Galena filmmaker’s documentary to be screened at OC Film Festival, March 8-9

OCEAN CITY — A film directed by Justinian Dispenza and produced by Andover Media of Galena, titled “Get on the Bus,” has been accepted into the eighth Annual Ocean City Film Festival. It will be screened at 3 p.m. on March 8 at the Flagship Cinema #4  (12641 Ocean Gateway) and at 4:15 p.m. on March 9 at the Cambria Hotel (13 St. Louis Ave.).

The documentary follows a 2022 civil rights bus trip through the Deep South. Local K-12 students, community members, and Washington College students and alumni joined together in an envoy to deliver historic materials from Chestertown — including a jar of soil collected from the site of James Taylor’s lynching in Chestertown in 1892 — to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, where they will be permanently housed.

Along the way, participants visited the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama; walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; and toured Martin Luther King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

A synopsis of the film states: “In the still dark hours of Monday morning, July 25, 2022, forty-eight travelers boarded a bus in Chestertown, MD destined for the deep south and began a journey to civil rights sites they had long heard about, a pilgrimage to the places where their ancestors fought, suffered and died so that they could live with opportunity, in dignity and with justice.

“The documentary film, ‘Get on the Bus,’ gives you a seat on the bus as you accompany these pilgrims. Follow along as young and old alike stand in the spot where four young girls died in a bomb blast on a Sunday morning and where school children were hosed with water cannons and jailed for peacefully demonstrating.

“Accompany them as they walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and contemplate the courage it took for those who made that same walk in 1965.

“As they walk through the Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, feel their sadness, anger and growing resolve.

“Listen to them process their thoughts together during group sessions in the evening.”

The Ocean City Film Festival is an initiative of the nonprofit Art League of Ocean City, which produces the festival annually, along with broad support from the Town of Ocean City, Maryland Film Office and the Ocean City community.

Legendary filmmaker John Waters is this year’s headliner. He will present his film “Hairspray” with promised “eye-popping” commentary at 8 p.m. March 9 at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center.

The March 7-10 festival will screen more than 100 independent films, both local and from around the world.

Included in the festivities are parties and Q&As with the filmmakers, workshops with industry experts and happy hour events.

Complete information about the festival, including a list of films, parties, Q&As and
events is available at Tickets also can be purchased online here.

Passes are available for one day of films and parties; four days of the festival; as separate tickets to the John Waters’ show on March 9; and bundled as a special package. 


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One Response

  1. Congratulations to Justinian Dispenza on his film being accepted to the film festival but, more importantly, this documentary will always remind “Get on the Bus” members of a transformational experience.

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