MAINE FILM NEWS
COVID-19 Crisis Relief Resources for Filmmakers
On behalf of the Maine Film Association Board of Directors and staff, we hope that everyone is staying well during these unprecedented times. The lack of certainty when it comes to our collective health and economy, as well as personal wellbeing and livelihood is impacting everyone in our community. We have compiled some resources below we hope will help you during this difficult time.
Be sure to check out the following resources to ensure that you’re taking advantage of any and all relief opportunities for you and your business:
- From the International Documentary Association: Applying for Federal Coronavirus Relief as a Filmmaker
- From the Freelancer’s Union: What freelancers need to know about the coronavirus
- From NYT’s Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis
- Maine Department of Economic Development: Financial Authority of Maine loans (This program is still being developed, but read all about it and get your application ready!)
- From the National Consumer Law Center: Major Consumer Protections Announced in Response to COVID-19
- Sundance Collab: Sundance-created and curated resources we love
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- Maine Arts Commission’s Maine Artist Relief Fund
- Creative Portland’s Artist Relief Fund (Applicants can reside in Greater Portland–not just the City of Portland)
Filing for Unemployment
We know that many Maine film professionals are self-employed as freelancers/independent contractors. The Maine Bureau of Unemployment advises that those who are self-employed should wait to file a claim for unemployment benefits, as the program approved by the federal government on March 28 has not yet been implemented in the Maine bureau’s system, and would result in a claim denial. Keep an eye on the following resources to ensure that you are able to file a claim as soon as the program is implemented:
Additional Resources for You & Your Family:
- Accessing Assistance through Maine DHHS (for food, healthcare, emergency, childcare, and general assistance)
- Consumers for Affordable Health Care COVID-19 Response: What if I lost my insurance or don’t have any? Give them a call at 1-800-965-7476 to learn what you qualify for– they are happy to help!
Maine Film Association Launches Fiscal Sponsorship Program
The Maine Film Association is proud to launch its Fiscal Sponsorship Program to support MFA member filmmakers in their pursuit of funding for their multimedia projects and Maine-based film festivals.
MFA Fiscal Sponsorship is a contractual agreement between the Maine Film Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and an individual or group that does not have nonprofit status, but would who seeks to broaden their ability to fundraise for projects by soliciting tax-deductible donations from individual donors, foundations, and government entities.
When a filmmaker applies for and is approved to participate in the MFA Fiscal Sponsorship Program for a specific project or event, the project’s financial backers and crowdfunding campaign donors are able to make tax-deductible contributions to support it. In addition, those managing a fiscally sponsored project can apply for state funding or federal government grants from organizations like the National Endowment of the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Learn more about and apply for the MFA Fiscal Sponsorship Program by visiting mainefilm.org/fiscal-sponsorship.
MOFF’s Extra Credit Adventure Edit
The Maine Outdoor Film Festival, in recognition that so many of us are stuck at home, is helping us to liven our spirits with a new challenge for filmmakers (or regular people who know how to edit): find that old footage that you never got to editing, and get cracking in making a 4-minute-or-less film!
MOFF is putting up $2,500 in cash prizes, in five different short film categories. They want you show the world what you can do with your old footage that got stashed away and nearly forgotten. “Fire up those home editing suites, pull that footage that’s been begging to see the light of day, and get creative to tell your stories of the outdoors!” says MOFF Director Nick Callanan.
The competition launches on Friday, April 3. Learn more about the Extra Credit Adventure Edit, submission categories, and prizes at maineoutdoorfilmfestival.com. The submission deadline is April 18, so get started today!
UPCOMING VIRTUAL MFA EVENTS
The Maine Film Association is working to create virtual events in April, and will alert our membership and e-News audiences as dates and details are established.
APRIL 9: MFA Community Check-in: A Virtual Happy Hour
Join your fellow MFA community members for a virtual happy hour check-in on Thursday, April 9! Get your socializing in, hear about what others are up to, and learn about upcoming MFA virtual programming.
Happy hour will include a “Guess That Movie” competition! Dress up and/or backdrop your video conference space to represent one of your favorite films. Can the rest of us figure out which film it is? (Keep your representations PG-13, pls.)
WHEN: Thursday, April 9, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
WHERE: Zoom Video Conference
APRIL 14: Brown Bag Lunch: MFA Fiscal Sponsorship Information Session
WHEN: Tuesday, April 14, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
WHERE: Zoom Video Conference
WHY: Join the MFA Board of Directors to learn all the details about the MFA’s new Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Ask your questions about your project’s eligibility for fiscal sponsorship, and learn how to apply!
HOW: Sign up to join us for the FREE Informational Brown Bag Lunch by completing this form.
Webinars & Distance Learning Resources During the Time of COVID-19
- DOC NYC: “New Strategies for Distribution”
From March 27, 2020. Filmmakers are scrambling for new strategies to connect with distributors and reach audiences as Covid-19 sweeps the globe. This webinar will distill expert guidance to help filmmakers adapt and feel less isolated in this time of change.
- New York Women in Film & Television: “Mental Health and Career Sustainability in the Doc World”
From March 31, 2020. COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief the mental health crisis that the documentary community has faced for quite some time. NYWIFT and The D-Word co-host this panel discussion to explore what lessons can be learnt from this pivotal moment to help create a mind-shift in the industry.
- For some fun – IndieWire: Want to Learn Film in 40 Days Under Quarantine? Mark Cousins Has the Virtual Course for You
Film historian and filmmaker Mark Cousins has put together “40 Days to Learn Film”–more of a visual-essay style, poetic lecture than a typical film course, and has made it available for free on Vimeo.
