First up tonight is “Film Chowdah” (, the second annual Maine College Film Festival. Featuring 16 student-made films by students from the University of Southern Maine, Southern Maine Community College and other Maine schools, this 97-minute anthology allows the public to check out Maine’s movie mavens of tomorrow.

“Film Chowdah” is the brainchild of SMCC professor Corey Norman, who envisioned it as a way to reward student filmmakers’ hard work and to introduce them into the larger Maine filmmaking community.

“Students work so hard for a semester,” said Norman, “and then they show their film once, or maybe it goes on YouTube and that’s it.”

In keeping with the event’s stated goal of bringing along the next generation of Maine filmmakers, winning films will receive automatic admission to the likes of the Maine International Film Festival, the Portland Maine Film Festival, the Image Gazer Film Festival and the Maine Film and Video Association.

Up next, on Wednesday, those Maine moviemakers who’ve already taken that next step will show their stuff at “Rated Local: Short Works From Maine Filmmakers.”

The title says it all, as local film impresarios Eddy Bolz, Allen Baldwin and David Meiklejohn present the second installment in their continuing exhibition of short works from Maine filmmakers.

This time out, look for 70 minutes’ worth of all-new original short films from the likes of Jay Brown, Walter Ungerer, Jeremiah McDonald, Nicholas Brennan, David Camlin, Petra Simmons, Marc Bartholomew, Mo Twine and Derek Kimball.

All genres — comedies, documentaries, a thriller, a skate video, a music video — and all local.

Both events are at the Nickelodeon (, both are $5, and both are open to the public. “Film Chowdah” screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m., while “Rated Local” screens at 7 and 9 p.m.

There is a thriving film community all over the state of Maine, so come on out, support the local film scene and experience 24 original, adventurous Maine-made films. 

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland. 

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