The KahBang Film Festival, which runs through Saturday in Bangor, is midway through its inaugural roster of films, so I checked back in with KahBang’s busy co-founder Josh Whinery to find out how the newest player on the Maine film festival scene has gone so far.

How many films were accepted for competition this year?

There are 37 films showing at KahBang Film, including narrative feature films, documentaries and shorts. (In addition, Whinery said, several high-profile films are appearing at KahBang out of competition, including multiple-award-winning documentaries “Audience of One,” about a fundamentalist preacher convincing his congregation to raise $200 million to fund his biblical science-fiction epic; “Virtual JFK,” a speculative history of American foreign policy had JFK not been assassinated, and “Blood Into Wine,” about Tool frontman Maynard Keenan’s foray into wine making, as well as the British “Red Riding” trilogy.)

What has the public response (ticket sales, national press) been like?

Ticket sales have been pretty strong throughout the last month or so, picking up every single day. A lot of great press has come from the filmmakers located all over the world promoting their screenings at KahBang Film. Twitter and Facebook have also played a huge role in getting the word out there.

How does the Maine contingent of films and filmmakers look to you?

I couldn’t be happier. We have a great selection of Maine films all across the board. “The Putt Putt Syndrome” is back in Maine for another exciting screening. “Canvasman,” “The Eventful Life of Al Hawkes” and the narrative feature “Up Up Down Down” (filmed in town by Portland director Allen Baldwin) are also in the mix.

So it sounds like a rousing success.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am — well, the whole KahBang team is — to be having film now a major part of our festival. As volunteers, we can really appreciate the work of these independent filmmakers and giving everything to something they believe in and want to see succeed. I am here for all of them so they can spread their vision to not only a new market, but to have that same excitement and fun, we have to see a dream become reality. This is just the beginning.


Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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