- (podcast) Indie Film Hustle: How to Raise Money for Your Film in TODAY’S CRAZY World with Franco Sama
Indie Film Hustle has a string of podcasts on the impacts of coronavirus on the industry. Get listening!
- Blackmagic Design: DaVinci Resolve Training Videos
Been meaning to learn DaVinci Resolve? Now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Check out the 9 training videos, project files, and tutorial resources provided by Blackmagic Design.
SCREEN FROM HOME: MAINE-MADE FILMS!
Even though we’re all cooped up at home, we can still support Maine filmmakers by streaming their films. Check out some the recent Maine-made cinema gold!
BLOW THE MAN DOWN Now Streaming on Amazon Prime
One piece of good news from the last two weeks: the 2019 Maine-made film BLOW THE MAN DOWN started streaming on Amazon on March 20. Filmed in Harpswell in 2018, the comedy-drama-mystery set in the salty fictional town of Easter Cove tells the tale of two sisters who attempt to cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man. To conceal their crime, the sisters must go deep into the criminal underbelly of their hometown, uncovering the town’s darkest secrets.
Originally released at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, you can celebrate this Maine-made movie with your very own home debut: stream BLOW THE MAN DOWN tonight on Amazon Prime!
Stream IN STITCHES for FREE!
Maine filmmakers Hannah Rafkin and Meg Robbins have made their raucous 2018 documentary about the powerful South African vernacular comedy movement IN STITCHES free to all to stream from home!
In Stitches follows three big players of the Johannesburg vernac scene: Noko Moswete, a taboo-busting comedian making strides for women in stand-up, Zicco Sithole, the host of a weekly open-mic night in the township of Soweto, and Luphelo Kodwa, a dedicated up-and-comer who dropped everything to pursue his craft.
The film traces their successes and setbacks as they take to the stage in their mother tongues—languages that have long taken a backseat in South Africa. Despite media disinterest, family conflicts, sexism, and pressures to succeed in the City of Gold, these artists continue to bring down the house night after night. They are unapologetically sharing their stories with hungry audiences—and decolonizing comedy in the process.
ISLAND ZERO: Midcoast Maine Horror Brought Straight to Your Home
Nothing screams “Maine movie” more than a horror film, set on a Midcoast island, with the screenplay by Maine author Tess Gerritsen. In ISLAND ZERO, inhabitants of a fishing island find themselves cut off from the outside world after the ferry suddenly stops coming. When dead bodies turn up along the water’s edge, the survivors must find out who, or what, is killing them.
If you haven’t seen this 2018 gem directed by Josh Gerritsen and produced by Mariah Klapatch – or if it’s been a while and now time for a rewatch – stream ISLAND ZERO on Amazon Prime, tubi, YouTube, or the platform of your choice!
NEPTUNE to Begin Streaming This Weekend!
The 2015 drama written and directed by Derek Kimball, produced by Allen Baldwin, and the team effort of dozens of Maine film pros, NEPTUNE is a visual masterpiece coming of age story.
Growing up on a secluded island off the coast of Maine and raised by the island’s insular priest, Hannah Newcombe has led a sheltered life. She has plans to attend a prestigious boarding school on the mainland at the summer’s end but finds her world upended with the sudden disappearance of a classmate, swallowed by the sea. Hannah’s quiet obsession with the missing boy grows, leading to haunting dreams and visions. To pacify them, she attempts to fill the missing boy’s role as a stern-man on his father’s lobster boat. Now, torn between her commitment to the man who raised her and the man she hopes to save, Hannah is confronted with questions of her own identity for the first time.
You can stream NEPTUNE, beginning this weekend, on Vimeo!
Tonight Could be the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB
Maine native Kyle Rankin’s 2015 zombie apocalypse flick is the dose of comedy we all need during these times. Grab some snacks and settle in to this rom-com with a twist that was filmed in Portland in 2014.
Play a game of identifying Portland landmarks and streetscapes that have changed over the past 6 years while enjoying the thrill of battling zombies and an unlikely budding romance. Stream NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB on Amazon Prime.
Longing for Sports? Stream PUCKLAND!
Show your love for the Maine Mariners and MFA Members Devon Platte, Joe Brunette, Eric Mofford, and so many others by streaming PUCKLAND, the 2019 Maine-made sports documentary. Platte and his crew followed the development of the Mariners – Maine’s third minor league hockey team – from its conception, to assembling its staff and players, establishing its brand and mascot, to preparing for the team’s first game.
Stream PUCKLAND episodes today through nbcsports.com!
DEADLINES & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES!
- April 20: Maine International Film Festival Extended Deadline
- April 27: Camden International Film Festival Regular Deadline
- April 30: Sanford Independent Film Festival Regular Deadline
- May 1: Maine Outdoor Film Festival Regular Deadline
- The International Documentary Association has a robust Grants Directory–get searching!
- Catapult Film Fund for documentary filmmakers
- The Ford Foundation’s JustFilms for artist-driven film and new media storytelling projects that explore aspects of inequality, as well as the organizations and networks that support these projects.
- Sundance Documentary Fund… for documentary film.
- Check out the NewEnglandFilm.com Classifieds page for job postings!
- Keep an eye on PBS’ POV For Filmmakers Calendar for many more deadlines, opportunities, and festival submission reminders!
New and Returning MFA Members
Thank you to our members who have joined or renewed their membership since our March e-News:
The Story Board, Fred Greenlaugh, Emma Gregg, Mika Lentz, James Nelon, Tim Ouellette, Victoria Poole, and Zachary Wheaton.
Send Us Your News
Got anything to share? Send us information about your work, articles, events, requests, job openings, or interesting news items to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be sure to get the word out!