The Eastern Prom will once again play host to several nights of screenings as part of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. The 2020 event, above, included 58 films. This year, there will be 66. Contributed / Maine Outdoor Film Festival

More than 65 films will be screened over 11 days at the 2021 Maine Outdoor Film Festival beginning July 29 in Portland.

“We try to bring a variety of strong films about outdoor adventure and conservation. There are so many talented filmmakers out there working in the outdoors and on conservation issues,” festival director Nick Callanan said. “You have a lot of corporations trying to use the environment for their gain, and there are a lot of people using film to address these issues and spread awareness in a creative way.”

This year’s films, pared to 66 from close to 200 submissions, cover topics about nature, sports, conservation and adventure and range from shorts to full-length features.

The July 29 through Aug. 8 festival will show roughly two hours of film each night beginning at 8 p.m. on the Eastern Promenade or at Urban Farm Fermentory on Anderson Street, which will host films Aug. 2-3. On Aug. 4, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute on Commercial Street will screen “The Long Coast,” an 80-minute film that profiles Maine men and women who make their livelihood off the ocean.

Callanan said the festival is likely to sell out, and he anticipates upwards of 2,000 people over the course of the 11-day event. Virtual tickets will also be offered.

The festival, now in its 10th year, will feature 23 films by Mainers and have 11 world premieres, including the Aug. 5 showing of “Tree to Board,” a 16-minute film that details Torsten Brinkema’s process of shaping a surfboard from North Atlantic cedar.


“It is an absolute dream come true to be recognized at this venue, and I can’t wait to start working on my next film,” said Brinkema, who lives in Waterville.

For Benji Studt, one of the creators of “Hidden Wild,” a 26-minute film that chronicles three students as they explore the swamps, waterways and wildlife of Palm Beach County, Florida, the film and the festival are about inspiring people to “love their backyard by trying to spark their interest into taking that first step into the mud, and opening up a vast new world for them to spend the rest of their lives exploring.” “Hidden Wild” is scheduled for Aug. 5.

After the 11 dates in Portland, the Maine Outdoor Film Festival will bring select films on a 15-stop tour of the state beginning Aug. 14.

Festival proceeds go to Teens to Trails, a Brunswick-based organization that funds outdoor experiences for high school students.

Executive Director Alicia Heyburn said the $8,500 that has been donated by the film festival has helped the organization “get Maine high school students connected to life-changing outdoor adventures.”

Teens to Trails provides grants for schools across the state to start and maintain outdoor clubs, and it donates outdoor gear and equipment to students, offers outdoor training for school staff and helps schools increase outdoor time for students.

Close to 35 schools have already signed up to be Teens to Trail members for the 2021-2022 school year.

For festival tickets or more information, visit

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