Posted Sept. 04, 2009, at 4:24 p.m.

STONINGTON – “Life by Lobster,” the recently completed documentary film by Iain McCray Martin, will screen as part of the Camden International Film Festival Sunday, October 4 at noon at the Farnsworth Museum of Art in Rockland, ME. The film was selected to be part of the festival’s “Features at the Farnsworth” component, which showcases films created by filmmakers living or working in Maine, and will be part of a day-long sustainability event.

“Life by Lobster” will also screen Friday, September 11 at 8:15 p.m. and Monday, September 14 at 8 p.m. as part of “MIFF by the Sea,” the Maine International Film Festival’s short film package at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor; and on Sunday, September 27 at 7 p.m., with “Tire Tracks,” Opera House Arts’ first documentary film, at the Grand Theater in Ellsworth.

Co-producer Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House (OHA) hosted rough cut screenings of the “Life by Lobster” in progress throughout the last two years, and premiered the completed version in July. The hour-long documentary by Martin, a 2005 Deer Isle-Stonington high school graduate, explores, in their own voices, the choices and experiences of a generation of young lobster fishermen. “Life by Lobster” is the newest project from OHA’s community-access digital media studio, the Imagination Project, and was co-produced by J. Miller Tobin.

“’Life by Lobster’ speaks to the heart — of its audience, of fishermen, of a way of working that is also a way of living. It makes us see, and think, and feel deeply. You can’t ask much more of a movie,” writes Peter Davis, director, author, and Academy Award winner for the film “Hearts and Minds.”

 “Life by Lobster” examines the continuation of and barriers to commercial lobster fishing as a vocational option for current and future generations. Martin, an independent filmmaker who received a 2009 undergraduate degree as a film major at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was inspired by his home town and the lives of his high school classmates to document their choices and challenges.  He has shot compelling footage with his friends, both on and off the water, as they discuss the shifting economics, tightening regulations and environmental realities of their profession—as well as their love for it. He puts these voices into the context of comments from several older fishermen; some found video clips of Stonington fishermen in the 1970s; as well as the lobster hatchery and ongoing efforts of Penobscot East Resource Center toward sustainable, community-managed fisheries.

Since 2005, Martin has directed a broad range of independent documentary, music video, electronic press kits, and narrative short productions. These credits include work with Grammy-award winning blues legend Sean Costello, national touring folk and blues act The Wood Brothers (’s #1 pick for folk music in 2006), rising Atlanta blues and folk musician Joe McGuinness (2008 Atlanta Blues Challenge – Solo/Duo Winner), and the innovative Emory University Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital. Life by Lobster marks Martin’s first documentary release. Emory University honored Martin’s creative, educational, and professional achievements on the 2009 Success After Emory web page, a site consisting of interviews with 12 graduating students. Martin is currently seeking opportunities in film or television production while beginning pre-production on his latest project.

OHA commissioned “Life by Lobster” with partial funding from the Maine Community Foundation’s Hancock County Fund; the Perfect Storm Foundation; and Jack Shaw and Ellen Shockro.

For more information, go to, or call 367-2788.


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