Letter

printed 03/29/2019

Editor,

On behalf of the Art League of Ocean City, we would like to thank everyone who supported and made this year’s Ocean City Film Festival a huge success.

We welcomed nearly 1,500 Film Festival attendees, a record-breaking crowd.

The 100 films we screened came from 80 filmmakers, 12 different countries, and 20 different states, with 40 films produced in Maryland.

The festival showcased industry professionals as well as university students, young filmmakers, and local talent, and gave them an opportunity to network with others who share their passion. While the event is only in its third year, the overwhelming response will ensure its growth in future years.

Our gratitude goes out to the venues who screened the films: Clarion Resort, Princess Royale Hotel, Fox Gold Coast Theater, Carousel Hotel, Francis Scott Key Resort, and the Ocean City Performing Arts Center.

The weekend began with a reception at the Princess Royale and culminated with an award ceremony and reception at Seacrets. We are grateful to both venues for their wonderful hospitality.

The highlight of the festival for many was the Delmarva premiere of “The Biggest Little Farm,” a film that chronicled the lives of John and Molly Chester and their odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and their land.

Thank you to director John Chester and executive producer Erica Cramer Messer, both Stephen Decatur High School alumni, for sharing this beautiful film and for coming home to join us for the premiere.

Thank you to our judges: John Sisson, Allen Cramer, Don Lehman, Gwen Lehman, Julian Sidur, Marlon Wallace, Dave Messick, Simona Calin, and Jonathan Pippin. Thank you to our committee members who worked many months to coordinate the event: Ruth Waters, Katie Brown, Elaine Bean, Debbi Dean-Colley, and Ryan Wilde.

Our appreciation also goes out to the volunteers who staffed the screenings and helped at the filmmaker reception.

Special thanks to our lead sponsor, the Town of Ocean City.

We are grateful to all of our sponsors and advertisers: Ward Museum, Maryland Film Office, Seacrets, Carousel Hotel, Harrison Group Hotels, Hotel Motel Restaurant Association, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, Residence Inn Marriott, Seacrets, Shore Craft Beer, Worcester County Tourism, The Original Greene Turtle, Jolly Roger Amusement Parks, Dunes Manor, Shenanigan’s, Sun & Surf Cinema, Fager’s Island, and D3 Corp.

The festival would not have been a success without our valued media partners who helped us get the word out: Ocean City Today, Maryland Coast Dispatch, Delmarva Public Radio, Ocean 98, and WBOC/WRDE.

Thank you to the festival’s workshop instructors: Rob Waters, Rob Bell, and Jack Gerbes and the team from the Maryland Film Office who explored topics like screen writing, shooting in Maryland, and networking opportunities.

Finally, to our audiences, who laughed, shed a tear, asked insightful questions, and enthusiastically applauded, we appreciate you choosing to spend your time with us.

Mark your calendars for the fourth annual Ocean City Film Festival in March 2020. In the meantime, experience independent film screenings year round by joining us for our $5 Film Nights on the third Saturday of every month at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street, bayside.

Rina Thaler, Executive Director – Art League of Ocean City

B.L. Strang-Moya, Festival Director

Kristin Helf - Festival Co-Director

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