The list of things to do in Annapolis opens with 70 movies, includes lots of original music, and wraps up with a partial eclipse of the sun.

Four days of cinema


Work on the 12th annual Annapolis Film Festival started the day the 11th event ended. For Lee Anderson and Patti White, the partners who orchestrate, curate and manage the 70 films being shown over four days across seven venues, it is a journey that all leads to opening night.

All of the films — documentaries, features or shorts representing a diverse universe of filmmakers — have one thing in common: the experience of seeing a movie for the first time with other people.

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“We just have so much on screens at home that it just becomes routine,” White said. “And the festival is trying to bring that magic back on the big screen.”

The festival kicks off at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Maryland Hall with “Thelma,” the first leading role for character actress June Squibb in her seven-decade career. The 94-year-old stars as a grandmother who finds herself an unlikely action hero after being defrauded. The movie also includes the final on-screen performance of the late Richard Roundtree.

Friday night’s centerpiece is “Fresh Kills,” the journey of a young girl who discovers that her father is an emerging crime kingpin. It is the writing and directorial debut for actress Jennifer Esposito, whose credits include TV’s “Spin City.”

If actress Edie Falco’s Saturday afternoon appearance at St John’s College is to support her role in “I’ll Be Right There,” the actress famous for “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie” may be a celebrity bucket list item for fans.

And while White and Anderson are reluctant to pick favorites, they aren’t shy about the likely Annapolis appeal of “Unfurling the World.” Sailing journalist Gary Jobson of Annapolis narrates the story of a couple who spent two decades exploring the world while teaching teenage novice sailors, a sea story told through footage they shot on their voyages.

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“Mediha,” the story of a 12-year-old Yazidi girl kidnapped by Islamic State group who works to rebuild her life, likely will qualify as one of the most unique experiences of the festival when it shows Saturday at Asbury United Methodist Church.

“Now she is 19 years old and she’s in this country,” White said. “She will be here with the film, which is another nice little hidden gem.”

And in a bit of counterprogramming, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley will host two film showings separate from the festival at 3 p.m. Sunday: “Together We Cycle,” which follows the Netherlands’ move from a car culture to one oriented to pedestrians and bicycles, and “Annapolis Goes Dutch” on the trip Buckley led to the Netherlands last year to study the change. The city will host a bike parade from Germantown Elementary to City Hall for the showings. Free, but tickets required.

Along the way to Sunday, the last day of the festival, there will group discussions, coffee talks and technical seminars for aspiring filmmakers.

Passes to all the screenings are $195, though they may sell out by opening night. You’d have to have superpowers to see them all, anyway. That also may be true for $60 opening night tickets for “Thelma.” Tickets to individual shows remain available all weekend at $20.

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New local music

Friday and Saturday

Two Annapolis singer-songwriters will release new albums this week, and each has a backstory.

Laura Brino will release “Cactus Moon” at ArtFarm with a free open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday followed by a concert at 7:30 p.m.

Brino, after a decade-long detour into arts programming, released “No More Surprises,” her first album of indie folk pop, in 2022. “Cactus Moon” serves as a validation of her decision, and kicks off a tour of local venues. Tickets to the concert are $30.

Joshua Long will release his latest album, “We Are Earth,” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Church of Annapolis. The album highlights Long’s belief in the importance of faith in fighting climate change, with the concert featuring Long and his band, artist Melting Virgo and the church worship ensemble.

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Tickets are $25, with discounts for children 5 to 17, VIP passes and Zoom options available.

Getting underway

12:30-6 p.m. Saturday

Watermark, the Annapolis cruise and tour company, casts off its regular schedule of seasonal cruises around Annapolis on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday excursion routes from City Dock head along the Severn River, out to the Thomas Point light and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge through September, with Friday additional trips starting in June. $18-$35.

What’s that worth?

1-3 p.m. Saturday

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The Eastport Civic Association will host appraiser Todd Peenstra in a fundraiser designed to clarify whether that junk cluttering up your garage is treasure or trash.

Peenstra will offer a value on jewelry, coins, silver, glass, porcelain, pottery, art, clocks, toys, tools, small furniture, decoys, lamps, nautical items, musical instruments, walking sticks and collectibles. Weapons, large furniture, books or stamps will not be evaluated.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. at the Eastport Democratic Club and the event features a cash bar and food truck. Appraisals are $10 per item, with no limit on the number of pieces per person. Door prizes and a prize for the most unusual item will be awarded. Admission is free with an appraisal, but spectators are asked to pay a $10 donation.

Pan Asian celebration

11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fourth-largest demographic group in Maryland, but that’s kind of an odd thing to say given the differences in culture and language included in that broad category of people.

You can explore some of those differences at the Anne Arundel Asian American Festival at the Anne Arundel Fairgrounds, an event organized by the networking group Peake Social. The day will feature food, performances, arts and crafts representing the heritage of Filipinos, Koreans, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Pacific Islanders.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gates. Kids under 14 are free to attend.

Monthly showcase

7:30-10 p.m.

Alexander Peters and Michael K. of Annapolis and L. Rodgers from Baltimore will perform in the 2nd Monday singer-songwriter showcase at 49 West Coffeehouse, hosted by Angie Miller.

It’s a chance to see artists perform in the small back room of the coffee shop. Call 410-626-9796 for reservations. $15.

Watch on YouTube

Solar eclipse

2:05-4:33 p.m. Monday

Annapolis will only see a partial eclipse of the sun this time around, with the moon coming between the earth and the big shiny yellow ball that normally dominates the sky this time of day.

You could step outside your door and look up — DO NOT DO THIS, USE SPECIAL GLASSES OR MAKE A PINHOLE CAMERA — as the solar system phenomenon reaches its peak at 3:31 p.m. and 19 seconds. You could go to City Dock and observe the whole thing with a crowd, some of whom will undoubtedly ignore the warning about eye damage, and post on social media.

Or, you could splurge for a 90-minute Watermark “Solar Eclipse Cruise” to see the moon cover 88% of the sun, listening to “spacey music and a fun, themed cocktail.” The Annapolis company departs from City Dock and offers eclipse viewing glasses. $40 for adults, $20 for children.

Rick Hutzell is the Annapolis columnist for The Baltimore Banner. He writes about what's happening today, how we got here and where we're going next. The former editor of Capital Gazette, he led the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2018 mass shooting in its newsroom.

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