Meet Sam Nagy, the founder of the Annapolis Indie Film Club (AIFC). As a native Annapolitan, she dreamed of sharing her love of independent film with her local community. AIFC is a group of film-lovers on a mission to support, promote and celebrate independent films and the people who make them. Every month they host "Pop-Up Cinema," an event that transforms a local film-loving business into an art house theater for a movie screening. AIFC’s members are attracted to the sense of community they foster and the informal, grassroots spirit that inhabits each cinematic event. 

We sat down with Sam to chat about her inspiration for the film club, some memorable events and the future of the AIFC.

Annapolis Indie Film Club Image courtesy of the Author

Why did you start the Annapolis Indie Film Club?

I really like movies and storytelling. I felt like there was potential interest in a regular independent film presence (in Annapolis). We have the Annapolis Film Festival once a year as well as some other events, but I was personally looking for consistency throughout the year. There was one movie that I wanted to see and the closest theater playing it was Silver Spring. The club was created to gauge interest in indie films.

What was the most memorable Pop-Up Cinema event so far?

It is so hard to pick just one! I’ll never forget our first screening of Hunt for the Wilderpeople at ArtFarm. Another favorite was at Prism Annapolis where the atmosphere was the perfect complement to the film Bad Lucky Goat. And who could forget the screening of Remains at Cult Classic Brewery and the Q&A afterward with the local filmmakers?

How do you choose a location for the monthly Pop-Up Cinema?

With a little creativity, we can turn nearly any space into a theater as long as the establishment is a film-loving business that holds at least 30 people (even if moviegoers have to bring their own chairs). We make it easy and bring in the projector, screen, and popcorn!

Annapolis Indie Film Club Image courtesy of the author

It seems like Annapolis is the perfect location for this, but if a local business doesn’t have space for a pop-up event and still wants to be involved, how can they contribute?

We love sponsors! Any business can sponsor the actual film by paying the distribution fee or sponsor concession. We were really excited to partner with Rams Head On Stage and appreciated their root beer donation for the screening of Dave Made a Maze at The Commons.

Where can potential film club goers find the monthly Pop-Up Cinema schedule?

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our Pop-Up Cinema schedule and club announcements, plus our pictures are cool! Also, there’s no membership fee. If you attend the screening, you are part of the club!

How would you like to see the club grow?

At first, I thought I wanted to own a theater (and still wouldn’t be opposed to that). Communal watching of movies will never go out of style. There will always be a market for it, however, I think the market is evolving, and I am open to being responsive to that change and meet whatever need arises I’ve noticed a trend that the viewing of indie films, in particular, has turned the focus on the experience. I wanted to connect those dots and bring the experience of watching indie films to Annapolis beyond Bowtie Cinema.

What’s your favorite movie from the ones you’ve screened so far?

Dina is probably my favorite so far, which we screened at Naptown Sings. It’s a documentary that shows an unusual love story. On the surface, it seems like you have nothing in common with the couple but then you realize we’re all going through similar struggles. It’s similar to how I feel about the film club and discovering that such an eclectic bunch actually has more in common than just a love of film.

Annapolis Indie Film Club Image courtesy of the author

Last but certainly not least, what’s your favorite popcorn topping?

Old Bay and Caramel – we call it the Annapolitan!