By late August, the Maine Outdoor Film Festival (MOFF) is in full swing, keeping outdoor enthusiasts and media buffs captivated with films from across the globe that depict adventures and stories from the great outdoors. MOFF has been a Supporting Business Member of the MFA since March 2018, and helps the association fulfill its mission to make Maine a great place to live and work as a filmmaker.
We recently caught up with one of Maine Outdoor Film Festival's cofounders, Nick Callanan, to learn more about the festival, and how their support of the MFA benefits MOFF.
MFA: Tell us a bit about the Maine Outdoor Film Festival and the work you're doing in the film industry.
Nick: MOFF's mission is celebrating the active outdoor community and inspiring expression. The festival carries out its mission in three ways:
- MOFF is an outlet for Maine filmmakers’ creativity: Independent filmmakers from all over, but most significantly from Maine itself, are using MOFF as an important outlet for their work: In 2015, over 30 Mainers submitted outdoor films to our festival!
- MOFF brings outdoor film programming to Maine people, where they are: MOFF is a traveling festival and hundreds of Mainers have the chance to attend a real film festival in their area. In fact, in 2018 MOFF is traveling to every county in the state!
- MOFF’s proceeds support youth in the outdoors: Since 2013, MOFF has raised funds and awareness for Teens to Trails, which supports Maine high school outing clubs with cash grants, organizational support, and programming. MOFF has raised over $3,500 for T3 in that time!
MFA: The Maine Outdoor Film Festival has played a key role in the Maine film festival circuit for years now. How did MOFF come to be?
Nick: MOFF's history is a winding one, as many Maine institutions' histories are. From 2002-2007, my friend Kirsten Kaiser and I published No Umbrella – A Reader for River People, that told stories and showcased photography celebrating outdoor sports. Fast forward to 2012, my raft guide colleagues Nick Bowie, Joe Christopher, and I longed to revive the spirit of the old rag. We plotted to create a Maine institution where film and the outdoor lifestyle converged: a film festival celebrating Maine’s broad array of beautiful places, recreational opportunities, and creative people.
In August 2012, in The Forks, the Maine Outdoor Film Festival was launched to 200-strong enthusiastic audience, and we've been able to provide more and more screenings each year, all throughout the state.
MFA: Why is it important to MOFF to support the MFA and its work?
Nick: Just like MOFF does on a smaller scale within the outdoor adventure and conservation filmmaking community in Maine, we appreciate all the work the MFA does on a larger scale with everyone working in, or potenitally interested in, the filmmaking industry and community in Maine: education, networking, showcasing Maine filmmakers, and advocacy. The MFA has a lot of momentum right now and we're stoked to help support that!
MFA: Each year you screen a wide array of outdoor films, showcased all throughout the state. What is special about the 2018 festival/screenings?
Nick: We are very proud of the over 20 works from Maine included in the 2018 screenings! Also, it's so cool to have filmmakers travel to attend their screenings and address interested audiences throughout the state. For example, at this year's festival, we have filmmakers traveling from Massachusetts, Augusta, Seattle, Millinocket, Utah, Carrabassett Valley, and Mongolia(!) to attend premieres of their films! Not only are we bringing awesome films and a fun event to communities throughout Maine, but we're bringing people from all over the globe to Maine to experience these films together.
MFA: What else should MFA Members and film professionals know about MOFF?
Nick: MFA members should consider entering the MOFF short outdoor film contest next summer. The contest is open to any Maine resident. With $1,000 in cash prizes as well as an outdoor gear prize pack with over $500 worth of gear for the 10 finalists, how could you resist submitting your work? Learn more about the contest at brokeandstoked.com.