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Maine-made films and shorts in focus at 22nd annual Maine International Film Festival

Event organizer: Nathan Towne
Event Date & Time: July 12, 2019 12:00 am

WATERVILLEThe 22nd annual Maine International Film Festival (MIFF), held July 12-21 at Railroad Square Cinema and Waterville Opera House, will feature three premiering made-in-Maine feature films and eight premiering made-in-Maine shorts over the 10-day Festival. All made-in-Maine films and shorts will be shown on Made In Maine Day at MIFF22 on Saturday, July 20.

“Blow the Man Down” – Screening July 12 and July 20

This is not your ordinary everyday Made-in-Maine movie. Co-directors and screenwriters Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy will storm you like a nor’easter with their film’s amazing combination of dark humor, suspense, saltiness (in all the meanings of the word) and just plain originality, starting with a chorus of sea shanty singers and moving on to Priscilla and Mary Beth Connolly, whom we join on the day of their mother’s funeral after a long illness. They need a break…but they won’t get one. A dead body, three seriously busybody friends of their mom’s (played by great actresses Annette O’Toole, June Squibb and Marceline Hugot), and a friendly but inquisitive young local cop combine with local towering Inn keeper—okay, it’s actually a brothel— Enid (the unforgettable Margo Martindale) to make the Connolly sisters’ life complicated.

“Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm – Screening July 13 and July 14

Winslow, Maine-based Brian Zemrak and his California-based brother Derek have been at work on this charming all-animated family film musical for14 years! In a land known as The Kingdom of Rhythm, a young orphan bear, Bongee, becomes the life-long friend of the young Princess Katrina and tries to protect her from the evil witch Bandrilla (voiced by Golden Globe winner Ruth Buzzi), who casts a spell on the people of the kingdom. Bongee sets out, with the aid of his wacky friend Myrin (Golden Globe nominee the late Dom DeLuise) and the wise owl Mindy (June Lockheart), to break the spell and return singing and dancing to the land.

“In the Moon’s Shadow” – Screening on July 20 and July 21

Shot in greater part in the Belgrade Lakes region of Central Maine, with the rest in the quite contrasting Sand Hills of Nebraska, In the Moon’s Shadow uses the Solar Eclipse of 2017 to climax a story that focuses on seeing the familiar differently, as we do during an eclipse. Maine’s own Debra Cooke and Elissa Piszel play long-estranged sisters displaced by time and place who reconnect at a moment when their lives feel out of control. Produced at break-neck speed over five and a half summer days to take advantage of the absolutely stunning eclipse footage, In the Moon’s Shadow is true independent filmmaking, featuring a strong soundtrack composed for the film by Lady Lamb.

“Maine Shorts” – Screening July 15, July 17 and July 20

A program of shorts featuring Maine directors:

“About John” – Get to know the poet, woodworker and Belgrade Lakes resident John Willey.

“Deciduous Impotence” – A man rakes the forest floor in this stop-motion film.

“Friendpage” – A man changes vocations from surveillance to stand-up comedy.

“Nashedonia” – An Esperanto speaker tries to make it in Nashville.

“Night of the Fluffet”– A household is invaded by a cartoon puppet.

“The Grey Zone” – Documentary exploring the land dispute over Machias Seal Island.

“The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” – Yes, they can be heard, and the sound will thrill you!

“Three/Four” – Claymation tale of a girl waltzing between worlds at a museum gala.

“We are thrilled to have so many truly unique made-in-Maine films to feature at MIFF22,” said Maine International Film Festival programming director, Ken Eisen. “From the dark comedy of our Opening Night film, ‘Blow the Man Down’, to the world premiere of a charming animated children’s movie using the voices of major Hollywood stars, ‘Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm’, to a unique American Indie world premiere, ‘In the Moon’s Shadow’, and what Shorts Programmer Karen Young calls ‘the finest collection of Maine Shorts in the festival’s history,’ we have quite a catch this year.”

For a complete listing of MIFF films, or to purchase tickets and passes to the Festival, visit MIFF.org.

About the Maine International Film Festival

The 22nd annual Maine International Film Festival will be held in Waterville, Maine from July 12-21 at Railroad Square Cinema and the Waterville Opera House. During the 10 days of the festival, MIFF features nearly 100 films, representing the best of American and International independent cinema and spotlighting some of Maine and New England’s most innovative filmmakers. The full MIFF schedule is now available on the Festival’s website, MIFF.org. The Maine International Film Festival is a project of the Maine Film Center, whose mission is to enrich, educate and entertain the community through film and art.

About the Maine Film Center

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, and 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 exhibitions and education programs. MFC inspires an appreciation for the art of film and works to make Waterville a key destination in the state of Maine. MFC firmly believes that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine.