Upcoming Sanford International Film Festival offers four days of movie fun

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Actor Kip Weeks stars in ‘Man in the Mask,’ one of the films to be shown on Horror Friday during the four-day Sanford International Film Festival that debuts Oct. 16. COURTESY PHOTO

SANFORD – Horror, drama, sci-fi, comedy and more from independent filmmakers from this country and around the world will be screened Oct. 16 to Oct. 19 at the Sanford International Film Festival.

Sanford native Brian Boisvert, who got involved with the festival in its second year, is its second director. He took over from James Harmon.

“The goal behind the festival is to highlight these fantastic independent films and bring them to Maine so people can see them,” said Boisvert. “There are a lot of talented artists out there – both locally and around the world – making movies that just don’t get distribution. SIFF allows people in southern Maine to watch these great movies and even chat with some of the filmmakers themselves.”

Besides the U.S. and Canada, filmmakers hail from France, Germany, Greece, Poland, the U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

It is the sixth year for the event that brings independent films from many genres to Sanford, through an effort that is all volunteer, and begins with a call for films each Jan 1. Volunteers watch hundreds of films as they arrive and then make the decisions on which ones will be featured.

This year brings a new venue for much of the festival – the brand new Sanford Performing Arts Center at Sanford High School.

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“For the first time, we’re using the Sanford Performing Arts Center as our primary screening location,” said Boisvert. “I’m pretty excited to be using such a great space. Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be at the SPAC. Our popular Horror Friday lineup will run 12 hours – noon to midnight – at Smitty’s Cinema (1327 Main St.). We have a lot of great horror from around the world, including a Stephen King adaptation and a tribute to the modern classic ‘The Strangers.”

This year, SIFF has partnered with the “Stuff the Bus” campaign that gathers school supplies for students and teachers. Admission to Saturday’s screenings will free with a donation of school supplies, said Boisvert.

The awards ceremony is Saturday night at The Town Club, where the best of the fest will be celebrated and awarded “Tommys” – trophies designed in the shape of the Thomas Goodall statue in Central Park.

That evening will also serve as the world premiere of “Staring Down a Barrel” – last year’s “Script-to-Screen” winner by local screenwriter Manley Irish. It recently completed filming in Sanford, said Boisvert.

People may purchase tickets and watch trailers for the films awww.sanfordfilmfest.com.

The festival schedule includes:

  • Oct. 16, Grindhouse Wednesday, the first night of the festival, with films screened at SPAC from 6 to 11:15 p.m. Several films will be shown, among them, the 110 minute, U. S. film called “The Worry Doll.” According to a SIFF synopsis, after a series of unexplained night terrors, Tess, obsessed with finding her estranged sister, Janie with her best friend Ashlyn  and her sister’s exgirlfriend Tick-Tick, searches for her in the drug underworld.
  • Oct. 17, “Thursday at the Theater,” features a variety of films, from 3:30 to 9 p.m. at SPAC.
  • Oct. 18, Horror Friday, at Smitty’s Cinema, with 23 films screened from noon to midnight.
  • Oct. 19, SIFF Saturday, with films in a variety of genres from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at SPAC, followed by the Tommy Awards from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Town Club. 6 Washington St., and an after party Glow-Bowl until midnight at Bowl-a-Rama, 1217 Main St.
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— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or twells@journaltribune.com.


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