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Film Festival Roundup: Maryland Unveils Narrative Picks, Sundance London Announces Opener and More

Plus, the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase reveals its lineup.

“Beatriz at Dinner”

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– Sundance Institute and Picturehouse have announced that the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London will open with the European premiere of “Beatriz at Dinner.”

The film world premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA, and will be introduced to London audiences by director Miguel Arteta, screenwriter Mike White, and lead actress Salma Hayek on June 1 at Picturehouse Central.

– The American Pavilion has announced its 2017 lineup for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. The impressive program features 25 short documentary and narrative films by up-and-coming filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world, all of which will screen at The American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival. More information about the showcase and links to view the films’ trailers are available at its official site.

The showcase encompasses five sections, including: Student Short Films, Student Documentaries, Emerging Filmmaker Short Films, Emerging Filmmaker Documentaries, and Emerging Filmmaker LGBTQ Showcase films. Female directors are once again well represented in The Showcase, with more than half of the films directed by women.

Student filmmakers hail from schools across the United States, including: School of Visual Arts, Santa Monica College, Chapman University, UCLA, USC, AFI, Hunter College, Wake Forest University, Florida State University, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Columbia College Chicago, and Young Actors Theatre Group.

– The Maryland Film Festival (MdFF) has announced the first 1​6​ narrative feature films that will screen at the 19th annual Maryland Film Festival, taking place May 3 – 7 in Baltimore, Maryland. The festival’s full lineup will include approximately 40 feature films and 10 shorts programs, spanning all genres and including titles from all over the world.

The first batch of films includes: “Beach Rats,” “Dr. Brinks & Dr. Brinks,” “Family Life,” “Golden Exits,” “The Human Surge,” “Lemon,” “The Little Hours,” “Love After Love,” “Mimosas,” “Park,” “Person to Person,” “Princess Cyd,” “The Strange Ones,” “Sylvio,” “Thirst Street” and “Werewolf.”

Emily Browning Golden Exits Sundance

Emily Browning in “Golden Exits”

Sean Price Williams

Special Events

– SIFF is proud to present the second year of the China Stars Showcase series during the 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival, presenting twelve feature films along with five short films from students of the Beijing Film Academy.

With support from WASA North America Group and Hainan Airlines to foster cross-cultural exchange and artistic vision, the China Stars Showcase features stories that range from thriller (​Evil Minds​) to family friendly comedy (​Tea Pets​), familial obligations (​Knife in the Clear Water​) to a fantastic discovery of an inter-dimensional portal (T​ he Door​). The twelve films in the selection reflect the breadth of independent films in China today.

Curated by SIFF film programmers Beth Barrett, Dustin Kaspar, and Mr. Eugene Zhang of WASA North America Group, the China Stars Showcase will also include an archival presentation of ​Love and Duty ​presented alongside a live ​accompaniment by Donald Sosin as well as the newest film by legendary actress YI Qin, ​The Beautiful Kokonor Lake. ​The full China Stars Showcase can be found at its official site.

Awards and Honors

– The Washington Jewish Film Festival announced today Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson will receive a 2017 WJFF Visionary Award, which recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the Jewish experience through film and television.

The festival will honor Levinson on Thursday, May 18 at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD with a screening of “Liberty Heights,” followed by a Q&A. “Liberty Heights” is one of four films by Levinson set in Baltimore during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. “Avalon,” the second in the series, nods to Levinson’s Russian-Jewish roots and was screened during the Festival in 2016.

In a first, the festival will be presenting two Visionary Awards this year. As previously announced, master filmmaker Agnieszka Holland will be honored on Saturday, May 27 with a screening of “Angry Harvest” and Q&A.

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