlantic premiere film tells the story of how a desperate family’s search for their frail and depressed missing son explodes into a national nightmare when a single, misguided tweet in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing turns him into one of the prime bombing suspects.

Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi
Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi

In an Ideal World, directed by Noel Schwerin, follows a warden, a white separatist and a black gangbanger for seven years as they struggle to move beyond the stark reality of America’s locked down racial order.

In Country, directed by Mike Attie & Meghan O’Hara. In the Oregon woods a battle wages on as a “platoon” of hardcore Vietnam War re-enactors relive a war so many have tried to forget. A weave of verité footage, flashbacks and archival footage, the film blurs boundaries to shed light on America’s relationship with war and its veterans.

Meet The Patels, directed by Geeta Patel and Ravi Patel, is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams … and his parents.

Mudbloods, directed by Farzad Sangari follows the resilient underdogs of the UCLA Quidditch team as they help transform Harry Potter’s fictional sport into a real-life phenomenon.

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, directed by William Gazecki. The last of the Red Hot Mamas, she captivated audiences with her bold, bawdy style and influenced many top performers, notably Bette Midler.

Red Dot on the Ocean, directed by Amy Flannery. Annapolitan Matt Rutherford’s death-defying, never-done-before, 27,000 mile, non-stop polar circumnavigation of the Americas in a scrappy 27 foot sailboat.

Shored Up, directed by Ben Kalina.Our beaches and coastline are a national treasure and a shared resource…and now they are disappearing in front of us. This film takes us to the heart of the climate change controversy where politics, economics and science collide.

Song from the Forest, directed by Michael Obert. Louis Sarno heard a song on the radio 25 years ago and followed its melody into the Central African jungle where he became part of the community. When he brings his pygmy son back to America, he realizes the globalized world is threatening the songs of the jungle.

The Special Need, directed by Carlo Zoratti. Enea is 29, autistic, and living in Italy. His search for physical love is anything but easy. His journey with his two best friends, Carlo and Alex, to find a sexual partner quickly becomes the chance for the friends to explore their own ideas of love, friendship and freedom.

Two Raging Grannies, directed by Håvard Bustnes. Touching and thought-provoking, this challenges the idea that we must continue to shop, consume, amass, and keep the economy growing. Two funny and courageous seniors visit cities and towns across the US to question everyone from the homeless to Wall Street tycoons about the sustainability of continued economic growth.

Waiting for August, directed by Teodora Mihai. Fifteen year-old Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family after her mother is forced to work abroad to get by.


The President’s Analyst, directed by Theodor J. Flicker. Psychiatrist Sidney Schaefer (James Coburn) is recruited to serve as the new analyst for the loneliest man alive, the President of the United States. The insanity of the new position (as well as his dangerous habit of talking in his sleep) provokes Schaefer to run for his life as powerful people try to get information out of him first. In 1968, this cult classic was declared by Roger Ebert to be “one of the funniest movies of the year.” There were rumors that J. Edgar Hoover forced the film from distribution because of its satirical portrayal of the CIA.

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