Get ready Maine filmmakers, the big screen is calling.

It’s getting easier all the time for aspiring movie mavens to make their own films. And thanks to that crazy Internet I’ve been hearing so much about, it’s also pretty easy for those movies to be seen by large numbers of people.

But seeing your work on a real movie screen, with paying customers, Sno-Caps for sale in the lobby that still means something.

So thankfully, local film scene-sters Eddy Bolz, David Meiklejohn and Allen Baldwin are here, sending out the call for Maine filmmakers to submit short films for the second annual Rated Local film festival, screening May 4 at the Nickelodeon Cinema in Portland.

Like last year’s inaugural outing, this year’s Rated Local is looking for submissions of 15 minutes or less in any genre. The deadline is the end of March. Those interested should contact Baldwin at strongpawproduct [email protected]

As Meiklejohn puts it, there’s no entry fee aside “from the bravery it takes to put your creative work out into the world.”

As I’ve said in this column ad-no-doubt-nauseam, the Portland film scene is an active, creative and ever-evolving place, with a growing number of opportunities for aspiring movie makers to exhibit their wares. Along with Rated Local, Bolz cites the 48-Hour Film Project as part of the community “dedicated to showcasing … Maine talent, and encouraging Maine filmmakers to produce more content.”

And speaking of local film supporters, why exactly are these guys doing this? There’s no money in it. So, could it be altruism?

“For me, the motivation behind Rated Local is purely selfish,” said Meiklejohn, whose documentary “My Heart Is an Idiot” will premiere this spring. “I want to live in a thriving film community that will support and enjoy my own work. And there’s no better way to nurture a growing community than by throwing events that bring people together and provide inspiration.

“The hope is that seeing brave new works on the big screen will encourage local filmmakers to work harder, take greater risks and push their creativity to even bolder territories.”

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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