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The Winners: A Look Back at the 2024 Ocean City Film Festival

There were venues all over town where festival goers could watch movies. These viewers are watching movies at the Ashore.

The 8th Annual Ocean City Film Festival once again brought the magic of independent cinema to the Maryland coast. Filmmakers, fans, and industry figures converged on the beachside town from March 7th-10th to screen over 100 engaging films, showcasing a wide range of genres, styles, and important themes.

John Waters performed at the Ocean City Film Festival 2024.

Awards Highlight Diversity and Impact

The festival celebrated unique and powerful voices in film across a variety of showcases. The prestigious ‘Best of Fest’ awards were presented to:

  • Pride Showcase:
    • DREAMING OF… (Directed by Adrián De Jesús)
    • OF ONE’S OWN (Directed by Jack Calvin Girod)
    • CHASING JUSTICE (Directed by Drew Petrimoulx)
    • FIRST YOU, THEN I (Directed by Ashleigh Coffelt)
  • For Your Health Showcase:
    • SHARK WEEK (Directed by Adria Branson)
    • ENCORE LEARNING, 20 YEARS AND GROWING (Directed by Sheri Ratick Stroud, Rich West)
  • Environmental & Aquatic Showcase:
    • SALTED EARTH (Directed by Ben Hemmings)
    • REMINDER (Directed by Akın Bağcılar)
  • Horror, Sci-fi, & the Weird Showcase:
    • PERSONALIZED FUTURES (Directed by Max Delfino)
  • For the Love of Film Showcase:
    • GIANNA (Directed by Brooke Linsalata)
  • Surf’s Up Showcase:
    • A LIFE AT SEE (Directed by Elisa Mand, Bente Rohde)
Seacrets was the site of the surf videos as well as the awards presentation

Audience Favorites Shine

audience choice awards accessed by scan code for the Ocean City Film Festival
The audience choice awards voting was accessed by scan code for the Ocean City Film Festival

Festival-goers also had their say! Every attendee was asked to submit their votes for up to five award winners.  The voting was accessed through a scan code at the end of each movie and on the tables at each venue.  After all the votes were tallied, the following films captured hearts and earned the Audience Choice Awards:

  • The Echoes We See (Directed by Andrés Mejia) – Winner in the For Your Health Showcase.
  • The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary (Directed by Rudy Childs) – This delightful feature film took home the top prize.
  • Ray of Sunshine (Directed by Tyler Jennings & Jon Kemmerer) – A standout in the Horror, Sci-fi, and the Weird Showcase
  • Father’s Day: A Kirk Franklin Story (Directed by Josh Chamberlain) – Taking the Spotlight on Fatherhood Showcase award.
  • Gull (Directed by Brian Hooks) – Proving the power of local filmmaking, this film won the coveted OC Film Challenge.
Surf movies at Seacrets Sunday morning before the awards presentations.

Beyond the Screen

Inundation at the Cambria focused on sea level rise and development in Boston.

The Ocean City Film Festival delivered more than just incredible cinema. Dynamic Q&As with filmmakers, exclusive mixers, and special screenings fostered a vibrant community atmosphere. The festival remains a valuable platform for independent filmmakers and an enriching cultural experience for audiences.

Ocean City Film Fest attendees in the Performing Arts Center in Ocean City before the John Waters performance.

Looking Forward

As the 2024 festival closed, anticipation for its return in 2025 is already growing. The Ocean City Film Festival’s dedication to showcasing independent film and amplifying diverse voices ensures its continued success and solidifies its place as a highlight in the festival circuit.

Mark your calendars for the 9th Annual Ocean City Film Festival in March 2025!

Ann has been with StateVentures since 1999. She moved from Annapolis to Berlin, MD to be closer to Ocean City. She splits her work week between the two locations to help clients and visitors get the best information and value out of our sites. She loves a camera and any excuse to use it.  Her kids are both grown and off adventuring.  Ann loves to travel with her kids and lives with her dog Marley when she's not in Virginia fishing.

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