John Waters To Headline 7th Annual Ocean City Film Festival

John Waters To Headline 7th Annual Ocean City Film Festival
John Waterss

OCEAN CITY — Legendary filmmaker John Waters will headline the 7th Annual Ocean City Film Festival coming to theaters and venues in the resort March 2-5, 2023, screening 70 independent films from around the world.

Waters will give a live performance on Saturday, March 4 at The Ballroom at Ocean Downs Casino. Tickets and passes are on sale at

Waters’ spoken-word show, entitled “The End of the World,” will be the first time the artist has performed around Ocean City and will be exceptional for its intimate, limited-seated setting. His all-new, fast-moving, comic monologue about today’s despair and diseases, desires and desperation breaks through with an optimism that welcomes all audiences and includes his memories of Ocean City over the years.

“One summer when I was an angry teenager, I lived under the Boardwalk at 9th Street in Ocean City and dreamed of making weird films,” Waters said. “Now I’m coming back, and, hey, I did just that. You can, too. That is what film festivals are all about – inspiring creative lunacy.”

General admission tickets for the Waters show are limited, with a small number of VIP tickets to meet and greet Waters after the show available at a special price and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“We are honored to welcome the legendary filmmaker, John Waters, as the headliner for the 2023 OC Film Fest,” Rina Thaler, executive director of the festival and the Arts League of Ocean City, said. “The entire festival is a great opportunity for film lovers to watch never-before-seen films and some local favorites and mingle and party with the filmmakers and film crews.”

The festival will premier two films with local interest. “Hedgehog” was produced by Dave Messick of Unscene Productions and filmed at Mariner’s Country Down in Berlin. “Biggest Little Farm: The Return” is a 30-minute documentary directed by Ocean City native John Chester as a follow-up to his award-winning feature film.

The film festival is an initiative of the nonprofit Art League that produces the festival annually along with broad support from the Town of Ocean City, Ocean Downs Casino, The State of Maryland Film Office, and the Ocean City community. The event is organized by Film Festival Director and Towson University alumnus B.L. Strang-Moya.

The seventh year of the festival will showcase independent films in multiple genres at iconic Ocean City venues including Morley Hall at Seacrets, Flagship Cinemas in West OC, Fox Gold Coast Theater, Nick’s, Ocean Downs Casino, and the Ocean City Performing Arts Center. Themes of packaged film showcases include Maritime Life; Veterans; Dark & Mysterious; Between Worlds; Resilient Women; Family Dynamics; Sex, Love, Romance & Intimacy; Perseverance; Outsiders; Comedy, and Hassle Us – We’re Local.

Complete information about the festival, including a list of films, parties, Q&As, and events is available at Passes are available for one day of films and parties, four days of films and parties, and individually-sold John Waters tickets. Also listed on the website are special, off-season hotel rates for festival goers.

“Traveling to Ocean City is incredibly affordable this time of year, even more now that our hotel sponsors are offering festival attendees discounted rates,” Strang-Moya said. “These are waterfront rooms in major hotels that are booked solid in the summer season.”

The films have not been rated, and some feature adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.