The New/Next Film Festival, presented by 88.1 WYPR and taking place August 18-20, 2023 in Baltimore’s historic 5-screen Charles Theatre, continued its lineup announcements today with 10 more titles.
Features announced today for New/Next are Olivia West Lloyd’s stirring Tribeca-premiered psychological thriller Somewhere Quiet, starring Jennifer Kim and Kentucker Audley; Cédric Ido’s bold, banlieue-set science-fiction exploration The Gravity, Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s poetic and layered look at Appalachia’s relationship to the coal industry, King Coal; Tynan DeLong’s subversive triumph of DIY comedy, Dad & Step-Dad; and Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn’s innovative documentary following a woman’s persistent search for justice in the disturbing subculture of deep-fake pornography, Another Body.
Also announced today were a new wave of short films, including the world premiere of Albert Birney (Strawberry Mansion)’s experimental animation 22 Rooms. Other shorts announced for New/Next include Chelsie Pennello’s portrait of a black sheep attending a family funeral in D.C.’s Chinatown, Mandarins; Raymond Knudsen’s bodybuilding fever-dream Prep; Cricket Arrison’s queer comedy/horror autofiction Some Day All This Will Be Yours; and Frank Mosley’s post-genre narrative Good Condition.
The titles announced today join previous announced titles including Sebastián Silva’s Rotting in the Sun, starring Jordan Firstman; acclaimed filmmakers Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro’s Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes (SXSW 2023); and Baltimorean Meredith Moore’s joyous short documentary Margie Soudek’s Salt and Pepper Shakers (Sundance 2023). The festival will also include a secret screening (shhh!), a repertory film (to be named soon!) selected and hosted by Beach House, and an opening-night party co-headlined by TT the Artist and Dapper Dan Midas.
New/Next’s lineup announcements will continue through July. All emerging films screened will be Maryland premieres.
The festival, produced by Baltimore NPR News affiliate radio station 88.1 WYPR and curated by veteran programmer Eric Allen Hatch, conceived this first edition to fill the void left by Maryland Film Festival’s announcement that they would not have a 2023 event. “My work programming films in Baltimore, including more than a decade with MdFF, has always emphasized young and diverse voices. Film culture is continually reinventing itself, and New/Next is an exciting new chapter in my never-ending search for the most visionary and entertaining emerging films I can put in front of our ever-adventurous audiences.”
All-access passes for New/Next are available now, and provide access to all New/Next screenings; an advance window for film and seat selection ahead of public ticketing; and attendance to all New/Next special events, including the Opening and Closing Night parties and concerts.
Support for New/Next Film Fest comes from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Portfolios, The Abell Foundation, The Baltimore Community Foundation, The State of Maryland, The Maryland Film Office and The Maryland State Arts Council.
22 ROOMS (2023 Albert Birney) | EXPERIMENTAL SHORT
In your life you will enter many rooms. These are 22 of them. World premiere.
ANOTHER BODY (2023 Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn) | DOC FEATURE
ANOTHER BODY follows a college student’s search for answers and justice after she discovers deepfake pornography of herself circulating online.
DAD & STEP-DAD (2023 Tynan DeLong) | NARRATIVE FEATURE
Jim and Dave, a dad and a step-dad, have trouble bonding during a 3-day weekend upstate with their son, Branson. Starring Colin Burgess, Anthony Oberbeck, Brian Fiddyment, and Clare O’Kane.
GOOD CONDITION (2023 Frank Mosley) | NARRATIVE SHORT
Barry’s starting over.
THE GRAVITY [La Gravité] (2023 Cédric Ido) | NARRATIVE FEATURE
An unprecedented alignment of planets impacting gravity will upset the balance of a ghetto and the destiny of two duos of brothers eager to do anything for their freedom in an unceasing fight between old and new generations. Grounded by the deep relationship depicted between the brothers and capped off with an explosive finale, director Cédric Ido’s second feature is a bold entry in the sci-fi genre.
KING COAL (2023 Elaine McMillion Sheldon) | DOC FEATURE
A lyrical tapestry of a place and people, KING COAL meditates on the complex history and future of the coal industry, the communities it has shaped, the myths it has created. While deeply situated in Central Appalachia, the film transcends time and place, emphasizing the ways in which all are connected through an immersive mosaic of belonging, ritual, and imagination. Emerging from the long shadows of the coal mines, KING COAL untangles the pain from the beauty, and illuminates the innately human capacity for change.
MANDARINS (2023 Chelsie Pennello) | NARRATIVE SHORT
A black sheep attempts to eulogize her mother with a story about pigeons.
MARGIE SOUDEK’S SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS (2023 Meredith Moore) | DOC SHORT
An artist and visual-effects instructor connects with her aging grandmother, Margie, through collecting, art-making, and obsessing as a way to enhance reality. Produced by Jonna McKone, executive produced by MEMORY (Rat Film; Crestone; All Light, Everywhere), and scored by Dan Deacon.
MAX ROACH: THE DRUM ALSO WALTZES (2023 Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro) | DOC FEATURE
MAX ROACH: THE DRUM ALSO WALTZES explores the life and music of the legendary drummer, composer, bandleader, and social activist through a remarkable series of creative peaks, struggles, and personal reinventions—from the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights years, surveying the heady days of post-war modern jazz to hip-hop and beyond.
OPENING NIGHT PARTY
Co-headlined by Baltimore hip-hop and club icons TT the Artist and Dapper Dan Midas.
PREP (2023 Raymond Knudsen) | NARRATIVE SHORT
A bodybuilding fever dream fueled by childhood trauma, food porn and acid techno music.
ROTTING IN THE SUN (2023 Sebastián Silva) | NARRATIVE FEATURE
Writer-director Sebastián Silva’s Sundance hit ROTTING IN THE SUN is a darkly funny and refreshingly audacious meta-comedy that skewers the business of filmmaking and our self-obsessed culture. While unwinding at a Mexican gay beach town, depressed director Sebastián Silva meets gregarious Instagram influencer Jordan Firstman (both playing versions of themselves), and Sebastián reluctantly agrees to collaborate on an upcoming project. But when Jordan arrives back in Mexico City, Sebastián is nowhere to be found, and Jordan embarks on a wildly unpredictable, quasi-detective journey.
We’ll never tell.
SOME DAY ALL THIS WILL BE YOURS (2023 Cricket Arrison) | EXPERIMENTAL SHORT
An increasingly unhinged pregnant woman gives a house tour. Equal parts horror and comedy, this queer autofiction short was shot in the filmmaker’s childhood home.
SOMEWHERE QUIET (2023 Olivia West Lloyd) | NARRATIVE FEATURE
Meg is trying to readjust to normalcy after surviving a traumatic kidnapping — but her grasp on reality soon starts to deteriorate when she travels with her husband to his wealthy family’s isolated compound. Starring Jennifer Kim, Marin Ireland, Kentucker Audley and Micheál Neeson.