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Arts & Culture

Maine Film Festivals

Maine film festivals

Maine film festivals


Despite its relatively small population, Maine is home to a thriving film business and hosts several popular festivals each year, highlighting independent and international films filled with recognizable faces and future stars. To discover the next great Maine filmmaker (or your new favorite movie), be sure to schedule your visit during any one of our unique festivals:

Maine International Film Festival

The annual Maine International Film Festival has been highlighting New England’s most innovative filmmakers and showcasing the best of American independent and international cinema since 1998. A partnership between the Maine Film Center and Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, the festival screens nearly 100 films over a 10-day period each July. The festival offers a unique audience experience, with panels and events designed to allow audiences to meet and talk with people behind the films: directors, producers, writers and musicians, as well as winners of its “Midlife Achievement Award,” which have included Sissy Spacek, Terrence Malick, Peter Fonda, Jonathan Demme, Arthur Penn and Ed Harris.

Camden International Film Festival

Begun in 2005 as a way to highlight the many emerging voices committed to the craft of nonfiction storytelling, each September the Camden International Film Festival shines a spotlight on New England’s rich history of documentary filmmaking. This top-notch festival screens films in intimate venues across Camden, Rockland and Rockport and also includes Q&A sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops, concerts and photo exhibits.

Maine Outdoor Film Festival

The Maine Outdoor Film Festival is where Maine’s love of film and passion for the outdoors come together. This touring festival celebrates the state’s beautiful places, heart-pumping activities and amazing residents. Catch the festival as it travels the state, playing on screens set up under the stars from Sugarloaf and The Forks to Portland’s Bug Light Park.

Maine Jewish Film Festival

In 1998, Congregation Bet Ha'am in South Portland screened six videos on a television set one weekend. Since then, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has spread throughout the state to include venues like The Strand Theatre in Rockland and Frontier Cinema in Brunswick. This inventively curated program of documentaries, dramas, comedies and animated films has become one of the best-attended and well-respected cultural events in the state each March.

Northeast Historic Film

Join archivists, scholars and artists in viewing and discussing lesser-known, amateur and found films at Northeast Historic Film's Summer Film Symposia. Held each July at the historic Alamo Theatre in Bucksport, this annual gathering focuses on the history, theory and preservation of moving images.

Emerge Film Festival

The Emerge Film Festival brings a diverse selection of Maine-made and international films from both established and emerging artists to the Lewiston-Auburn area each spring.

International Maritime Film Festival

The International Maritime Film Festival 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 Main Street Bucksport and WoodenBoat Publications, Inc. in Brooklin.

Bar Harbor Film Festival

The Bar Harbor Film Festival presents a wide range of international narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental films. Often cutting edge, always entertaining, the short and feature-length programs represent innovative cinematic works from both established and emerging filmmakers. It is based at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor.

Sanford International Film Festival

The Sanford International Film Festival is a five-day community celebration of films from around the world. Each spring, the festival screens a diverse array of top-notch independent films: family fare to horror, documentary to drama, made in Maine and from afar. The festival offers forums, workshops and an intimate look behind the scenes of some of the best films, and culminates with our red-carpet Tommy Awards ceremony, open to the public and featuring our locally designed and crafted trophies.

And there's more...

Information on additional festivals - including the Portland Children’s Film Festival, the Bluestocking Film Series, Maine’s 48 Hour Film Project and many others - can be found here. And even if you miss a festival, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to see the best of the fests as they tour the state, playing at independent cinemas and other uniquely Maine venues all year long.