The 2016 Maryland Film Festival continues the tradition of screening short films on Opening Night, and will close with Hunter Gatherer directed by Josh Locy.

The 18th Annual Maryland Film Festival will run May 4 to 8, 2016

The opening shorts are

1985 (Yen Tan, 9 minutes) A dying man prepares to move in with his estranged mother. He makes an appointment with a beauty consultant to hide his symptoms.

Affections (Bridey Elliott, 17 minutes) This dreamy and understated character study follows Bridey, a young woman bored with her long-term relationship and looking for a change. She finds it in the form of a handsome vagabond, and the two lost souls spend a day together at the beach, where Bridey’s desperation comes to a head. This funny and introspective investigation of tedium and longing is inspired by the great female performances of independent 1970s cinema.

Doorcuts (Zachariah Tatham, 5 minutes) Short-cutting time and space takes some stretching.

Pickle (Amy Nicholson, 16 minutes) Pickle is an ode to man’s capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted existence until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate demise.

Soy Cubana (Jeremy Ungar and Ivaylo Getov, 17 minutes) The Vocal Vidas are a female a cappella quartet from Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of Afro-Cuban music. This documentary explores their unique sound and tells the story of crafting a musical career in a society in which artistic merit is not measured solely by economic success.

Closing Night: Hunter Gatherer

Directed By: Josh Locy
Presented By: Josh Locy, Andre Royo, George Sample III, and producer April Lamb
Run Time: 85 Minutes
Starring: Andre Royo, George Sample III, Kellee Stewart, Alexis DeLaRosa, Ashley Wilkerson

There is an important genre of getting-your-life-back-after-prison movies with great performances, ranging from Dustin Hoffman in Straight Time to Common in LUV (MDFF 2012). As America wears the dubious title of having the largest incarcerated population, the genre has particular relevance.

Josh Locy’s first feature stands proudly inside the genre, but adds a kind of humor and whimsicality, grounded in detailed character development, that breaks through genre. Anchored by an incredible performance by Andre Royo (known lovingly to Baltimoreans as Bubbles from The Wire), the film follows newly released Ashley Douglas as he tries to piece together one scheme after another to rebuild his life, mostly involving refrigerators. The obstacles are many, and some are self-inflicted. Desperate to reestablish his relationship with his girlfriend (who has long since moved on with her life), Ashley is also happy to bed Nat (Kellee Stewart) until his mother kicks them out, starting a round of almost farcical rooming issues.

Ashley’s indomitable spirit is its own inspiration. Along the way, he makes friends with a wonderful variety of characters, most notably Jeremy (a wonderful George Sample III). Their friendship occupies the touching core of the movie. Locy and his team have made bold choices that break down stereotypes and remind us of the universal truth that life is a daily struggle. (Jed Dietz)

Director Bio
Josh Locy was born in the mountains of Virginia, studied literature in east Tennessee and, after deciding against becoming a Southern Baptist minister, moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to pursue his dream of making feature films. He has acted in Chad Hartigan’s Luke and Brie Are on a First Date and Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather (MDFF 2010), and worked as David Gordon Green’s art director on Prince Avalanche (MDFF 2013) and Manglehorn. Hunter Gatherer is his first feature.

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