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Searchlight Pictures’ “Chevalier” to Open 11th Annual Annapolis Film Festival

Written by: Editor | February 28th, 2023

Annapolis, MD (February 24, 2023) [all text courtesy of Lee Meltzer | Nida Karnani | Leah Sandford, R&CPMK] – The 11th Annual Annapolis Film Festival announced today that Searchlight Pictures’ critically-acclaimed Chevalier will open this year’s festival on Thursday, March 23rd at 7:15 PM in Maryland Hall’s Main Theatre. The evening will begin with a red carpet featuring celebrity and filmmaker guests at 6:30 PM and culminate with an after-party beginning at 9:30 PM under the tent on the front lawn of the fest’s signature venue Maryland Hall for Opening Night Ticket Holders and Festival Pass Holders (limited quantity available).

Film poster: “Chevalier”

Inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a tour de force performance) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and her court.   

Festival Director Lee Anderson adds, “We are thrilled to once again bring our film festival to the Annapolis community. It is a highly anticipated event that has really sparked important conversations and has led the way in terms of growing the arts community in our town. Our big presence with the film festival continues to elevate Annapolis to a whole new level.”

Still from MELGES: THE WIZARD OF ZENDA. Photo Courtesy: Phil Uhl

This year the sailing showcase is sure to win folks over in the sailing capital of the United States with the world premiere of Melges: The Wizard of Zenda which is the story of one of the greatest sailors in the history of the sport, Buddy Melges, who won scores of world championships, Olympic Medals and an America’s Cup. But what made him unique was how he shared everything he knew with anyone willing to ask. Director Mark Honer will participate in a Q&A hosted by former ESPN America’s Cup correspondent, Gary Jobson. The screening will be preceded by a short film, about Sharon Green, the infamous America’s Cup photographer.

Still from NO LEGS. ALL HEART. Photo Courtesy: Colin Cross

No Legs. All Heart. captures the story of Andre Kajlich who after years of addiction, struggle and coming to terms with his accident, completes the Race Across America, a bone crushing, sleep deprived, 12-day, 3,082 mile bike race that spits out 50% of able-bodied racers. Andre became the first double amputee wheelchair athlete to complete it as he crossed the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. No Legs. All Heart. gives an intimate look beneath the forces that allowed Andre to overcome addiction and the pain we endure to carve our own path. On hand, will be the film’s first-time Latin American director and cinematographer, Pablo Durana, who spent 8 years documenting the story of this incredible athlete along with Andre Kajlich, the subject of the film.

“Our festival continues its commitment to high-quality programming as evidenced by last year’s jury award-winning film selections, Fire of Love and Night Ride, both nominated for the Oscars this year along with our other jury award-winner Emily the Criminal nominated for four Film Independent Spirit Awards this year,” says Director of Programming, Derek Horne.

“This could be our most highly regarded line up for the festival yet with several new films from this year’s Sundance and SXSW. We are truly embracing our new theme, Looking Beyond, which challenges audiences to move past their preconceptions, world, their boundaries and old beliefs. This truly will set the stage for our most exciting, diverse film slate yet.” said Patti White, Festival Director.

Tickets and passes are now available with Opening Night Tickets costing $50, Festival Passes available for $195, and Individual Tickets available for $15.

For more information about the four days of films, industry panels, coffee talks and specific film showcases, please visit


The Annapolis Film Festival brings together a diverse cross-section of our community and beyond for a shared cinema experience that enlightens, entertains, and inspires, sparking conversation and connection within our community.

The Annapolis Film Festival showcases more than 70 films over four days, and features panel discussions, post-screening Q&As, coffee talks, and more with filmmakers, directors, and industry experts each year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lee Meltzer | Nida Karnani | Leah Sandford, R&CPMK


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