SANDRA GIBSON WAS IN the midst of planning the 2020 Maryland Film Festival when the pandemic hit. Her team ultimately moved the whole thing online, but at the time, she had no idea that the 2021 festival (from May 19-27) would also have to go virtual. On the plus side, this unusual year has given her lots of time to reimagine the Parkway Theatre and its role in both the Station North community and all of Baltimore.
First of all, how did last year’s virtual fest go? For a bootstrap thing, we think it went extraordinarily well. It was a brand-new platform. We were inventing as we went. We had 17 feature films. 150 filmmakers. 15 blocks of shorts. [We had the] world, North American, and Baltimore premieres. We had a few thousand people participate. All 50 states. We hadn’t had that kind of participation before, so the reach was greatly expanded.
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