The Lewiston Auburn Film Festival won’t be held this year, due to fallout from the arrest last week of founder Joshua Shea on child pornography charges.
While Shea has made no formal announcement of the cancellation, a publicist working on the festival confirmed Monday that it would not go on as scheduled April 4-6.
“It looks like the festival will not happen as planned,” Dan Marois of Mainely Communications said in an email to the Portland Press Herald. “While (Shea) has made no official statement, filmmakers are pulling their films from the event, people are asking for ticket refunds, (and) area folks interested in salvaging the event have given up.”
Marois said only one venue had been selling film festival tickets in advance, the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. No one at the center was available Monday evening to comment on its refund policy.
Shea, a magazine publisher and former Auburn city councilor, was charged Thursday by Maine State Police with possession of child pornography. Shea, 38, was arrested at his home in Auburn.
Shea founded Lewiston Auburn Magazine in 2010 and the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival in 2011. The festival features shorts, documentaries and feature films from around the world. It also attracts many local filmmakers.
Michael Miclon, a comedian and filmmaker from Buckfield, said Monday he decided over the weekend to pull his film from the festival because of Shea’s arrest. The film, “Richard3,” is a comic adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” that was shot at 10 locations throughout Maine.
“We have all worked too hard and invested so much time and energy into what we believe will be a great film to have our premiere night connected to this very unfortunate situation,” Miclon said in a news release. “We consulted with several community leaders throughout the weekend before making our decision and while we all would have loved to have saved the festival, it became clear that it was impossible for many reasons which are out of our control.”
Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: