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Bicentennial ‘Maine in the Movies’ showcases films set around state – Knox VillageSoup – Courier

STATEWIDE — More than 80 motion pictures have been set in Maine since the first in 1910. To celebrate the state’s Bicentennial, the Maine Film Center (MFC) and 19 other arts and education organizations and independent cinemas have joined together to present “Maine in the Movies,” a 17-city festival of 35 films set in Maine, screening March 5 through 15 throughout the state. Twelve films representing 20 Academy Award nominations will show at five Midcoast locations: Belfast, North Haven, Rockland, Waldoboro and Damariscotta.

“Maine is a state of mind and imagination whose enigma and beauty have, from the very beginning, inspired writers, visual artists, and their natural descendants, filmmakers,” said Mike Perreault, MFC executive director. Maine in the Movies will showcase screenings for all ages; some accompanied by discussions with knowledgeable guests.

Over the course of the festival, audiences will see an expansive, sometimes unfamiliar, often surprising vision of Maine: fanciful and funny in some cases; down to earth and culturally revealing in others. A perfect example of the latter is Academy Honorary Award recipient Frederick Wiseman’s epic portrait of “Belfast, Maine” (1999).

“We’re lucky such a great filmmaker as Fred Wiseman chronicled our community two decades ago, so all who view the film now can better know what’s transpired here since,” said Mike Hurley, owner of Belfast’s Colonial Theatre, where the film will play Saturday, March 7.

Among the festival’s films are those from the earliest days – “Jean the Match-Maker” (1910) and “Way Down East” (1920) – to the most recent – “The Lighthouse” (2019) and “Blow the Man Down” (2019) – as well as classic dramas, family movies, thrillers, fantasies, musicals, and comedies like “Peyton Place” (1957), “Andre” (1994), “Dolores Claiborne” (1993), “Aquaman” (2018), Rodgers Hammerstein’s “Carousel” (1956), and “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953), the first film

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