Baltimore Public Media Announces Return Of New/Next Film Festival In 2024

Baltimore Public Media announced today the return and expansion of its New/Next Film Festival, a celebration of emerging film culture that will take place Oct. 3-6 at The Charles Theatre. The 2024 festival, which today also launched its call for entries, will expand to four days to feature more films and visiting filmmakers.

“New/Next’s first year was arguably the best experience I’ve had in 20 years as a film-festival curator, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be back at The Charles Theatre for a bigger and even better second edition this October,” said Eric Allen Hatch, New/Next’s programmer and co-founder and the former Maryland Film Festival director of programming. “The landscape of independent cinema is always evolving, and I can’t wait to bring work by some of the most exciting new voices in film to our amazing audiences.”

New/Next, initially conceived as a reaction to the announcement that the Maryland Film Festival (MdFF) would not have a 2023 festival, drew roughly 3,000 attendees over three days during its inaugural festival (August 18-20, 2023). Its lineup featured diverse film work of international scope alongside new and repertory work from the Baltimore film scene; more than half of the films screened were directed by women or non-binary creators, and more than half had ties to Baltimore and Maryland.

“We’d originally conceived of the New/Next Film Festival as a stand-in for the Maryland Film Festival, which went dark last year to reorganize, but the response was so overwhelmingly positive, that we had to bring New/Next back,” said Craig Swagler, Baltimore Public Media President and General Manager. “Baltimore has such a vibrant community of filmmakers and film lovers – there’s plenty of room for multiple festivals to not only coexist but thrive.”

In addition to a fourth day and launching New/Next’s first ever call for entries, this year’s festival will include at least two free screenings for the community. The Charles Theatre will again be New/Next’s home base, while activations will be added at independently run venues in the area including Baltimore Improv Group, Metro Gallery, Mobtown Ballroom and others.

“We’re so pleased that New/Next Fest is coming back to The Charles for a second year,” said Kathleen Lyon, The Charles’ owner. “That palpable festival-feeling was surging during 2023’s inaugural event, which brought national attention to our neighborhood. With New/Next now on the festival map, we expect 2024 to be even more of a success.”

Support for the 2024 New/Next Film Festival comes from the Maryland State Arts Council,, Leidy Foundation and Baltimore Community Foundation.

A limited number of All Access Passes will be available during WYPR’s spring pledge drive, which kicked off today. Details on the festival will continue to be updated and film submissions are currently being accepted online at

About Baltimore Public Media:

Baltimore Public Media (BPM) is an independent community licensee and home to Baltimore area’s NPR News Station, WYPR 88.1 FM; the region’s home for total music discovery, WTMD 89.7 FM; and Your Public Studios, which produces and distributes acclaimed local podcasts. Along with in-person live events that engage and enrich the lives of our community. Baltimore Public Media provides rich, vibrant programming in news, music, arts, and culture across expanding radio and digital formats that connects, enriches, and elevates the residents and communities of Baltimore and the region.