WATERVILLE — The 16th annual Maine International Film Festival begins this week in Waterville.

The event kicks off Friday and extends through July 21.

It will feature nearly 100 independent, international and Maine-made films while also providing audiences opportunities to meet and talk with directors, writers, producers and others working behind the scenes.

At the Waterville Opera House on Friday, Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme will introduce “Enzo Avitabile Music Life,” a new film he directed about the Neapolitan saxophone player and singer-songwriter. Demme won an Oscar in 1991 for “The Silence of the Lambs.”

This year’s Mid-Life Achievement Award honoree is actor, songwriter and producer Keith Carradine, who won a Golden Globe and Oscar for best original song for “I’m Easy” from 1975′s “Nashville.”