After a yearlong hiatus, this May’s Maryland Film Festival will lean into diverse communities with offerings that include a film selected by John Waters, a Luther Vandross documentary, a silent movie from the late Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, and trans short films curated by one of the creators of “The Matrix Trilogy.”

“The festival will offer something for every age, taste, and interest, with a wide array of films and filmmakers, from narrative and documentary to animation, experimental, and hybrid forms, embodying the essence of this year’s theme by exploring the depth and breadth of cinema’s past, present, and future,” KJ Mohr, the festival’s director and director of programming, said in a press release.

”We stand on the shoulders of those who have built this great festival and we are thrilled to guide Maryland Film Festival into its next evolution and into the next quarter century. As we launch into the next 25 years, we are thrilled to be able to again share with our audiences some of the greatest and most exciting new moving image work out there and to explore all the ways that image creation is changing and evolving.”

In addition to a slew of other films that will be announced next month, the festival’s special programming and events will kick off Thursday, May 2, with the regional premiere showing of “Luther: Never Too Much,” a documentary on the late Vandross. It will include a Q&A, reception, and Luther Vandross tribute afterparty with musical performances.

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Friday, May 3, will center on the Tyler Cornack-directed film “Butt Boy,” which was selected by Waters.

According to the release, Waters describes the film: “A jaw-dropping, deadpan, bowel-bonkers thriller about a heterosexual dad who after a routine visit to his proctologist becomes a serial killer and inhales his victims up his ass, I kid you not. First a dog, then a child, and finally the very cop who pursues him. The finale takes place inside Dad’s rectum. Ah, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.”

Saturday, May 4, will feature Micheaux’s “Body and Soul,” a 1925 silent film that stars Paul Robeson in his motion picture debut. The film, which will be introduced by local film historian Diedre Thompson and a live score by Baltimore musician Aaron Hill, will be presented from a 35mm restoration print.

Saturday will also feature an evening of “Trans Shorts Under the Stars,” co-curated and presented by Lilly Wachowski, the trans filmmaker best known for collaborating with sibling Lana Wachowski on “The Matrix Trilogy.” Mickey R. Mahoney, a Chicago-based media maker, educator and performer whose work specializes in gender transgression, will join Wachowski in curating and presenting the event. Theat evening, an outdoor screening at the Current Space will include an afterparty at The Crown.

The Maryland Film Festival, which was launched in 1999 by Jed Dietz, was canceled in 2022, in part to ensure that there wwould be enough “time and resources to mark this [25th anniversary] milestone,” according to a letter from the organization.

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Go their website for tickets and showings.

Correction: This story was updated to reflect that Tyler Cornack directed the film “Butt Boy.” John Waters selected the movie to present at the Maryland Film Festival.

John-John Williams IV is a diversity, equity and inclusion reporter at The Baltimore Banner. A native of Syracuse, N.Y. and a graduate of Howard University, he has lived in Baltimore for the past 17 years.

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