Maryland Film Festival concluded its 2014 lineup announcements by unveiling its Opening Night Shorts program, and its Closing Night film, Sara Colangelo’s LITTLE ACCIDENTS. Also announced were two late-breaking features added to MFF 2014’s lineup, Riley Stearns’ FAULTS, and Desiree Akhavan’s APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR.
MFF 2014’s CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Maryland Film Festival 2014’s Closing Night film will be Sara Colangelo’s drama Little Accidents, which explores the aftermath of a coal-mining disaster on a small Appalachian town. The film, which premiered at Sundance 2014 to great acclaim, stars Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland, and Josh Lucas, and was shot by Rachel Morrison (Fruitvale Station, Sound of My Voice). The script was developed at Sundance Labs, and won the 2011 Maryland Filmmakers Fellowship, which is administered by Maryland Film Festival.
MFF 2014’s OPENING NIGHT SHORTS
Maryland Film Festival prides itself on its special advocacy for short-form filmmaking. The festival first devoted its Opening Night to short films in 2002, and has done so each festival since 2004. Past years’ opening night programs have included work from filmmakers such as David Lowery, Lauren Wolkstein, Frances Bodomo, Riley Stearns, and Bobcat Goldthwait. In addition to devoting its opening night to shorts, MFF 2014 will also feature 10 short-film programs, featuring work of all genres from around the globe.
All Opening Night shorts will be hosted by their filmmaker on the evening of Wednesday, May 7th in MICA’s Brown Center. MFF 2014’s Opening Night Shorts are:
THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST Director: Moon Molson
Two Army Casualty Notification Officers arrive at the Harlem projects to deliver Sayeeda Porter some news about her son serving in the war in the Middle East. But whatever it is they have to say, Sayeeda ain’t trying to hear it. Moon Molson is the director of previous MFF shorts Pop Foul and Crazy Beats Strong Every Time; The Bravest, The Boldest screened in the Shorts Competition at Sundance 2014.
EASY Director: Daniel Laabs
A character study that follows the relationship between two brothers; one on the verge of becoming an adult, the other becoming a teenager. Daniel Laabs is the co-director of MFF 2011’s short film 8; EASY premiered within SXSW 2014.
I WAS A TEENAGE GIRL Director: Augustine Frizzell
Emma and Jesse are close friends. One night, after an intense breakup, they have a heartfelt conversation that challenges the boundaries of their friendship in an unexpected way. I Was a Teenage Girl premiered within SXSW 2014.
MORE THAN TWO HOURS (Iran) Director: Ali Asgari
It’s 3 a.m., and a boy and a girl are wandering the city. They are looking for a hospital to cure the girl, but it’s much harder than they thought. More Than Two Hours was nominated for the Palme d’Or for best short film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
VERBATIM Director: Brett Weiner
A jaded lawyer wastes an afternoon trying to determine if a government employee has ever used a photocopier. All the dialogue in this film comes from an actual deposition filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio. Verbatim premiered within the Shorts Competition at Sundance 2014.
LATE-BREAKING ADDITIONS TO MFF 2014’s FEATURE LINEUP
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR (Desiree Akhavan)
Shirin is a young woman caught between identities: bisexual, but afraid that coming out to her parents will prevent her from being the perfect Iranian-American daughter; a hip Brooklynite whose friends—and particularly her ex-girlfriend—can’t understand her trepidation about being honest with her family about her sexuality. In the depth of its characters and relatability of its situations, Desiree Akhavan’s warm and hilarious debut feature stands alongside filmmakers like Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, and Nicole Holofcener in delivering romantic comedy of the very highest order.
FAULTS (Riley Stearns)
Ansel Roth is one of the world’s leading experts on cults, and has built a career out of helping former members overcome brainwashing and reintegrate into society. He’s also a broken man, joylessly slogging from hotel to hotel in a futile attempt to promote his poorly received second book to ever-dwindling crowds. So when he’s approached by a distraught couple seeking his help in rescuing their daughter from a new and powerful cult family, Ansel’s anything but enthusiastic—until they put a large sum of money on the table. From Riley Stearns, director of MFF 2013’s Opening Night short The Cub, comes a brilliant film that confidently moves between dark comedy, thriller, serious drama.