June 16--The Frederick Film Festival kicked off Saturday with music, food and, of course, short films.
The preview event at Monocacy Brewing Company was meant to whet cinephiles' appetites until June 28, when the festival begins in earnest.
"We've got such a strong program this year," said event organizer Walter Chalkley.
This year's lineup will feature more than 50 films, many of which will be shown for the first time in the U.S., he said.
The festival will be held at the Weinberg Center for the Arts and Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center.
The first day of the festival will close with a showing of "Led Zeppelin Played Here," about a mysterious concert that may or may not have taken place at a high school in Montgomery County.
The second day will feature a film about the Klezmatics, followed by a concert by the klezmer-inspired band.
A performance by Americana artists Hugh and Zane Campbell will close out the festival after a documentary about the musicians.
Chalkley was particularly excited to show the movie, "Dear Mr. Watterson." It documents the impact of the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip created by the reclusive Bill Watterson.
Chalkley expected between 800 and 1,000 people to show up over the course of the festival.
He said that he began the festival because he heard so many complaints about it being hard to see independent, foreign or small-release films in Frederick.
"I thought I should probably do something about that," he said.
Guests at Saturday's event were not complaining.
"It's a chance to see films that you wouldn't ordinarily see, and I might say a chance to meet people you wouldn't ordinarily meet," said Judy Rice, of Frederick.
She was most looking forward to seeing the short films, and was eager to support the arts in Frederick in general.
Ryan Spadaro, a Towson University design student, said that he was also eager to support the arts in his hometown of Frederick.
He heard about the film festival while at an arts festival at Carroll Creek.
"I love going to Frederick events," he said.
Spadaro made buttons encouraging support for local films for a graphic design class project, so when he heard about the festival, he knew he wanted to be there.
He got the idea to make local movies his cause while watching "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" at the Charles Theater, an arthouse theater in Baltimore.
"I like independent films," he said. "I'm interested to see what people have done."
Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiFNP.
If you go
n WHAT: Frederick Film Festival
n WHEN: June 28 to June 30
n WHERE: Weinberg Center for the Arts and Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center
More details and film schedule: www.frederickfilmfest.com
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