A glance at some of Maine Outdoor Film Fest’s breakout films at Waterfall Arts Sept. 8
BELFAST—Every September, Maine Outdoor Film Fest (MOFF) takes its uniquely curated program of short outdoor adventure and conservation films on the road and screens them in all 16 counties of Maine. This Saturday, Sept. 8 marks the second of their three Midcoast screenings, this time held at Waterfall Arts in Belfast. “For the last two years we’ve been at Waterfall Arts it has rained, so we had to move the screenings indoors,” said Nick Callanan, MOFF director and video producer. Regardless, every screening at Waterfall Arts has been well-attended. “I think this time, we’re going to get lucky this weekend and be outside.”
More than 100 films were submitted this year and 68 films made the cut. Each of their screening locations features a roster of films that are distinct from other locations. “This year, is one of the best line ups we’ve ever seen,” said Callanan.
The Waterfall Arts screening will encompass eight short films. Breakout films include Yojani, the story of a Cuban skateboarder, a pioneering figure in the Cuban skating community by a team of documentary filmmakers and photographers that includes Corey McLean, Seth Brown, Shasta Mattey and Tyler Dunham. McLean, Brown and Dunham are all Lincolnville childhood friends who spent five months in Cuba over the past two years filming a feature about surfing on the island. “This short film is based on a full-length feature on surfing in Cuba they are working on, which I’m looking forward to seeing,” said Callanan.
Another one that is sure to enchant the crowd is Bears Ears, the 2018 Official selection of MOFF, directed by Hank Leukart. The synopsis: “When Hank Leukart and his friend Jake go on a hiking and packrafting trip to explore Utah’s newly-minted Bears Ears National Monument, created by President Barack Obama, they discover a political battle that epitomizes the strange culture war sweeping the nation.”
“This is just a wonderful profile of the Utah National Monument and just a beautiful film,” said Callanan. “There were some some threatening words around removing national monument status by the current administration so the oil companies could get in there and get access, so Bears Ears is sort of a love letter to this national monument. This is one of my favorite films of the Festival.”
Both Dunham and Leukart, who hails from Los Angeles, will be present after the Waterfall Arts show to do some Q & A with the audience.
Bailey and The Alewives, directed by a couple of Maine-based filmmakers, Molly Haley & David Meiklejohn, is another film that Callanan thinks will resonate with the Belfast crowd. The film, which runs about five minutes is about Bailey Bowden of Penobscot, Maine, who unexpectedly becomes a fisheries activist to save the dwindling alewife population of the Bagaduce River Watershed.
“This is a really cool story about the alewives fishery,” he said.
Each year, the Festival highlights a jury winner for “Broke and Stoked” contest, which benefits a Maine-based filmmaker with an outdoor theme. This year’s winner was HEADLAMPS: OFF by Matt Nasi (Wingspan A/V) followed Maine photographer, Tyler Inman, on his journey to capture a specific image blending his two passions: the stars, and surfing.
The screening starts right around dusk (roughly 8 p.m). Bring your outdoor chairs.
In the Midcoast, the first screening was in Union at the Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery on Sept. 3 and there will be one more screening at the Camden Snow Bowl on Friday, Sept. 28.
For more information about the films visit: http://maineoutdoorfilmfestival.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com