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 over 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 those blocks is the collection of films that are a part of the Horror, Sci-fi, Fantasy and the Weird. These are films that are fiction narratives, intended to scare, excite, intrigue or take you to another world of wonder. Here is the list of films you’ll see:
All of This is Somehow True by Joseph Kraemer. Kraemer currently teaches film production as an associate professor within the Electronic Media and Film Department at Towson University. He received his M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. His black-and-whtie film focuses on a sick patient who enters a waiting room seeking medical help, but help never comes. A reflection on the fear and dread that defined the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic’s spread, the film very much feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Matched by Zack Kron who is an aspiring actor. He got his BFA in Drama from NYU. He’s originally from New Orleans. Yet, he has worked mainly as an electrician and lighting expert for major television productions like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and New Amsterdam. This is his fifth short film as director. It’s about a young woman who explores an apartment during a blackout with nothing more than a box of matches. But she’s not alone. Kron was the cinematographer and editor for another film playing in this year’s OCFF, that of Don’t Jump, playing in the Funny Shorts section.
Last Day by Rich Hansil who has worked as a producer of reality TV with shows like Billy the Exterminator on A&E and Bridezillas on WeTV. He directed this short, which was written and produced by Michael Baker of Dial It Back Films. This is one of two selections at OCFF from Dial It Back Films. The other is Sid and Marge Have a Problem, playing in the Funny Shorts section. Here, Baker plays Doug Harris, a man fired from his sales job who returns for an exit interview with the HR director. It doesn’t go well.
Silver Screen Suicide by Kyle Hartford. Hartford is the founder of GR Pictures, a filmmaking collective focused on getting young filmmaker’s voices heard in the cut-throat world of cinema with the goal of displaying Maryland’s filmmaking talent for the world to see. He’s from Crofton, MD, and graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Here, a lonely alcoholic becomes mesmerized when his favorite classic movie star begins to talk to him through his television set. It would make a good companion to Hossein Hadinezhad’s Flown, playing in Dramatic Shorts II at OCFF.
Maroon by JB Arbogast and Chris Edwards. From Baltimore, Arbogast graduated from Towson University. Arbogast met Edwards through his time at that school. Their film concerns Ajax, a space traveler exiled and abandoned on a distant moon, who must work with his former team to escape. Arbogast works as a VFX Artist and this film utilizes a good amount of interesting visual effects.
The Call of Water by Kaya Tone who is the co-founder of Tone Productions, a company she runs with her sister, Siena who is a production designer and graphic novelist. Kaya was born and raised outside Boulder, Colorado. She moved to New York to attend NYU. Set in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, her film follows Nadia the night before her childhood home is sold. High on mushrooms, she and her friends inadvertently open a portal, plunging them into the astral-plane. There, she must face The Horned One, an ancient keeper of the land and of the water. To return to her body, Nadia must come to terms with her responsibility to her homeland and the water that it protects.
Carnivale by Wikka. Alexia DelGiudice Bigari, aka Wikka is an accomplished violist and singer from New York City. She is a composer and performing artist in diverse genres such as electronic pop music, cabaret, classical, and alternative music. Wikka’s poetry gives a voice to the outcasts in both her music and film. Alexia earned her Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Set a few months after her first visual album “Cirque,” Wikka the Clown (very Harley Quinn-like) grieves the loss of her beloved Petunia. After a year of sorrow and solitude, she discovers that her old friend, Charlie the Mime, is still alive – and needs to be saved from the clutches of the evil Ringmaster! Wikka must assemble her team of misfits to defeat him and his band of bloodthirsty villains.
El Poso by Max Radbill. Radbill graduated from Towson University in 2015. He’s a Los Angeles-based, independent filmmaker. He loves making movies that are fun, funny, silly, spooky, and entertaining. His horror-comedy feature film Re-Elected, which is about zombies and played at last year’s OCFF, is available on Amazon Prime, Tubi, Screambox, and wherever you rent movies. Here, a failed suicide attempt gives a woman the ability to talk to rocks. Radbill went to Lanzarote, Spain, in October 2021 to make this short film under the mentor-ship of legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog.
The Path of the Greys by Joshua van ‘t Hoff, a filmmaker based in the Netherlands. He founded Apostrof Cinema in 2011. His film is set in the Star Wars Expanded universe and focuses on a pupil who is subjected to a physical and mental test by his mentor to prove that he is on the right path of the Force; being neither Jedi nor Sith.
Ba’al Out by Derek Silver. Silver grew up in the 80’s watching slashers and monster movies with his grandfather. He says he’ll never forget the laugh of the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt. In the 90’s, he started skateboarding and got into videography making skate videos and putting together clips of him and his friends. He worked as a camera operator for the local television company in college and upon graduating he got together with some buddies from high school to film live events and founded Cave House Studios. This film is his latest Gothic horror short. The titular character is known as an archon.
Nothing Makes Sense by Torrez Wise. Wise is based in Salisbury, MD. He’s the owner of WiseRebel Films. Wise had a film in a previous OCFF event, that of The Sign, a documentary about a Confederate marker in Salisbury. This film is a stylized peek into the creative process of a music loving storyteller.
Untitled (2020) by Lauren Scott whose film White Noise played at the 2020 OCFF. She’s based in Baltimore and graduated from Stevenson University. Like Torrez Wise, this is an experimental film. It was made in quarantine. Scott describes it as when awe becomes obsession and obsession becomes suffering.
Mateus by Caleb Pimpo, a filmmaker from Annapolis. A young boy copes with being bullied by imagining himself as a knight in a fantasy world.
Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 PM at Ocean Downs Casino.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 20 mins.
For more information and virtual tickets, go to https://ocmdfilmfestival.com/.