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Baltimore, Through the Local Filmmaker's Lens

Still from the film "Rocket to Venus."

When you think of TV, film -- and Baltimore -- what comes to mind? Maybe Diner, Hairspray, Homicide, The Wire? What about House of Cards, which was set in Washington DC --  but we all knew it was filmed here.  According to the Baltimore Film Office, more than 90 TV shows and movies have been filmed in Baltimore.


Today on Midday, we're asking: What's next?  Guest host and Midday Producer Kathleen Cahill is joined by three filmmakers who have been recognized and funded by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund at Johns Hopkins University -- a local film incubator that hooks filmmakers up with funding but also with training and with mentors -- from Hollywood, from Sundance.

John Benam is a cinematographer and producer whose Baltimore projects include "The 12 O'clock Boys” on HBO, “The Keepers,” on Netflix, “Charm City,” and “This Is Home,” about a Syrian refugee family navigating a new life in Baltimore. We’re talking about his current project, called “Rocket to Venus.”  He is a two-time Emmy Award winner for Best Cinematography.

Credit Madeline Becker
Raoul Middleman in front of his painting, Adam & Eve.

Madeline Becker is a filmmaker, painter and sculptor. Her current project is her feature directorial debut, "Middleman." In 2017, Madeline started Mad Queen Productions, a video production company. In addition to film production in Baltimore, New York and elsewhere, Mad Queen Productions partners with production companies and non-production companes alike to grow a strong sustainable business community and film industry in Baltimore City. 

Credit Still from the film "Squeegee."
Squeegee kid at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd & Route 40.

Clarke Lyons is a screenwriter, producer and director.  She is the producer of two documentaries,  including "Sage," a short about activist and Baltimore Ceasefire co-founder Erricka Bridgeford. That short doc premiered at the 2019 Maryland Film Festival. Her current project, now called "Squeegee," is a harrowing but inspiring 'coming of age' journey about Baltimore's squeegee kids. She is also working on a documentary about Baltimore's Arabbers, who sell produce from horse-drawn carts. 

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