Recognizing the area's demographic and interest in film inspired the AFF Board of Directors—comprised of local film enthusiasts, writers, and directors—to bring the festival to Annapolis. The organization's long-term goal is to make the festival as much of a fixture in Annapolis as the area's long-standing boat shows. Together, the organization selected a diverse array of films, from over 400 submitted films, that cover a wide variety of topics including Maritime shorts, LGBT films, African American features, as well as local productions.
The non-profit organization aims to present quality, thought-provoking films in hopes of creating a sense of understanding that transcends community divides such as background, color, and social issues. The selected films are often independent films that receive limited or foreign distribution only, or go straight to DVD or cable. A Film Festival gives movie-goers a chance to see some incredible films they might otherwise never have a chance to see.
Along with the many full-length films, both features and documentaries, there are also a great many short films. The films will be shown at 5 different locations across the city. The AFF will also present five panels for filmmakers at the O'Callaghan Hotel on Friday and Saturday; Q&As following a number of films; African-American Storytelling on Screen on Friday, featuring Malcolm X Shabazz's daughter, Ambassador Shabbaz and Chris Haley, actor and research director for the History of Slavery in Maryland.
In addition, there are two Conversations With David Ward, two-time Academy Award-winner for his screenplays for The Sting and Sleepless in Seattle; and Gabriella Cristiani, Academy Award-winner for the Last Emperor.
With over 200 local volunteers, more than 50 local filmmakers and actors, and stories covering topics pertinent to the world today, the Annapolis Film Festival is more than just a city-wide celebration of film. It has been established to showcase the filmmakers who illuminate the struggles and triumphs ranging from renovating a 300 year old house in New England to genocide in Indonesia.
For more information about the AFF, lists of films, show times, panelists, and ways to get involved, visit Annapolis Film Festival online.