Ocean City Today

Local residents participate in Ocean City Film Festival

By Kara Hallissey | Mar 08, 2018

(March 9, 2018) A number of local filmmakers are showcasing their work during the Ocean City Film Festival this weekend, March 9-11, along with nearly 100 films in categories such animation, documentaries and music videos.

In addition, youth, horror, comedy, dramatic pieces, social commentary and shorts will also be featured in three locations throughout the resort.

A $50 all-access pass includes unlimited screenings at the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street, the Fox Gold Coast Theater on 115th Street and the Clarion Resort Hotel on 101st Street. Films will be shown starting at 10 a.m. daily at each location and run until the evening hours. The passes also get attendees into the opening-night party, workshops and the awards ceremony.

Michael Healy - TRAD – Ireland’s Traditional Music

Michael Healy, of Ocean Pines, will show his 25-minute documentary, “TRAD – Ireland’s Traditional Music” on Friday at the Gold Coast Theater.

“It is a documentary highlighting Ireland’s traditional music, instruments and dancing,” Healy said. “This is my first entry in a film festival and I am amazed at some of the films being played. There is a lot of young and talented filmmakers in the area.”

Attendees will hear the fiddle, accordion, flute and pipes throughout the documentary and see traditional Irish dancing on screen.

“I want people to come away with a new appreciation of Irish music and the entertainment Irish musicians provide,” Healy said. “You learn a lot about it by watching the film.”

Annie Danzi - Life’s a Stage

Annie Danzi, a 1997 Stephen Decatur High School graduate from Bishopville, will screen her film, “Life’s a Stage,” at the opening-night party on Friday at the Art League on 94th Street, held from 5-7 p.m.

It tells the story of Gwen Lehman, who was Stephen Decatur’s Children’s Theatre Program creator and director for almost 50 years. Danzi is a former student and has been mentored by Lehman since she graduated.

“I believe people should see this film because it is about the arts in public high schools, which is so critical to preserve,” Danzi said. “Mrs. Lehman is such a dynamic character with such an inspiring story. The film has been well received by audiences so far.”

The 45-minute documentary was created with the help from Frostburg State University undergraduate students where Danzi is an assistant professor in the communications department.

“As public high schools across America suffer from lack of support for the arts, one school on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Stephen Decatur High School, definitely thrives because of the dedication and vision of one exceptional educator,” Danzi said. “For almost 50 years, Gwen Lehman gave her all to the theater program that she built from scratch and to the students who have become her legacy.”

Isabella Iampieri - Alan

On Saturday afternoon at the Clarion Hotel, Bishopville resident Isabella Iampieri’s four-minute animation, “Alan,” will showcase an interview with her brother about his life and experiences as a transgender youth.

“Any film festival is an awesome opportunity to view independent films from all over the world,” Iampieri said. “You rarely get to see these films anywhere else. The Ocean City Film Fest in particular, has been organized with a love for film, a love for creatives and a desire to share the magic of film to the region.”

Emmi Shockley - Monday Mundane

Emmi Shockley, of Ocean City, has made a six-minute film “Monday Mundane,” which features two songs from the band, Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys, playing on Saturday evening at the Clarion Hotel.

“Monday Mundane features the songs ‘Monday Mundane’ and ‘Hate Me,’ both from Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys’ second album ‘Aquatic Pop,’” Shockley said. “It’s a narrative short/music video combination that follows two young characters as their boring Brooklyn summer day takes a turn. I was going for a colorful, almost retro and campy feel for this piece.”

Shockley met Duke in New York a few years ago and they have been collaborating ever since.

“Monday Mundane is a result of my NYU community colliding with my Ocean City community, which was so great,” Shockley said. “My connections from Ocean City remain some of the strongest. It’s exciting that I get to continue working with my brother, Tate, and even better that I convinced him to step into an acting role. Kyle Kelly, who graduated from Decatur, was cast as well. I hope people have as much fun watching Monday Mundane as I had making it.”

Tate Shockley - No Way Home

Tate Shockley, of Ocean City, is slated to show, “No Way Home,” the official six-minute music video by the band Two Hours, at the Clarion Hotel on Saturday evening.

“Two Hours consists of Alex Oatman and Mark Rohrer, who are both native to Ocean City,” Shockley said. “The band plays original music, and their genre would be considered garage rock.”

Last summer, Oatman contacted Shockley and asked if he was interested in helping to shoot a music video for their single, “No Way Home.” The video also features Berlin native, Adon Russo, as a teenage boy struggling with his troubled home life.

“Amidst his anger-fueled journey, the boy inadvertently finds and watches a band practice that changes his perspective on life,” Shockley said.

The “No Way Home” music video was the first project Shockley directed, shot and edited on his own.

“It was not only fulfilling to see that all of the hard work we put into this video paid off, but it was amazing to be able to combine my work as a young filmmaker from Ocean City with two other young musicians who are also from Ocean City,” Shockley said. “In our small town, the younger generation is demonstrating so much ambition in the arts, and I feel honored to be a part of it.”

Richard Fitts, Jr. and Rudy Childs - 21 Years - A Folded Flag

On Saturday afternoon at the Princess Royale, “21 Years - A Folded Flag,” which tells the story of a Vietnam Special Forces solider through the eyes of his son, will be featured.

The hour and 15-minute-long film follows the story of Richard Fitts, Sr. as he moves through the Army ranks as a green beret and reconnaissance solider participating in special operations. He went missing in 1968, and was declared dead in the 1970s, but the information surrounding his death was classified for decades because it happened behind enemy lines.

“The only memories of my dad were second-hand stories and they were beginning to fade,” Richard Fitts, Jr. said. “We managed to find a vet who was on my dad’s team and also got to link missing pieces of their history since no open records were kept.”

When Fitts’ remains were finally found in Laos in 1989, he was given a hero’s funeral in Massachusetts.

“A lot of people can identify with it and have been handed a folded flag at some point in their life,” said Rudy Childs, who has family in the resort area. “It shows the sacrifices of a solider and the plight of a young child who grows up without a father.”

Joan Chak and Martin Krzywonos - Sister

Joan Chak, who vacations at her home in Mystic Harbour in West Ocean City during the summer and offseason, will show her social commentary short, “Sister,” on Sunday morning at the Clarion Hotel.

The 10-minute film is about a 55-year-old women with a traumatic brain injury who is being cared for by her sister.

“It is a story of the love between two sisters and how they overcame the threat of separation,” Chak said. “It is about a courageous, intelligent woman with a traumatic brain injury and the challenges she and her sister face as she lives her life in a nursing home.”

This film is Chak’s first production and she was also featured in another film being shown at the festival, “Contrition,” a dramatic short, being shown on Sunday afternoon at the Clarion Hotel.

“People of all ages and interests should attend the Ocean City Film Festival,” Chak said. “It is an opportunity to experience so many different types of films. Those attending the film festival will often get the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and ask questions about the films.

“What is amazing is that you will see the filmmaking endeavors of artists of all different ages – teens, college students, professionals and those like me who are just starting out.”

For more information and a full list of films to be presented this weekend, visit www.ocmdfilmfestival.com.


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