October 2017 Newsletter

Have you heard? The MFVA is now the MFA!

In case you missed it last week, we announced the outcome of our strategic planning process and that the Maine Film & Video Association is now the Maine Film Association. You can read the entire letter from our co-chairs here.

Join Us at our Upcoming MFA Workshops!

Our October 14 workshop, An Introduction to Digital Production, is sold out, but there is still time to sign up for the other two workshops in the series:

Oct. 21: Lighting & Grip: Tips and Tricks at High Output in Portland 
Nov. 4: Digital Cinema Workshop: The Camera and Visual Storytelling at SMCC 

Please help us spread the word to those you think would be interested in attending!

Maine Films

The Home Road
Portland-based filmmaker and MFA member Tonya Shevenell’s new film The Home Road is a historical documentary about her great-great-great-grandfather. He was the first French-Canadian settler in Biddeford, and arrived there in 1845 after walking all the way from Quebec. Read more about the film here, and check out an upcoming screening in Belfast, Cape Elizabeth, or Lewiston next month!

Student Stories
During the summer of 2017, a team of Portland public school students made a film about their community and their lives. Sponsored by Maine Public’s Maine Education Project and the Communications and Media Studies Department of the University of Southern Maine, they learned the basics of storytelling and video production, and produced their own film: Student Stories. Learn more about their process here.

Screenings this Month in Maine

Oct. 12-15, Portland: The Maine Jewish Film Festival will host screenings of The B-Sidethe new Errol Morris film about photographer Elsa Dorfman, at the Portland Museum of Art. Check out showtimes here.

Oct. 13, Portland: Don’t miss the screenings of the Found Footage Festival at SPACE Gallery in Portland. This annual festival celebrates video gems found on VHS. Screenings are at 6:45 and 9:00 pm.

Oct. 18, Belfast: The Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County will screen the new documentary Now is the Time: Healthcare for Everybody, followed by a discussion led by Abbie Ryder, statewide field organizer for Maine ALLCARE. Join them at the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library next Wednesday at 6:00 pm.

Oct. 24, Damariscotta: The Freedom to Marry will be showing at the Lincoln Theater at 7:00 pm. Don’t miss the screening of this great film about Maine activists fighting for marriage equality.

Deadlines Approaching! 

On Screen/In Person Touring Grants: Nov. 20 Deadline
Through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s On Screen/In Person program provides all-expense-paid touring grants for filmmakers from across the country to screen their work, connect with new audiences, and participate in related community engagement events at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The deadline to apply is Nov. 20! Check out the details and application materials here. Filmmakers selected to tour receive:

  • Six-to-ten screenings at presenting organizations across the mid-Atlantic
  • All travel expenses associated with the cost of the filmmaker participation in the screenings are paid by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
  • A $200 per diem for each calendar day the filmmaker is on tour
  • A $400 stipend from each host site/screening engagement

Emerge Film Festival Submissions: Dec. 4 Deadline
Be sure to submit your entry to the Emerge Film Festival by Monday, Dec. 4, for consideration in the 2018 festival. For more information on categories and parameters, visit emergefilmfestival.org.

Upcoming Maine Film Festivals

Damnationland kicks off this Friday, Oct. 13, at the State Theatre, and continues through Oct. 28 in various locations throughout the state. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind annual festival featuring commissioned horror shorts from local Maine filmmakers. Check out theirwebsite for locations and showtimes.
Sanford International Film Festival is coming up on Oct. 18-22. Don’t miss Horror Friday on Oct. 20, or For a Price, a film about the consequences of drug use for young people in Maine, showcased in the Student Films category.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival: Friends of Casco Bay will host the 10th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Saturday, Nov. 4., at the USM Abramson Center. Celebrate a decade of great films at a special reception with O’Chang Studios‘ Hanji Chang and Andy O’Brien, the creators of the wildly popular animated series “made by Mainers for Mainers.” View the schedule and more festival info here.

The “IT” Factor: The Allure of Maine as Location vs. Production Realities

Stephen King’s new film IT, scouted in Bangor but shot in Vancouver and Utah, is just the latest in a long line of King films to reconstruct Maine in other states for the purpose of filming. The much-anticipated J.J. Abrams-produced Hulu series “Castle Rock,” set in King’s fictional Maine town of that same name, is shooting at Tewksbury State Hospital in Massachusetts.

For more on tax incentives and nurturing the Maine film industry, be sure to check out the first episode of MFA’s new podcast (downloadable from the website later this fall). We’ll be discussing the history and status of tax credits in Maine with Peter Weed, the East Coast editor of MovieMaker magazine.

In Production in Maine: The Catch

Maine-based writer/director Matthew Balzer is commencing production on his new filmThe Catch. The filmmaker describes the plot as: “A woman reconnects with a former lover, and when their robbery goes awry, she must choose between abandoning her family or taking responsibility for the chaos she’s created.” Balzer brought us The Colonial, a short featured in the 2017 Maine International Film Festival.