Sundance Film Festival
Photo credit: Debbie D. Dorsey

Last month, Debbie D. Dorsey, BOPA’s Director of the Baltimore Film Office, traveled to Park City, Utah to support Baltimore’s presence at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The annual film festival is highly anticipated as one of the biggest gatherings of filmmakers and audiences, with many films that launch at Sundance going on to gain critical acclaim worldwide.

This year’s festival featured screenings of narratives, documentaries, and shorts from all over the world, including Sweden, Iran, Mexico, Germany, and more. BOPA is proud to report that Baltimore was also present among this international roundup of films and storytellers.

“Baltimore was well represented at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival,” says Dorsey, fresh off of her first trip to Park City for the festival. Dorsey was able to attend screenings, meet with cast and crew, and see Baltimore talent shine at Sundance.

Charm City Kings had its world premiere (at Sundance) and will open in theaters on April 10. The film was shot entirely on location in Baltimore City and won the Sundance award for Best Ensemble Cast,” says Dorsey.

Charm City Kings, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, is a feature film adaptation of the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, and focuses on the urban dirt-bike riders of Baltimore. The film was shot on location in Baltimore in 2018. Barry Jenkins, Oscar-winning writer and director of Moonlight, served as one of the writers for Charm City Kings.

The cast and crew of Charm City Kings
Photo Credit: Debbie D. Dorsey

Baltimore talent at Sundance also included a documentary filmmaker, a producer, and a screenwriter, attending the festival to debut films and receive awards:

  • Baltimore documentary filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz and her Baltimore crew premiered A Thousand Cuts, which follows the election of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the spread of disinformation via social media, and the war between press and government. 
  • Nine Days, a feature debut by writer-director Edson Oda, was produced by Baltimore’s Jason Michael Berman, and is a science fiction meditation on birth and life. 
  • Towson University and Morgan State University Graduate Dankwa Brooks was selected as the winner of the ScriptED screenwriting competition, part of the Strayer University Foundation at Sundance.  Brooks received $25,000 and the opportunity to be an artist-in-residence with Strayer Studios.

It’s clear Baltimore was well represented during the festival’s almost three weeks of screenings and awards. We are proud of our Baltimore talent and look forward to the premier of these films here in our city.

The Baltimore Film Office was created by the City of Baltimore in 1979 in response to the need for a central point of contact for the film industry. Since then, hundreds of feature films and television shows and thousands of commercials, documentaries, music videos, independent and student films have been filmed in our city. The Baltimore Film Office is a division of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

Visit for more information about the Baltimore Film Office.

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