Films from Chris LaMartina and Michael Tully to highlight 2014 Maryland Film Festival
With the Maryland Film Festivalâ€™s first lineup announcement out today, City Paper spoke with festival director Jed Dietz and director of programming Eric Hatch (a former CP contributor) about some of this yearâ€™s highlights. Following up on last yearâ€™s Maryland-centric entries (12 Oâ€™Clock Boys, I Used to Be Darker), MFF 2014 will feature local filmmaker Chris LaMartinaâ€™s Call Girl of Cthulhu, an H.P. Lovecraft-driven â€śhorror-sex comedy.â€ť Those familiar with LaMartinaâ€™s previous work, including WNUF Halloween Special and Witchâ€™s Brew, will expect his signature mix of hilariously gory low-budget horror flick, this time with a hybrid octopus-dragon monster at the filmâ€™s core. This will be LaMartinaâ€™s first appearance in the festival.
Another entry with a Maryland bent will be Ping Pong SummerÂ (pictured) from Cocaine Angel director Michael Tully. Tully, who grew up in Bowie and Mount Airy, based his script on childhood summers spent in Ocean City, Md. Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, and Amy Sedaris star in the film, which premiered at Sundance and which Tully has said heâ€™s wanted to make since he studied film at UMBC in the early â€™90s. This will be Tullyâ€™s third film appearing at MFF.
Another UMBC grad takes the screen in Point and Shoot, which follows freedom fighter/lecturer Matthew VanDyke, who motorcycled around the Middle East before participating in the Libyan revolution and, later, being captured for a brief time. Dietz says the documentaryâ€”directed by Street Fight filmmaker Marshall Curryâ€”contains some Grizzly Man elements that should shed some new light on VanDykeâ€™s exploits.
Among other, non-Maryland highlights, Hatch includes Who Took Johnny, a documentary looking at the disappearance of Johnny Gosch, an Iowa paperboy who was one of the first missing children to appear on a milk carton. From Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Blair Witch 2 director Joe Berlinger comes Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, a documentary featuring an interview with the infamous Boston gang leader, now imprisoned.
Other entries announced in todayâ€™s release include coming-of-age drama Club Sandwich, Happy Christmas from celebrated mumblecore director Joe Swanberg (who screened Drinking Buddies at last yearâ€™s MFF), and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, from director Josephine Decker, who premiered Butter on the Latch at MFF 2013.