The 6th Annual Ocean City Film Festival, or OCFF, returns to in-person screenings at five venues throughout the resort town. The festival will showcase more than 100 independent films. Over 20 of those are films from filmmakers from the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia area. The majority of those are short films that are packaged together in blocks, according to their genre or thematic similarity. One of the most abundant is the collection of films that are a part of the Dramatic Shorts. These are films that are fictional narratives, exploring many serious topics.
Otava by Lana Bregar. Bregar is from Slovenia. Her short film deals with loss of a loved one and picks mourning as a theme. At the forefront is the view of a 12-year-old girl who is left without a mother. Loti is forced to move to the countryside to her grandmother. Everyday farm chores become her new daily ritual. They speak little and the viewer follows the narrative mostly without dialogue. Loti is fed up with chores and finally resists. In a rage, she runs to a nicer place – to the meadow, where she finds shelter again.
The Beggar by Jose Vasilio Torres. Torres is a Latino writer who created a podcast called The Rise of King Asilas, which has been running for five years. Torres has used his audio or radio series as the basis for this short film. Its story takes place in Baltimore, where homeless people are rounded up and being “disappeared” per the king’s latest decree. A homeless man, Jefferson, begs on the street and asks Pete Wilson Jr. for a dollar. However, Pete is mean-spirited and detests the military, even homeless veterans. So, he purposefully disregards Jefferson and even insults the homeless man.
The Aviary by Charlie Knott. Knott is from Baltimore. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with a BFA in Cinematography in 2019. He had a film play at the 5th Annual Ocean City Film Festival called The Boathouse, a short that featured a lot of visual effects (VFX). He incorporates VFX here to craft a story with magical realism. Yet, the magic here is more subtle than in something like Harry Potter. The story involves, a young woman seeking closure with her ex-girlfriend and having to overcome the past and the visions that haunt her. Knott says the film is more about living in one’s own head and letting nostalgia infect or infest one’s brain. He began work on this short after Showtime canceled The President Is Missing, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Knott was a part of that project, but he pivoted to this short, which he shot it over the course of four to five weeks, utilizing actual locations like Gunpowder Falls State Park. He made great use of the fog and the early morning light.
A Wounded Deer by Ethan Rosenberg. Rosenberg is a writer/director based in New York City, about to receive a BFA in Film & Television production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His film is about Ruth, a 12-year-old girl living in the woods of northern Michigan with her single mother Esther and survivalist brother Mark. It’s a coming of age story, but it’s not like most. It asks the question, “How do you express love when you have to focus so intensely on survival?”
Blind Spots by Danny McCrea. McCrea is a 24-year-old filmmaker and photographer from Maryland. He recently completed a bachelor’s degree in electronic media and film at Towson University. His film focuses on two brothers whose relationship is tested when the younger brother becomes disillusioned upon witnessing the older brother make a fateful decision.
Flown by Hossein Hadinezhad. This film is described as the narrator of a page in the life of a lonely man who searches for his identity in the midst of the everyday. He encounters a great obstacle to his thinking called “the media”.
Ye Shaam Mastaani – This Enchanting Evening by Sangeeta Agrawal. Agrawal grew up in Mumbai, India. At the age of 21, she moved to the United States, and was once again inspired, by the great cultural melting pot that is America, learning to respect so many contrasting human philosophies, and most importantly, coming to a greater understanding of herself. This is Agrawal’s second time at OCFF as director and the third as actress. For this film, a radio talk show becomes the medium for two lonely listeners to find an unexpected connection through memories of a time gone by.
Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. at Flagship Cinemas.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 mins.
For more information and virtual tickets, go to https://ocmdfilmfestival.com/.