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Film Festivals

Maine is home to a thriving film community and offers an abundance of festivals each year. Primarily taking place between March and November, these festivals can be found throughout the state. Maine's film festivals screen the the best of both independent and industry films along with panel discussions, workshops, receptions, and community celebrations. This resource lists festivals by event-date, but for complete information please visit the festival site.  

 

Maine Jewish Film Festival (MJFF)

Maine Jewish Film Festival

Maine Jewish Film Festival

March (late)
Portland
www.mjff.org
This year, March 12 to 19, 2016
 

MJFF began in 1998 at South Portland’s Congregation Bet Ha’am. Since then they have presented hundreds of films both domestic and foreign, brought hundreds of guest artists from the U.S. and around the world and sold tens of thousands of tickets to both Jewish and non-Jewish attendees. They curate a film program that explores the Jewish experience through features, documentaries and shorts. MJFF has grown to be one of the best-attended and highly-anticipated cultural events in the Portland area. 

 

Maine Deaf Film Festival

The Maine Deaf Film Festival

The Maine Deaf Film Festival

April 
Portland
www.mainedeaffilmfest.com 
This year, April 16, 2015
 

The University of Southern Maine’s American Sign Language (ASL) Club proudly hosts the annual Maine Deaf Film Festival. This student-run event showcases innovation and creative talent within the realm of film and video created by the deaf community. The mission is to provide a platform for people to learn about, appreciate, and celebrate deaf culture, issues and art. All selected films are written, produced, created, and performed by deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and film production companies.

  

Portland Youth Film Festival

Portland Children's Film Festival

Portland Youth Film Festival

April (late)
Portland 
www.portlandyouthfilmfestival.com/
This year, April 27 to 30, 2016
 

The Portland Youth Film Festival is organized by the East End Community School with the purpose of bringing community together to create and celebrate film. It offers international films, local films, and a film contest for k-12 students. It takes place annually at venues throughout Portland and encourages everyone to experience the offerings, adults and children alike. 

 

Emerge Film Festival 

Portland Children's Film Festival

Emerge Film Festival

April (late)
Lewiston/Auburn
http://emergefilmfestival.org/
This year, April 28 to May 1, 2016
 

The mission of Emerge Film Festival is to build awareness of independent films and to support a diverse cross-section of filmmakers, from 'established' to 'emerging', and from Maine and the rest of the world. They aim to promote the motion picture arts and to provide educational opportunities for student filmmakers in the Lewiston/Auburn community.

 

Sanford International Film Festival

The Maine Deaf Film Festival

Sanford International Film Festival

May (late)
Sanford
www.sanfordfilmfest.com/
This year, May 25 to 29, 2016
 

The Sanford International Film Festival is dedicated to entertaining the members of the community. It provides a platform for the works of budding independent filmmakers and fosters the creation of the arts by hosting their festival within the Sanford area.

 

 

Maine International Film Festival

Maine International Film Festival

Maine International Film Festival

July (mid)
Waterville
www.miff.org
This year, July 8 to 17, 2016
 

During the 10 days of MIFF over 100 films are screened, representing the best of American independent and international cinema. MIFF also spotlights some of Maine and New England's most exciting and innovative filmmakers. Audiences have opportunities to meet and talk with film professionals- directors, producers, writers, musicians. Honored guests and visiting filmmakers host panel discussions as well as informal Q&A sessions.

 

Maine Student Film and Video Festival

Maine International Film Festival

Maine Student Film and Video Festival

July (mid)
Waterville
http://msfvf.com
This year, July 16, 2016
 

The Maine Student Film Video Festival is open to Maine residents 19 years of age and younger. The movies submitted to the Festival are judged on the basis of originality, content, style, and technique. Movies are reviewed by divisions: pre-teen, (grades K-6 ),  junior (grades 7-8) and senior (grades 9-12). Each year finalists and winners’ movies are selected for screening in conjunction with the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville.

 

Blue Stocking Film Festival 

Lewiston Auburn Film Festival

Blue Stocking Film Festival 

July (mid)
Portland
www.bluestockingfilms.com
This year, July 15 to 16, 2016
 

Bluestocking Film Series is an exclusive showcase for provocative, well-produced films that feature complex female protagonists driving the narrative and leading the action. The only film event in the world to require female protagonists. The Bluestocking is the first US film event to receive Sweden’s A-Rating (which informs consumers whether films pass the test). They believe female characters deserve to be portrayed with just as much complexity as their male counterparts.

