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Maryland International Film Festival

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The Maryland International Film Festival is organized by filmmakers and marketing executives who understand the power of film and support the talent of the independent filmmaker. Our goal is to fill theaters to capacity, encourage the development of filmmaker networks including media, distribution and the association with other artists. MDIFF believes in the importance of giving back to the community and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to charities around the globe. - See more at:




El Chicano Wins Best Feature at Maryland International Film Festival

El Chicano Wins Best Feature at Maryland International Film Festival, Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN, Md.,  -- The Eighth Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown ended with the awards ceremony at the Historic Maryland Theatre. Executive Director, Tracie Hovey said, "We continue to be impressed by the talent and creativity of the filmmakers that attend this festival. We love the social justice issues that filmmakers bring to our attention, whether it is through narrative film or a documentary. These films stir our emotions and give us stories that make us reflect on what is important in life. El Chicano is one of those stories because it is scripted from life experiences of director Ben Hernandez Braywhose brother died due to street violence. It is also a film that has been at the forefront of spurring change in the industry to include more Latinos in films, and fund more movies with all-Latino casts. We were also especially thrilled to have the City of Hagerstown proclaim El Chicano Day on May 3 which capped off an amazing festival!"

The first Latino-powered film from end to end—is the more than ten-year passion project of Chicano industry veteran Ben Hernandez Bray, who tells a story about the loss of his brother and his redemption from his past. Bray helms El Chicano, his directorial debut, from a script he co-wrote with Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, The Grey, Narc). The cast is a multigenerational mix of young and iconic Latino talent that includes Rául Castillo, Aimee GarciaDavid CastanedaMarco RodriguezKate Del Castillo, and the incomparable George Lopez.

The full line-up of 155 films from 16 countries around the world ranged from features, shorts, documentaries, animations, local and student films. MDIFF also hosted an exclusive VIP reception and after-parties each night.


The Finalists:

Best Feature: 

  • Turnover/USA Director Linda Palmer
  • Bernadette/USA Director John Psathas
  • Electric Love/USA Director Aaron Fradkin
  • El Chicano/USA Director Ben Hernandez Bray- Winner

Best Documentary

  • My Trouble With Wolves/USA Director Collin Monda
  • My Sister Hali/USA Director Paul Sheriff
  • Love Always, Mom/ USA Director Tricia Russo and Craig E. Shapiro-Winner
  • Apache Warrior/USA Director David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud

Best Short Film

  • Sac de Merde/USA Director Greg Chwerchak-Winner
  • Hook-up 2.0/USA Director Dana Nachman
  • Tumble Dry/USA Director Delia Kelly and Stephen Riscica
  • "Only a Movie!"/USA Director Teddy Cecil

Best Local

  • Four Points/USA Director R.Cadell Cook II
  • 17 Locust St./USA Director Daniel Wyland
  • Start-up/France Director David Fine
  • Family Medicine/USA Director Joe Kraemer -Winner

Best Foreign

  • Final Act /USA Director Marcus Kaatsch
  • Scopophilia/Greece Director Natalia Lampropoulou and Ilektra Aggeletopoulou-Winner
  • Dark Social/USA Director Catharine Isenberg
  • Hope is French/France Director Christopher Mack


  • The Indies: An Animated Short/Director Anthony Lambert
  • It's a Bird Thing/USA Director Luce Grosjean -Winner
  • Hello Jemima/UK Director Peter Baynton


  • Mother's Day/Director Alexander Desouza
  • Murder House/USA Director Billy and Richard Chizmar
  • This One's for You, Alice/UK Director Patrick Hanser-Winner

The Eighth Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown received more than 420 submissions, and the judges announced that over 150 films were selected. While there were films screened at three venues during the day, the Red Carpet VIP Reception happened with special guest Maryland Governor and Mrs. Hogan. The Friday, March 29th opening night took place at the Historic Maryland Theatre. Other venues during the weekend included the Grand Piano Building, Alice Virginia & David E. Fletcher Library, the University of MarylandHagerstown, and the Chamber of Commerce. After-parties were hosted at 28 South and Bulls and Bears. All films during the day on Friday were free to the public.

For more information about the festival, see: The MarylandInternational Film Festival-Hagerstown partners with several local organizations, businesses, individuals, and major sponsors. The sponsors include the Ovation PR & Advertising, City of Hagerstown, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Washington County Government (Office of Grant Management), the Nora Roberts Foundation, Washington County Arts Council, Potomac Case Management, Homewood Suites, Bullitt Point Production, Delaplaine Foundation, Anderson Photography, Tom RifordJay FrantzMike Fitzgerald, and the Maryland Film Office.


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