Baltimore School for the Arts has had a blockbuster month as it has continued its discovery project of bringing a new film program to its campus.
Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour made a stop in the Schaefer Ballroom on October 28, screening a carefully curated playlist for Baltimore. The documentary films presented ranged from the story of a nonagenarian ice skater to a female Bangladeshi mountainclimber to an East Baltimore native who found purpose and community in the lifeline of yo-yoing (“Throw”).
Telluride Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke—diplomat Richard Holbrooke’s son—emceed the evening. At the end of the film screening, native Baltimoreans and “Throw” directors Darren Durlach and Dave Larson took to the stage along with the subject of “Throw,” Coffin Nachtmahr, for a discussion. Nachtmahr also brought a group of throwers with him, who delighted the audience with their performance.
The next morning the Mountainfilm group returned to give a workshop on documentary filmmaking to 22 BSA students, including 11 students who participated in BSA’s Summer Film and Video Workshop.
Holbrooke spoke first, focusing on how students can find and tell a really meaningful story, citing multiple examples from his own work. For the second hour of the workshop, “Throw” was screened once more. The directors walked the students through the entire process of making the documentary, and they also discussed what they personally got out of the process.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity,” said BSA faculty member Beatriz Bufrahi, who directed the summer workshop and has played a leadership role throughout this process. “You never see documentary shorts, and this is what our students are working on. They are making films that are at the most 10-15 minutes in length. Mountainfilm’s work aligns very closely with what they are learning.”
Last Saturday, a group of students also met with filmmakers from the Maryland Film Festival.
And as the discovery project continues, multiple leaders in the local and NY film industry will be convening on Friday, November 18, to present their views on what a potential film program should like. Panelists include: Mario Armstrong, TV host, technology expert, and entrepreneur; Niels Dachler, cinematographer in New York; Jed Dietz, founder, Maryland Film Festival; Adrienne Peres, Maryland Film Festival; Nina Noble, TV producer and production manager; Matthew Porterfield, Film and Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Joe Rubino, photographer and videographer; and Christopher Reed, professor and chair of the Film and Moving Image Department, Stevenson University.
A special thanks to the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, who made all of these events possible.