Since I’ve been walking the Maine movie beat for this column I’ve learned a lot. About the active, and growing, independent filmmaking community here in Maine. About the venues supporting those filmmakers and supplying Maine movie fanatics a steady diet of exciting films from around the world and right here at home.

I’ve also learned that I should get out more. And so should you.

Look, Maine isn’t Hollywood, and it isn’t New York. Those making and presenting good films in our state need our support. Otherwise, we’re stuck with multiplexes and empty storefronts and sad reminiscences of cool, interesting movie options that we allowed to wither and die. So here are my Film Geek Resolutions for 2014:

Attend SPACE Gallery screenings. There’s simply no reason I haven’t gone out to SPACE’s uniformly stellar movie screenings more than I did in 2013. (Except that SPACE’s Jon Courtney is my one reliable source for pre-air screeners.) Simply put, SPACE is the most important venue for Portland film fans looking for acclaimed documentaries and the occasional oddball feature. In the inexplicable absence of an actual Portland arthouse theater, SPACE fills the gap ably and consistently. (

Support the Nick. Sure, the Nickelodeon is part of the Patriot Cinemas chain but, well, it’s a tiny little chain, and the Nick continues to be one of the best friends Maine film fans and makers have. With generous, reasonable rates for locals looking to project their homegrown works on a big screen and a continued dedication to squeezing in indie fare and even – gasp! – foreign films, the Nick remains a vibrant, reasonably-priced movie destination right in the heart of the Old Port. (

Head out to PMA Movies (formerly know as Movies at the Museum). When the venerable, beloved Movies on Exchange Street (which is still vacant, by the way) shut its doors and set up shop in the screening room at the Portland Museum of Art, it seems like public sentiment turned on it to an extent, its weekend-only screenings in the shiny, tasteful PMA seen as the haven for elderly enthusiasts of “nice” foreign films. Shame on us – while it may lack the Exchange Street location’s grubby adventurousness, the PMA roster continues to bring world cinema to Portland. There’s nothing wrong with that. (

Go to Brunswick. While Portland does not have a dedicated art cinema (which – c’mon, seriously?), Brunswick boasts two, Frontier and the Eveningstar. Just a half hour away, each brings in the sort of eclectic film fare that, say, a much larger, more interesting Maine city to the south should have at its fingertips. C’mon!!! (explore,

Support Portland’s video stores. Most places in these Internet-inundated days have no independent video stores. Portland has two, Videoport and Jet Video. Akin to these other movie venues, indie video stores are a place for film fans to congregate, to discover, and to share all the unique cinematic treasures no online algorithm can provide. Full disclosure – I work at one of those places. Come on in – we’ll find you just the right movie. (,

Dennis Perkins is a Portland freelance writer.

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