An entirely new film festival will take the place of the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival, which was canceled after its co-founder and director was arrested on a child pornography charge last week.
Sponsors of the Emerge Film Festival held a news conference Tuesday night in Lewiston at which they announced that the one-day festival will be held Saturday, June 14, at the Franco Center in Lewiston.
Several of the films that were to have been shown at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival will be shown June 14, including “Richard3.” Four hundred tickets had been sold to “Richard3,” but Emerge sponsors say anyone who bought a ticket will receive a refund.
“We are trying to make something good come out of this mess,” said Katie Greenlaw, a spokeswoman for Emerge.
Tuesday’s late-breaking announcement came after the State Police Computer Crimes Unit announced they arrested Joshua Shea, 38, on Thursday morning at his home in Auburn.
Shea was charged with one count of possessing sexually explicit materials of someone under the age of 12. Police allege that they found hundreds of child pornography images on his computer.
Shea, who is a former Auburn city councilor and was publisher and president of the Lewiston Auburn Magazine, founded the LAFF in 2011. It was scheduled to be held April 4-6.
LA Publishing, which owns the magazine, posted an announcement on its website saying that Shea had been fired from his position as publisher and president. The message said the board of directors and shareholders are evaluating the magazine’s future.
Greenlaw said several community members got together Monday and pulled together plans for the Emerge festival.
“I know personally how much it means as a filmmaker to have the amazing support of this community,” said local filmmaker Ramsey Tripp, whose documentary “The Peloton Project” premiered at the 2013 LAFF.
The June 14 festival will feature “The Hanover House” by Maine filmmaker, Corey Norman; “How to Kill a Zombie” by Maine filmmaker Bill McLean; and “Richard3” by Michael Miclon.
Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: