Maine International Film Festival
Set on the unforgiving Maine coast, Baby Blue follows the journey of a father delving into the nature of closure and fulfilling promises.
With the snap of her fingers, Binto can defy the laws of nature. She can do everything from transporting her friends to instantly commanding a thunderstorm. Okay… maybe that’s just her imagination. But in Kennedy Park, kids are not constrained by the conventions of reality. Kids of the World features 11 young people who once lived in Africa, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere in the United States, who now find themselves in Lewiston, Maine, sharing one communal park. The kids were invited to make up stories – some based on their personal lives, some completely fictional – and then discuss, reenact, and perform these stories on the big screen. 11 Kids, 4 Stories, 1 Park. Part documentary and part fantasy, Kids of the World is all fun.
Stranded is a story about a young man who finds himself lost in New York City after a heavy night of drinking. On his journey home he reflects upon his life. The story is told through a series of voice-mails from his friends and family that he is unable to receive because his cell phone is broken. The messages from his phone help generate context for the action on screen much like title cards in a silent film.
Philip drives for the financially strapped cab company, Bumble Bee Cabs, which is owned by his mom. His wily ‘girlfriend,’ Allison, runs a marketing company and wants to help. Mom is against Allison’s costly promotional scheme, but Philip thinks his girlfriend is super pretty, so he goes along with her ill-conceived plan like a sheep to the slaughter.
Three estranged siblings reunite in their ancestral home in Maine to attend to the unpleasant business of their mother’s passing. As they confront each other about their past, the future of their family hangs in the balance.
Hidden deep in the wilderness of Maine, former MIT professor and scientist Jean Cartier works to cure the loss of his coma-ridden wife. Eight years after her accident, Jean makes a decision from which there is no turning back. Enlisting the help of a former student, Jean is given the opportunity to live the life he’d always dreamed of.
This documentary short focuses on John Reuter, a Gorham, Maine resident and world-class pinball player. John has slowly built a personal collection of over 100 pinball machines, most of which are set up in his home and are able to be played with the flick of a switch. John recounts his early pinball-playing days, talks of his zeal for the game and the worldwide community that surrounds it, and relates his own pinball-tinged philosophy on life. Throughout the film the stunning artwork and craftsmanship of the machines is on display through their bells, buzzers and lights. The film is produced by students at the University of Southern Maine.
An experimental short film about two indoor cats and what they see out of their second floor apartment window. Alone in their home, the cats contemplate freedom, mortality, and the inherent urge of some beings to try to understand one another. The world outside the ‘cat window’ is inter-cut with images of one of many ‘human windows’ – in this case, Youtube – exploring the many ways in which people try to connect with each other and often fail. However, there is no clear judgment of the outside world, or the people in it. Rather than reach conclusions, this film seeks to complicate all of the issues that it explores. By the end, we’re all just happy enough to have good plumbing and a loving sister to lick our ears and kick us in the face.
Upstream to Downstream (In Our Bloodstreams) examines the systems of our culture, of which we are all participants; we dump unfathomable amounts of pollutants and DNA altering chemicals into our streams and rivers which eventually end in the ocean. It was once believed that waters were so vast, that whatever was dumped into it was somehow absorbed and made inert, or cleansed by the water. However, what goes around – comes back around, either by drinking water, consumption of contaminated foods, or loss of marine habitats’ ability to sustain life. Baker says, “Water is our lifeblood.” This eerie short in the style of flowing painterly public-service-announcement examines a need to restructure our water, waste, and energy systems – but first our way of thinking. Maine Ecological Artist and Film Director, Krisanne Baker makes a case for the changing of our cumulative consumerist practices in this experimental documentary short.