By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
More than 100 projects will be available for screening during March 5-8 event
(March 5, 2020) The Art League of Ocean City has added a fourth day to the fourth annual Ocean City Film Festival, which will begin showing films today, Thursday, March 5, showcasing the work of local, regional and international filmmakers.
More than 100 films in categories including youth, documentary, horror, animation, comedy, music videos, dramatic pieces, social commentary and shorts will be featured in eight locations throughout the resort.
New this year will be a category dedicated to aquatics, which focuses on conservation, sea life, surfers and other aspects of the underwater world. The overarching theme of this year’s film festival is conservation.
A $99 all-access pass includes unlimited screenings at the Aloft Hotel on 45th Street, Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street, Carousel Hotel on 118th Street, Seacrets on 49th Street, Fox Gold Coast Theater on 115th Street, Clarion Resort Hotel on 101st Street, the Residence Inn by Marriott on 61st Street and Flagship Cinemas in West Ocean City.
In addition, the all-access passes get attendees into the opening-night party, panel discussion and the awards ceremony at Seacrets.
“It’s growing every year, and that’s the great thing about it,” Rina Thaler, Art League of Ocean City executive director, said.
Festival Director William Strang-Moya was inspired to create the event after helping his friend shoot a scene for a film in Ocean City.
“Last year, we had quite a boom with “The Biggest Little Farm,” and we’re officially beginning the transition from just a hometown film festival to more of a destination film festival,” Strang-Moya said.
The four-day festival begins today, March 5 at noon, with films being shown at Flagship Cinemas and Fox Gold Coast Theater until the meet-and-greet party at the Residence Inn by Marriott on 61st Street, from 5-7 p.m.
Attendees can network with filmmakers, snack on some hors d’oeuvres and there will also be a cash bar.
For those who do not have an all-access pass, the opening-night party costs $25. Strang-Moya encourages guests to dress as though they were going to the Oscars.
Friday, March 6, film viewing will begin at 1 p.m. at Flagship Cinemas in West Ocean City as well as Fox Gold Coast Theater and the Carousel. There will be a First Friday open reception at the Art League of Ocean City that is free for the public from 5-7 p.m. that evening.
On Saturday, March 7, a special filmmakers panel will be held at the Art League of Ocean City from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is $10.
Films will be played starting at noon and will run into the evening hours at the Fox Gold Coast Theater, Flagship Cinemas and the Clarion Hotel. From 5-6:30 p.m., there will be a filmmaker happy hour at the Aloft Hotel.
For those who do not have an all-access pass, a day pass for screenings will cost $20. A four-day film pass will cost $69.
On Sunday, March 8, film viewings begin at 11 a.m. at Flagship Cinemas and Seacrets. Two feature films will also be shown at Fox Gold Coast Theater.
The film festival will come to a close with an awards ceremony from 5-7 p.m. at Seacrets on 49th Street. The best Maryland film, judge’s award and people’s choice awards will be announced.
“What people don’t understand in this area of the film festival is that it’s not just about going to see one particular movie,” Thaler said. “The idea is to see a spectrum of films and things that you wouldn’t necessarily see in movie theaters because they’re independent films.”
In addition, the closing party will include complimentary refreshments, a cash bar and the winning film will be screened. For those who do not have an all-access pass, the closing party will cost $25.
For more information, a list of all films or to purchase tickets, visit www.ocmdfilmfestival.com or search “Ocean City Film Festival” on Facebook.
Tickets can also be purchased at the Art League of Ocean City on 94th Street or at any film location, although it will be cash only.