As the summer season winds down, Reel Pizza Cinerama, Bar Harbor’s year-round twin-screen movie theater, is preparing to host a fourth year of MIFF By-the-Sea, a festival featuring a selection of worthy films first screened at this past July’s Waterville-based Maine International Film Festival. Curated and presented by Reel Pizza’s non-profit arm, First Light Film Society, the fifteen programs that will be each be presented twice over September 7 – 10, 2012 include full length fiction features, documentaries and three collections of short films.
This year, Maine is featured prominently, in subject matter, in setting and as the home of the filmmakers, some of whom will be able to join everyone in Bar Harbor this weekend. “Like the Water”, whose principle creators are all Maine women, is a wonderful and beautiful film set in Camden, filmed entirely in-state. “Girl Model”, from Maine-based documentary filmmakers, is a fascinating look at the modeling industry in the Far East. “Nor’Easter”, a powerful drama about faith set on Vinalhaven, will have cinematographer Ian Bloom representing it at the festival. “Vacationland” is an observant comedy set in the western mountains and “Hardwater” is a documentary about ice fishing up in the county; the directors of both these latter two films, Jamie Hook and Ryan Brod, respectively, will be present to introduce their pictures and talk a bit about their creation. “True Wolf”, a documentary about wolf reintroduction in the northern US, will be marketed to cinemas in the near future by Waterville’s Shadow Distribution. Several of the short films come from Maine-based filmmakers, including four who are College of the Atlantic students.
The festival isn’t called “international” without reason; films from Germany, France, Ireland, Poland, Argentina, Israel, Ecuador, South Africa and Japan will also share the spotlight. The festival welcomes back Bowdoin College Russian professor emeritus Jane Knox-Voina for a second year, this time with a trio of recent and delightful short films she has curated from the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. To top everything off, Reel Pizza will have another edition of their popular late night event, ImproVision, on Friday evening.
There is much going on at Reel Pizza this coming weekend. Festival schedules with film descriptions are available at the cinema anytime. Tickets are available now at the Reel Pizza box office or by calling 288-3828. Discount passes, which can be used by up to two people per screening, are available for those who are interested in more than one or two films; a full festival pass for one is also available. The festivities start Friday afternoon with an opening reception from 4 to 6pm for the supporting businesses and attendees, catered by Sassafrass Catering and Atlantic Brewing Company; everything will wrap up Monday evening with a special film presentation by Chris Vincenty and Colin Capers at the Lompoc Cafe down the street. For more information, schedule and film descriptions, see Reel Pizza’s website www.reelpizza.com and select “MIFF”, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.