8.5 reasons you should go to Maryland Film Festival

The 16th annual Maryland Film Festival runs May 7 through May 12 in Baltimore. (Courtesy Maryland Film Festival)

WASHINGTON — The region’s biggest film festival is upon us.

The 16th annual Maryland Film Festival opens Wednesday with 50 feature movies and 75 shorts. The films come from all over the world and range from the history of beer brewing in Baltimore (“Brewmore”) to South Korean gore (“Moebius”).

Sorting through all the program information can be daunting. WTOP asked Maryland Film Festival staff to do the hard work and give eight reasons why you should attend this year’s fest.

1. See a film curated and hosted by legendary director John Waters. Musicians Matmos (“Barbarella”) and DJ Spooky (“Putney Swope”) will host films they’ve curated.

2. Explore the neighborhood. The Station North Arts District is a thriving center of good eats, music, theater, the visual arts and nightlife.

3.Maryland premieres. Most of the films screening in the Maryland Film Festival are having their first D.C./Maryland area screenings, such as “Brewmore.” See Reason 8.5 for more.

4. Check out the free events. All weekend long, the festival offers a full slate of panels, talks, free outdoor screenings and dance parties in the centrally located Tent Village.

5. Baltimore. Friendly, accessible and full of the city’s unique personality, the Maryland Film Festival is a perfect excuse to explore the sights, sounds, tastes, cultural life and rich history of a great American city.

6. Films. More than 50 features and 75 shorts of all genres and from all over the world will be screened. For example, this year’s Opening Night Shorts program includes a film from Iran with the filmmaker in attendance.

7. Meet the filmmakers. More than 100 from all over the world, will be in attendance. Also applies to Reason 8.5.

8. It’s fun. Film for everyone!

8.5. This is more of a personal plug: Yours truly, WTOP Entertainment Editor Alicia Lozano, will screen a documentary about Maryland Deathfest, “America’s biggest metal party of the year,” premiering at 9 p.m. Friday night in the Tent Village.

“Welcome to Deathfest” is a behind-the-scenes look at the MDF and features interviews with musicians such as Phil Anselmo (Down), Matt Pike (Sleep, High on Fire) and Jeff Walker (Carcass), plus an exclusive American interview with Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower). Live sets include Pig Destroyer, Noisem, Repulsion and Melvins, among many others.

Watch a teaser below:

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