BALTIMORE — The countdown to ARTSCAPE is on!
All week long, WJZ has been telling you about some of theat the free public arts festival.
The festival will feature filmmakers from all walks of life—many of them from Baltimore.
Cierra Gladden and Tahir Juba are two rising filmmakers both based in Baltimore who are bringing their stories to life on the big screen.
"Because essentially being a filmmaker is being a storyteller," Juba said.
Gladden says she believes in writing what she knows and drawing inspiration from the stories that she has lived.
"I believe in telling stories from experiences that you know and being able to live experiences on the screen," Gladden said.
Gladden is a writer and filmmaker based in Baltimore originally from Odenton.
Juba was born and raised in Baltimore. He remembers attending ARTSCAPE and the Maryland Film Festival as a child.
"Baltimore is definitely one of those stories that people tell from outside of the city. So, I want to be one of these ones who tell our stories being from our city. I don't want it to be a story told from an outside point of view," Juba said.
Gladden and Juba are two of the many filmmakers coming out from behind the lens during the Maryland Film Festival Shorts Fest at ARTSCAPE.
James Burkhalter—a film director/producer and Graduate Professor of MFA Filmmaking with Maryland Institute College of Arts—helped curate and organize films for the festival. He will present the MICA shorts during ARTSCAPE.
"We have filmmakers from all different walks of life, like, we have filmmakers coming from China," he said. We have some from Baltimore, from D.C., Virginia."
Burkhalter said the festival will present multiple perspectives.
"We have half of the filmmakers or women, like, six filmmakers," he said. "We have four LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Three black filmmakers."
Audiences will be able to watch and screen more than a dozen short films all by Baltimore students and filmmakers highlighting a number of genres and topics — including mental health.
"All these films, no matter what the genre they are, they're rooted in reality in a per and some sense of truth," Burkhalter said.
Each short film was produced in Maryland, inspired by the stories of their creators.
The short film screenings are free and organized by Wide Angle Youth Media, Maryland Institute College of Art, Johns Hopkins University Film and Media and Studio North.
"This is a sample, a slice of filmmaking in Baltimore, and this is the next generation of filmmakers who are gonna create work that goes all over the world and takes the name of Baltimore all over the world," Sandra Gibson, the Executive Director of the Maryland Film Festival, said.
"I think it's really important for people to hear from them," Gibson said. "It's important for them to showcase for such a wide audience."
You can catch all the films and catch a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers throughout the entire weekend at the Parkway Theatre.
Maryland Film Festival Shorts Fest is sponsored by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.
WJZ is the proud media sponsor of ARTSCAPE.
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