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MFF's primary goals are:
- to bring filmmakers to Baltimore in a unique, relaxed, creatively charged atmosphere;
- to expand the horizons of audiences by presenting diverse voices and uncompromising visions on film and video;
- to extend and fortify the festival, museum, and commercial lives of emerging films via active, direct advocacy;
- to help filmmakers advance their careers and artistic visions;
- to nurture and challenge the next generation of filmgoers;
- to present film as both entertainment and as art;
- to showcase Baltimore as a thriving center of film culture and filmmaking.
Maryland Film Festival is an annual four-day event that takes place the first weekend of each May, presenting top-notch film and video work from all over the world. Each year the festival screens approximately 50 feature films and 75 short films of all varieties -- narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, and hybrid -- to tens of thousands of audience members.
For every North American feature film screened within the festival, a filmmaker attends the festival to present their work. The hundreds of filmmakers who have hosted screenings within Maryland Film Festival include such names as John Waters, Barry Levinson, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme, Melvin Van Peebles, Alex Gibney, Matt Porterfield, Joe Swanberg, Lisandro Alonso, and Lena Dunham.
In addition to a wide range of contemporary N. American films, each festival also includes a sampling of cutting-edge international features (including such titles as Dogtooth and Syndromes and a Century), a vintage silent film with live musical accompaniment, a classic 3-D film, and a feature selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker John Waters (whose choices have ranged from Joseph Losey's Boom! to Gaspar Noé's I Stand Alone).
Celebrity guest hosts from outside the world of film are also invited to present favorite films, including musicians such as Ian MacKaye, Branford Marsalis, Will Oldham, Jonathan Richman, and Bill Callahan.
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