Chesapeake Film Festival Announces a Series of Free Films Celebrating Extraordinary Women

Starting in February, The Friends of the Talbot County Free Library and the Chesapeake Film Festival will present “Great Dames,” a film series in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America. All films are free and open to the public and will screen at the Easton Branch Library.

Gov. Larry Hogan has also declared 2020 the Year of the Woman in Maryland because 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which awarded women the right to vote. “Our state’s history has been shaped by extraordinary women leaders, and our administration remains committed to empowering and advocating for women in Maryland,” Hogan said. (WBAL TV 11, December 12, 2019).

The schedule for the extraordinary film series “Great Dames”:

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Monday, Feb. 3, 6:00 p.m.

An artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the legendary storyteller and Nobel prize-winner. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio, to ʼ70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room — Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, Morrison reflects on her lifelong deconstruction of the master narrative.

Released in 2018, rated PG-13, 120 minutes. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Amazing Grace
Monday, Feb. 10, 6:00 p.m.

A powerful musical documentary revolving around a 1972 Aretha Franklin concert. Amazing Grace is a 2018 concert film directed by Sydney Pollack and later realized by producer Alan Elliott. The film has received critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes website’s critical consensus reads, “Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.”

Rated G, 89 minutes. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Monday, March 2, 6:00 p.m.

This just released feature film celebrates one of America’s greatest heroes, Harriet Tubman, whose courage and ingenuity helped free hundreds of slaves. Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Cynthia Erivo who plays the role of Harriet has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) by the Golden Globe Awards and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role by the Screen Actors Guild Awards. This is a “must see event.”

PG-13, 125 minutes. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library

Monday, March 9, 6:00 p.m.

In 1989, the very idea of a competitive all-female sailboat crew was nearly inconceivable to the manly world of open-ocean yacht racing. They’d never make it to the start of the Whitbread Round the World Race, much less survive to the finish. They’d never find funding. They didn’t have the strength or skill. They’d die at sea. Did that many professional female sailors even exist?

The story of Maiden’s upstart, defiant run at the Whitbread Round the World Race has all the elements of an epic adventure tale—50-foot waves, life and death drama, near-mutiny, thrilling victory—grounded in a perceptive group portrait of a team of courageous young women led by the remarkable, complicated Tracy Edwards.

Rated PG, 137 minutes. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library

This exceptional slate of recent films about the tremendous contribution of women in our society is free; no reservations are required, and seating is first come, first serve. For more information, please visit or

The Chesapeake Film Festival is generously supported by the Maryland Film Office, Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council, Talbot County Department of Tourism, Artistic Insights Fund, Shared Earth Foundation, Exelon, and The Ravenal Foundation.
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