News Column

Frederick Film Festival

June 27, 2013



"'Led Zeppelin Played Here' is a must because of the local, or local-ish, aspect," Chalkley said. "I'm also a big fan of the after party."

A $10 ticket gets you into the film screening at the Weinberg Center, as well as the after party at Brewer's Alley with live music.

"Led Zeppelin Played Here" is a documentary about a concert that may or may not haven taken place in Wheaton in the summer of 1969.

After watching the film, Chalkley is a believer.

"TJ High gets name-checked, too -- Ted Nugent played in the cafeteria," he said. "These people would play anywhere at the time."


Granted, it's a little odd to list this under a "must," but when you break it down, it makes sense to go the full shebang on this one. Thirty dollars gets you into everything -- tonight's kickoff with the pre-theatrical screening of "V/H/S/2," with one of its directors, Eduardo Sanchez ("The Blair Witch Project") in attendance; all of Friday's events, including the after party; you get to see The Klezmatics on Saturday; plus Hugh and Zane Campbell in concert Sunday, not to mention 50-some films.

"That's like, $8 a day," Chalkley said. "I posted to the (film fest) blog that it's the best entertainment deal in Frederick's history."


"Dear Mr. Watterson," a documentary examining the impact of Calvin & Hobbes, is worth pointing out. Chalkley is a big Calvin & Hobbes fan, and now his kids are, too. "They're reading the books," he said. "There are no cartoons or action figures because he (creator Bill Watterson) never licensed it out. "Kids are getting it from the original source."

As a comic, its art raised the bar for other comics, he added, but its success is also about the "universality of this kid. One guy interviewed (in the film) said even if you were like me, a 300-pound black kid growing up, you wanted to be Calvin. You thought that you were Calvin."

It screens at 11:35 a.m. Saturday at the Weinberg Center and is appropriate for kids who are fans.


The band formed in 1986 and has redefined Eastern European Jewish music, earning them a Grammy Award for their 2006 album "Wonder Wheel." They have collaborated with such artists as Arlo Guthrie, Allen Ginsberg and Tony Kushner.

Chalkley reiterated a quote from the magazine Time Out New York: "The Klezmatics aren't just the best band in the klezmer vanguard; on a good night, they can rank among the greatest bands on the planet."

When he watched the film, he knew it would be a good fit for the film fest, as he includes a lot of films about music every year, believing that film and music work together in the same way a film soundtrack might.

"The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground" will be screened at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Weinberg Center, followed by a question-and-answer session with director Erik Anjou. The Klezmatics will perform at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.


Zane and Hugh Campbell's great uncle, Guy Brooks, recorded for the historic Gennett label with his band The Red Fox Chasers and is credited with having written the first trucker song, "Wreck on the Mountain Road." Their aunt, Ola Belle Campbell Reed, their father's sister, is a legend in old-time and bluegrass circles.

Zane and Hugh perform the songs of their ancestors, tell the stories behind the songs, and share old photographs, records and other memorabilia pertaining to their relatives' music.

"I think that's going to be really neat," Chalkley said. "Just the stories they tell ... it's really good."

He also said this is one where he encourages guests to watch the film and the show afterward. The film is at 4:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center.


"The shorts have become absolutely my favorite part of the festival."

When he first began the festival, he started getting emails from filmmakers wanting their shorts to be screened. He hadn't given it much thought, but now he includes as many as he can.

"Consistently, my favorite film has been a short. I get a lot of positive feedback," he said. "Those are the ones people remember."

Shorts will be screened all day every day of the festival.

The Frederick Film Festival runs today through Sunday at the Weinberg Center and the Delaplaine Center. Ticket prices vary. For full festival information, go to, or check out the blog at for updated information.


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