Every spring the Maryland Film Festival takes place in Baltimore, Maryland presenting over 100 international films and videos of various genres with the focus on independent films and art-house. The festival provides a fantastic opportunity to meet with the creators of movies and famous actors. Every American feature movie screened at the festival is presented by its filmmakers. The Maryland Film Festival has hosted Lena Dunham, Barry Levinson, David Simon, Greta Gerwig, Kathryn Bigelow, Melvin Van Peebles, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Seimetz, David Lowery, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Todd Solondz, and Anna Biller. The Festival also features filmmaker and comedian John Waters who serves on the festival's board.
Every year the festival presents about 40 new feature films and 80 new short films. The screenings take place in the famous and historic Baltimore locations like Charles Theater, the Parkway Theatre, the Station North Arts, the Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Museum, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and other venues. Each year the festival includes a silent film with a live score by Alloy Orchestra. Many well-known musicians have participated in the festival, including Dan Deacon, Branford Marsalis, Marin Alsop, Ian MacKaye, Will Oldham, Jonathan Richman, Harry Belafonte, and Cal Ripken, Jr.
The first Maryland Film Festival took place in April 1999, opening with Barry Levinson's documentary Diner Guys. The festival hosted world premieres of Eugene Kotlyarenko's 0s & 1s, Stephen Cone's Henry Gamble's Birthday Party and Princess Cyd, Hugh Gibson's The Stairs and Ashley McKenzie's Werewolf, and Josephine Decker's Butter on the Latch.