BY HEATHER STEEVES
For the Midcoast Beacon
CAMDEN — Four days, three towns, about 50 films — it is time for the Camden International Film Festival, which starts Thursday, Sept. 30.
This year, the festival is offering free events to the community, including “Shorts for Brunch,” on Saturday and Sunday mornings, Oct. 2-3, where festival-goers can grab a cup of coffee and head down to the Bayview Street Cinema for 80- to 90-minute films.
“They will be free and open to the public. It is a great way to get people excited for the weekend,” said Ben Fowlie, the festival’s director.
Another free event for community members will be a screening of a film that isn’t set to premier until next year. Viewers may gather outside at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, in Lincolnville at the Cellardoor Winery and Vineyard. If it is too cold, Fowlie plans on setting up a heated tent.
The movie is about the disappearing night sky and light pollution. The Sunday night event will feature the band that wrote music for the film performing live. A couple of telescopes will be supplied at the event. Fowlie said the event is “super family friendly.”
Where many major film festivals can cost more than $1,000 to attend, the Camden festival will set viewers back $8.50 per film.
“We can stay true and be a community event. Even if you have $8, you can go to an event and a Q&A,” Fowlie said. “It is something anyone can attend. We try to do that even more with these free community screenings.”
Almost every film will have a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker after the screening.
The festival will bring in about 65 filmmakers and industry representatives, including staff from the Sundance Festival, PBS and the BBC.
This should be the best-attended Camden International Film Festival yet, Fowlie said. Last year, 5,000 people filed into the midcoast for the festival. This year, festival staff expect 6,000. A week before the festival, many passes had been sold to out-of-staters.
The festival blends local, national and international themes in the sixth annual festival, which features both a film about a nonprofit in Port Clyde and a film about a 130-turbine project proposed off of Cape Cod.
The festival starts Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 3 in Rockland, Rockport and Camden.
For more information, including a full schedule, visit http://camdenfilmfest.org.
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