WATERVILLE – The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 24th year, prides itself on its range of Maine-based and Maine-made film offerings. Among this year’s crop is “The Catch,” a film that follows a troubled woman’s return to her estranged family in coastal Maine. With her lobsterman father fighting off an outsider attempting to corporatize the local harbor, Beth and an ex-boyfriend make plans to hijack local drug runners and skip town. “The Catch” will have two in-person screenings during the Maine International Film Festival, the first on July 12 in Skowhegan and the second on July 13 in Waterville.

Writer/Director Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer has based this feature – his first – on personal experiences and regional reporting of territorial disputes among lobstermen. Conceived as a “western on the water,” the film makes use of elements of true crime, action, thriller, and drama as it follows a community and a family trying to hold on to their way of life in the face of an increasingly evolving world.

At the 2021 Indy Film Fest, “The Catch” was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature and the Best of American Spectrum Feature Award, and at the 2021 Manchester International Film Festival, the film was lauded with Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and (top honor) Film of the Festival accolades. A true independent feature, “The Catch” was filmed in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts, by many resident cast and crew in collaboration with the local fishing community — on their boats, in their houses, with some even finding their way in front of the lens.

“The Catch” was written & directed by Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer and stars Bill Sage, Katia Winter, Kyle Gallner, James McMenamin, Emy Coligado, and Jere Burns. Screenings of “The Catch” will be on Monday, July 12, 8:30 p.m. at the Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre in Skowhegan, and on Tuesday July 13, 7 p.m. at Railroad Square Cinema #1 in Waterville. Tickets and more information are available at MIFF.org.

The Maine Film Center (MFC) brings world-class independent film to Central Maine through Railroad Square Cinema, the only Sundance Art House Project cinema in Maine; the annual Maine International Film Festival, a 10-day celebration that attracts filmmakers and film aficionados from around the world; and by delivering impactful, accessible film exhibition and education programs. MFC believes that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. MFC is a division of Waterville Creates. For more information, visit MaineFilmCenter.org.