Lewiston redevelopment documentary to show in Belfast

Posted Sept. 21, 2009, at 7:34 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — “Neighbor by Neighbor,” a feature documentary about five years of community organizing and urban redevelopment in downtown Lewiston, will be shown at the Colonial Theater at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

Connecting numerous examples throughout history, “Neighbor by Neighbor” takes a comprehensive look at the issue of gentrification, when poor people who are left out of the planning process for economic revitalization are displaced from their homes and communities. As a case study, the movie delves deep into the controversial story of The Heritage Initiative, which was a plan proposed by the city of Lewiston to develop a boulevard through downtown Lewiston’s residential neighborhood and eliminate low-income housing for 850 people.

The showing will be part of the 2009 Conference for the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association. The film was produced by Lewiston video maker Craig Saddlemire in partnership with The Visible Community, a group of community organizers in downtown Lewiston.

“Neighbor by Neighbor” has screened at numerous venues, including the Maine African Film Festival, the Farmington Social Justice in Cinema Festival, the Maine International Film Festival and recently has been awarded the 2009 Project of the Year Award by the Maine Association of Planners.

The NNECAPA Conference is an event that takes place each year in one of the three Northern New England states: Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Planners from around the region gather to conduct lectures, workshops, and share ideas about how to plan livable communities for the future.

The screening of “Neighbor by Neighbor” will be followed by a discussion with Saddlemire, the movie’s director, and Jim Lysen, a member of The Visible Community. To watch the movie’s trailer or find out about other showings of the film, visit roundpointmovies.org. To learn more about the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association visit nnecapa.org.

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