Keynote Speaker


film director, screenwriter, author, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, and Baltimore native

SUNDAY, JULY 15 / 9-10:15 A.M.

Sponsored by Bloomberg Law and LexisNexis
Meet John Waters / AALL 2018’s Keynote Speaker

John Waters photoJohn Waters has written and directed sixteen movies including Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry Baby, Serial Mom, and A Dirty Shame. He is a photographer whose work has been shown in galleries all over the world and the author of eight books: Shock Value, Crackpot, Pink Flamingos and Other Trash, Hairspray, Female Trouble and Multiple Maniacs, Art: A Sex Book (co-written with Bruce Hainley), Role Models, and Carsick. The gift book, Make Trouble, published by Algonquin Books, features the text, with illustrations, of Waters’ commencement speech delivered at the 2015 Rhode Island School of Design graduation ceremony.

Waters is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Additionally, he is a past member of the boards of The Andy Warhol Foundation and Printed Matter, a former member of the Wexner Center International Arts Advisory Council, and was selected as a juror for the 2011 Venice Biennale. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Film Festival and has been a key participant in the Provincetown International Film Festival since it began in 1999, the same year Waters was honored as the first recipient of PIFF’s “Filmmaker on the Edge” award.

In September, 2014, Film Society of Lincoln Center honored Waters’ 50 years in filmmaking with a 10-day celebration entitled “Fifty Years of John Waters: How Much Can You Take?” featuring a complete retrospective of his film work. In May, 2015, Waters was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the same by the Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) in May, 2016. In the fall of 2015, the British Film Institute also honored Waters’ 50-year contribution to cinema with their own program called “The Complete Films of John Waters…Every Goddam One of Them.” Most recently, The French Minister of Culture bestowed the rank of Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters to Mr. Waters. In February, 2017, Waters was honored with the Writers Guild of America, East’s Ian McLellan Hunter Award honoring his body of work as a writer in motion pictures.


John Waters on a Restored ‘Female Trouble,’ Why Prison Inmates Are His Core Audience, and the Only Place to Get a Face Lift / Newsweek, June 14, 2018
John Waters Doesn’t Need to Make Movies to Make Trouble / Fast Company, November 22, 2017
Multitalented Director John Waters Talks Art in ‘Low Definition’ / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 16, 2017
Camping With John Waters and His Band of ‘Filthy Freaks’ / The New York Times, October 14, 2017
Manson Girl Leslie Van Houten and John Waters: An Unlikely Friendship / The Wrap, September 6, 2017
John Waters to Showcase ‘Weirdly Baltimore-based’ Work at Venice Biennale / The Baltimore Sun, May 7, 2017
John Waters Has a Very John Waters Theory About Mike Pence / Vanity Fair, May 3, 2017
Filmmaker John Waters on How to ‘Make Trouble’ / NPR’s Weekend Edition, Saturday, April 15, 2017
John Waters: ‘A New Kind of Anarchy Is Going to Happen Next’ / The Guardian, February 13, 2017
John Waters’ Raunchy Rare Books / LIVE from the New York Public Library, June 4, 2014
From the Library of John Waters / The Private Library, March 27, 2012