20th annual Maine International Film Festival kicks off July 14

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 12:30pm

WATERVILLE—The Maine International Film festival (MIFF) is celebrating its 20th anniversary the week of July 14 – 23, 2017 in Waterville featuring more than 100 films from some of Maine and New England’s most innovative filmmakers.  MIFF, known for its unpretentious and laid-­back atmosphere, will once again feature the best of American independent, international, and Maine-­made films. This year promises to be the most exciting yet as organizers are planning to host a record-­‐breaking number of special guests (actors, directors, producers, movie executives and more) from around the world.

There are several Midcoast films represented, kicking off opening night with The Sounding, a film shot on location on Monhegan Island.

“The Sounding speaks to all of us as it tells its haunting story of a woman who chooses to speak only in her own way,” says MIFF Programming Director Ken Eisen, describing the film as one “that resonates with Maine, with life, and with the beat of a different drum.”

Another Midcoast film represented will be be the premiere of the Belfast documentary Mop Cap: an Alopecia story about one Midcoast Maine woman’s experience with lifelong hair loss. Read our exclusive story about that here: What it means to be bald and beautiful for a woman.

Another film, part of the Maine Shorts to watch for is the documentary of Bobby and Sonny, two lifetime lobstermen working on the island of Vinalhaven.

This year, festival organizers have invited back 20 of MIFF’s past guests, making this the most-­‐celebrated film festival in its history. The festival will feature exciting live music events, public art exhibitions, special VIP parties and other ticketed events. MIFF will also host the 40th Annual Maine Student Film and Video Festival, a free event that provides Festival attendees with an opportunity to see what Maine’s youngest filmmakers have created at a special film screening and award presentation featuring the MPBN Student Film Award.

Bringing the star power, the festival will honor legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, on July 17 with the inaugural Karl Struss Legacy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cinematography as well actress and supermodel Lauren Hutton with the annual Mid-Life Achievement Award to at a special ceremony held at the Waterville Opera House July 20. MIFF is dedicating this year to Jonathan Demme, who passed on April 26. An inspiring director who will be remembered forever for his Oscar winning The Silence of The Lambs, and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, as well as the rom com/thriller Something Wild.

Tickets for Opening Night are $12 and are available at miff.org/ or by calling 1-866-811-4111. Festival passes start at $95 and are on sale now.

Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com