Hollywood Lines up to Take Part in the Maryland International Film Festival

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Hollywood Lines up to Take Part in the Maryland International Film Festival

Filmmakers listen up! While the late deadline may have passed for the Maryland International Film Festival (MDIFF) there is still the extended deadline that goes away on February 24th. The Maryland based festival continues to heat up with top directors and actors lining up to be part of the event. As the festival enters its 7th year it’s seeing the highest numbers of submissions since its inception.

MDIFF prides itself on being a platform for both new producers and directors and those with more seasoned accomplishments. This year there will be additional acting classes from some of the most prominent ladies in Hollywood.

“We are grateful to be growing every year. We are fortunate to be one of Movie Maker magazine’s top 50 festivals worth your entry fee and we are consistently receiving star-studded films from top filmmakers around the world. This year we have seen a rise in woman directed and produced films! It is an exciting time in the industry for women who are now rising up in Hollywood and receiving recognition for their work. At the Sundance Film Festival this year the women scooped up most of the awards and I’m hoping they will continue to shine during our festival!” Says Tracie Hovey, founder of the MDIFF

Last year the festival attracted filmmakers from seven countries and 22 states.

“The MDIFF is a wonderful event that brings artists and visitors to Hagerstown for three fun-filled days of film, food, and fans. Arts are a contributing element to economic development. Not only do the Arts enhance our community with beauty and music, they bring tourist which is a clean industry. Tourism is a huge part of the economic engine that powers Hagerstown and Washington County.” Says Bob Bruchey, Mayor of Hagerstown.

The festival also has a host of stars lined up to make appearances and help to guide new on-camera talent to the bright lights of Hollywood.

“The Walking Dead” actress Ann Mahoney says, “This is the third year that I will attend the festival. I will be teaching an acting class again this year, I love watching students as they begin to realize just how much power they have over their bodies when they use Suzuki training. I have one kid I trained a few years ago who is now doing really well auditioning for films and TV, and he says the training was a turning point for him!”

Bruchey adds, “The most thrilling part of the MDIFF for me is meeting the artist that create these movies. Listening to their story, where they get their ideas from. Many travel to Hagerstown for the film festival from as far away as California and Europe. The diversity in films is only matched by the diversity of producers. The MDIFF is widely becoming the festival to attend.”

New to the festival this year is an acting class devoted to taking wannabe starlets from stage to screen. Kerry Cahill is known for her powerful on-screen roles in “Terminator” and “The Walking Dead” also won an award for her one-woman theatre show “Grounded” last year.

“Students will get hands-on experience with transitioning a monologue between theatre and film. Acting is acting is acting but taking the techniques we use in film and adjusting them to theatre and vice versa is one of the challenges a lot of actors face. This will be a class focused on the differences and how to navigate them. The best part of teaching class is talking to the students afterward and hearing what they got out of it. Watching them have broken through is one of the best things as a teacher. It’s why I teach. When a whole room of actors is listening and responding you can feel it. There’s something like it.” Says Cahill.

“MDIFF was the first film festival I had ever attended. It was there that I discovered the powerful message film can create. That’s when I started to piece together the thoughts of creating Classmates4Life.” Says Frederick County Councilman Billy Shreve. “Classmates4Life is a student film festival. We asked the question ‘why are drugs bad.’ Students created a 30-60 second video to share with their peers. My thought was any student can take out their phones these days and make a film. The students produced 100 films that had over 50,000 hits on YouTube.”Now through the partnership with the Maryland International Film Festival, our winning filmmakers get to attend the festival and screen their films during the festival. It is a fantastic opportunity for the festival to help cultivate new filmmakers.

Not only does the festival showcase films and filmmakers, it also offers the opportunity to recognize those in the film community who are working to promote the arts with the ‘Mendes Award’.

“The Mendez Award is a very special award from our festival. The first award was given to Tony Mendez for his Oscar-winning film Argo. This award goes to people who encourage film and support filmmakers in our area. We have given this award to prestigious individuals every year who make a difference in the industry.” Said Hovey.

“I won the Mendes award for creating classmates4Life
Tony Mendez is a legend in American history. He is the CIA agent that created and led the escape plan for six American diplomats held hostage in Iran in 1979. Mendes sent me a handwritten letter stating how he loved the project and how we had ‘captured the imagination of students.’

The festival takes places on April 28-29, 2018. The festival is conveniently located in downtown Hagerstown at the heart of the arts and entertainment district.

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