The Chesapeake Film Festival Comes to Chestertown

         Join us Sept. 12 for an evening of outstanding environmental films!

CHESTERTOWN, MD. – June 1, 2024 — The 17th annual Chesapeake Film Festival (“CFF”) comes to Chestertown, MD, on Sept. 12 with an engaging and timely lineup of environmental short films. The mini festival in Chestertown heralds the grand, three-day celebration of independent filmmaking at CFF 2024 in Easton September 27-29.  The theme of the Chestertown Festival, Fragile Rivers/Fertile Land, pays homage to the abundant waterways and farmland that grace the Mid-Atlantic region. Six films have been carefully selected to show how residents, who have threatened these environmental treasures in the past, are now working to restore our rivers and minimize agricultural runoff.

The one-day Chestertown Festival, co-sponsored by CFF and ShoreRivers, includes two programming blocks, 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., in the historic Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater. Each block includes three short films and discussions with the filmmakers and environmentalists. Acclaimed Chesapeake Photographer Dave Harp, who directed four of the films, will be among the speakers.  Annie Richards, the Chester Riverkeeper for ShoreRivers, will introduce the evening program and talk about what ShoreRivers is doing to protect and restore the rivers of the Eastern Shore.

The afternoon program features:

  • Nassawango Legacy. A look at one family’s multi-generational efforts to protect an enchanting Chesapeake Bay stream and The Nature Conservancy’s work to assure that it continues to flourish.
  • Search for the Cooper. Led by Upstream Alliance of Annapolis, four teenagers kayak, muck, and bushwhack or six days on an unprecedented journey to discover the Cooper River in Camden County, NJ.
  • A River Called Home. Four young women embark on a challenging paddle from the headwaters of the James River in Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay.

The evening program features:

  • A Voice for the Rivers. Visit four of the beautiful, but threatened, rivers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with the dedicated Riverkeepers of ShoreRivers.
  • Pop’s Old Place. A small livestock farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore relies on pasture-grazing to improve the soil, raise healthy animals and reduce runoff.
  • Red Creek Sessions. Take a wild whitewater kayak trip along Red Creek while learning about the unique geology of this West Virginia treasure.

“Partnering with ShoreRivers in Chestertown for this spotlight on environmental films is a natural fit for the Chesapeake Film Festival,” said Martin Zell, CFF president.  “Our mission is to showcase and discuss stories of compelling interest to our local and global community.” ShoreRivers is the clean water voice for Maryland’s Eastern Shore and is home to the Chester, Choptank, Miles-Wye, and Sassafras Riverkeepers.  We are grateful for their work and very excited about this alliance!” 

Tickets are $20 for each session; $30 for both. Tickets may be purchased at the Garfield Center or online at Supper will be available at 6 p.m. at The Kitchen, next door to the Theater. 

The 17th annual Chesapeake Film Festival continues in Easton at the historic Ebenezer Theater September 27-29 with a celebration of the very best in independent filmmaking. For early-bird passes – available until July 15 — and more information, go to  


  • August 15, 4PM – Meet Victoria Browning Wyeth at the Academy Art Museum followed by a Free Preview Screening Event at 6 to 7:30PM  WYETH documentary –Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD – reserve your seat at
  • September 12 –Environmental films from 4 to 6PM & 7 to 9PM  at the Garfield Center in Chestertown — Tickets may be purchased at the Garfield Center or online at
  • September 27, Opening Day Film – Call Me Dancer at 12 Noon with films to 5PM — 5:30PM – VIP Reception, Ebenezer Theater, Easton, catered by Bluepoint Hospitality – 7:30pm Environmental Films – Tickets and information visit
  • September 28 & 29 – Full days/nights of 35 carefully curated independent films beginning at 12 Noon at the Ebenezer Theater – Tickets and information visit
  • September 29, The Art of Storytelling Panel & Workshop —  Talbot County Free Library at 10:30AM – Free Event

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The Chesapeake Film Festival is generously supported by the Mr. and Mrs. Paul Prager on behalf of Bluepoint Hospitality, The Nature Conservancy, Shared Earth Foundation, Maryland Humanities, Maryland State Arts Council, Mid-Shore Community Foundation & Artistic Insight’s Fund, ShoreRivers, Talbot Arts, the Maryland Film Office, Choptank Electric Trust, Shore United Bank, Talbot County Department of Tourism, Richard and Beverly Tilghman, U.S. Small Business Administration and Easton Utilities.

The MD Humanities Grant has been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland Historical Trust, an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning which is part of the State of Maryland.

About the Chesapeake Film Festival: Founded in 2008, it is the mission of the Chesapeake Film Festival to entertain, empower, educate and inspire diverse audiences of all ages by presenting exceptional independent films and events. We offer outstanding filmmakers, experienced and emerging, as well as a forum to showcase and discuss stories of compelling interest to our local and global community. Because of our location on the Chesapeake Bay and our diverse population, we prioritize films that focus on environmental justice, student initiatives, underrepresented voices, and social justice issues. The festival also strives to be an economic engine for the Eastern Shore by inviting visitors to experience exceptional films, world-famous seafood, art, and the beauty of our waterways.