 

Northeast Historic Film, Summer Symposium

North East Historic Film, Summer Symposium

North East Historic Film Symposium

July (late)
Bucksport
http://oldfilm.org/content/symposia-and-roundtables
This year, July 21 to 23, 2016
 

NHF is a nonprofit archives dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing northern New England's moving image heritage. The NHF Summer Symposium is a multi-disciplinary gathering devoted to the history, theory, and preservation of amateur and nontheatrical moving images. The Symposium is noted for bringing together archivists, scholars, and artists in an intimate setting.

 

48 hour Film Festival

48 hour Film Festival

48 hour Film Festival

August (early)
Portland
www.48hourfilm.com/portland_maine/ 
This year, July 2016
 

The 48 Hour Film Project's mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. Through its festival/competition, the Project encourages filmmakers and would-be filmmakers to make movies. In a wild and sleepless weekend, all writing, shooting, editing and scoring must be completed in just 48 hours. The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers - emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills.

 

Maine Outdoor Film Festival

Maine Outdoor Film Festival

Maine Outdoor Film Festival

Multiple times
Multiple locations 
http://maineoutdoorfilm.com/
Multiple dates, March through May, 2016
 

The Maine Outdoor Film Festival’s mission is to celebrate the outdoor community and inspire expression.The Maine Outdoor Film Festival features outdoor films and shorts with Maine roots. Films in the festival represent a diverse selection of outdoor disciplines, representative of the vast Maine outdoor experience. The festival kicks off at the base at Three Rivers Whitewater in The Forks each summer, with tour of main street theaters and college/high school amphitheaters each winter/spring.

  

International Maritime Film Festival

Maine Outdoor Film Festival

International Maritime Film Festival

September (late)
Bucksport Maine
http://maritimefilmfestival.com
This year, September 30 to October 2, 2016
 

The International Maritime Film Festival (IMFF) is a juried contest of films celebrating the heritage, spirit of adventure, and ingenuity of boats and waterborne pursuits. The IMFF is a joint venture between Northeast Historic Film (NHF) in Bucksport, Maine, and WoodenBoat Publications, Inc. (WBPI), in Brooklin, Maine.

 

Camden International Film Festival (CIFF)

Camden International Film Festival

Camden International Film Festival

September (late)
Camden, Rockport and Rockland
www.camdenfilmfest.org
This year, September 15 to 18, 2016
 

The Camden International Film Festival is recognized as one of the top film festivals in the world for documentary films and filmmakers. CIFF highlights work that shows dedication to craft and a unique and artistic approach to telling good stories. Films are selected for their ability to arouse discussion on documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice. Accompanying the screening of nearly fifty features and shorts are Q&A’s with directors and producers, informative panels, the Points North Documentary Forum, PANOPTIC (a showcase of new media and experimental artworks), musical concerts, unforgettable parties and an opportunity to connect with eager audiences and industry leaders in an extremely intimate setting.

 

Bar Harbor Film Festival (BHFF)

Camden International Film Festival

Bar Harbor Film Festival

October (mid)
Camden, Rockport and Rockland
www.barharborfilmfestival.com
This year, October7 to 9, 2016
 

Taking place at the home of the Acadia National Park, the Bar Harbor Film Festival provides a unique environment to encounter international cinematic voices and to engage in thoughtful discourse. The festival’s panels and Tea Time Talks go further to fully  immerse filmmakers and film goers in this environment for inspiration and creativity. Based at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor, BHFF presents a wide range of international narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental films.

  

Damnationland

Damnationland

Damnationland Film Festival

October (mid)
Portland
www.damnationland.com
This year, October 16, 2015
 

Damnationland presents original works from Maine filmmakers that redefine the classic thriller and horror categories. Beginning in 2009, the Damnationland program features world premieres of short films produced in Maine by Mainers especially for the Halloween season. These are dark, surreal, and fantastic pieces, and they offer film fans an excellent sampling of the talent producing independent film in Maine today.

 

Portland Maine Film Festival

Portland Maine Film Festival

Portland Maine Film Festival

November (early)
Portland
www.portlandmainefilmfest.com/
This year, To be announced
 

The Portland Maine Film Festival features contemporary, entertaining and informative movies, as well as panel discussions, seminars and networking opportunities. The festival mission is to promote an appreciation of the film arts within the region. Content focuses on locally produced film and the creative filmmaking community in Portland.

 

 
For more information please contact Kerstin Gilg
Director of  Media Arts and Performing Arts at the Maine Arts Commission
207/ 287-6719 - kerstin.gilg@maine.gov