Town of Bel Air Film Festival is Right Around the Corner!

The Town of Bel Air Film Festival is quickly approaching! The film selection committee has been hard at work for months reviewing films being shown on the film festival circuit and choosing the very best films for our community. The festival will take place October 12th – 14th  and offers a perfect opportunity to spend a day in downtown Bel Air shopping in our beautiful boutiques and grabbing a bit to eat at one of our great restaurants before taking in a film at the Armory. Take a look at the great schedule of films!

Thursday, October 12th at 7:30 pm features How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story, narrated by Liam Neeson. Forty years ago, a New York City cop, frustrated by the daily reports of wanton violence emanating from Northern Ireland, decided he couldn’t stand by idly while two communities tore each other apart in what amounted to a civil war. So he came up with a plan. Denis Mulcahy, an Irish emigrant, hit upon the idea of taking children – children who he saw on the nightly news manning barricades and throwing petrol bombs – away from the violence and bringing them to America for a summer where they could get to know their ‘enemy’ neighbors on neutral ground. Doors open at 7:00 pm.

Friday, October 13th at 8:00 pm features award winning The Ataxian.  Unable to walk due to the neuromuscular disorder, Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), Kyle Bryant and a team of friends attempt the most grueling bicycle race in the world, The Race Across America (RAAM). The Ataxian spotlights a man whose will and determination carry him and his teammates across a continent under almost impossible conditions—an act that sparks others to take action in their own lives. Stunning cinematography exposes raw, unfiltered emotions juxtaposed against the most inspiring landscapes across America. With purity and grace, the film examines the life of a man aggressively living every moment in a race against his own mortality. The Ataxian is the winner of the Newport Beach Film Festival Award and the Sedona International Film Festival Award. Jack Gerbes, Director of the Maryland Film Office, and Susan Burdette, Town of Bel Air Mayor, will kick off the evening. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

Saturday, October 14th at 4:00 pm features The Crest which documents the surprising, scenic, and brave adventures of an Irish-American family estranged by time and distance, but united by a peculiar devotion to the dangers of the sea. On opposite sides of the country, two descendants of an Irish king would inherit a love for the ocean and make their way – unaware of each other’s existence – to the world of surfing. Upon discovering each other, they arrange to meet for the first time in the land of their unique heritage, to explore their history and satisfy a desire to conquer the dangerous water of the Blasket Islands. Doors open at 3:30 pm.

Saturday’s lineup continues at 7:30 pm with the film Big Sonia. Standing tall at 4’8″, Sonia Warshawski is a tiny woman with a huge personality. Diva, business owner and Holocaust survivor, Sonia has just been served an eviction notice for John’s Tailoring, the last (and most popular) shop of a dying mall in suburban Kansas City. Sonia struggles with retirement while inspiring everyone around her. Big Sonia is a winner of the Mendocino Film Festival Award and Napa Valley Film Festival Award. Doors open at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $5 per person and include one complimentary soda and popcorn. A $10 All Access Pass is also available. Children 10 and under are free. Comfortable table seating is available and attendees can bring their own snacks and blankets too!

The Festival’s main sponsors include the Town of Bel Air, Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission, Bel Air Economic & Community Development Commission, Maryland Film Office, Visit Harford, and Maryland State Arts Council through the Harford County Cultural Arts Board. Co-sponsors include the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, One Main Creative, and Sharon’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice of Bel Air. Honorary sponsor is the Maryland Film Festival.

Advance tickets are on sale beginning October 2nd, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-4:00 pm, at the Town of Bel Air Department of Economic Development located in the Bel Air Armory, 37 N. Main Street. For more information and to see trailers for each of the films, visit You can also call 410-838-0584, send an e-mail to or follow all the latest updates on the Festival Facebook Page!

Photo credit to AJ Taylor Images.

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