The 2022 Bates Film Festival will spread into Freeport to start April.

Founded in 2018, Bates Film Festival has curated a catalog of nominated and award-winning films. Organized, programmed and executed by Bates College students, under the direction of Jon Cavallero, associate professor of rhetoric, film and screen studies, the Bates Film Festival allows students to witness, engage and lead civic-minded conversations.

With this year’s expansion to Freeport, the Bates Film Festival has programmed a diverse slate of over 25 films that will play on multiple screens throughout the day and evening at Nordica Theatre on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, with VIP panel discussions taking place at Meetinghouse Arts. Bates Film Festival’s arrival in Freeport marks the first time that Nordica Theatre has reopened since the start of the pandemic. All events are free and open to the public.

Visitors to this year’s Bates Film Festival will experience all the excitement of a major film festival in downtown Freeport. Interspersed with intelligently curated films presented on the big screen at Nordica Theatre, a series of VIP panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions with the audience will take place at Meetinghouse Arts. Festival luminaries who will be in attendance for their films’ Freeport screenings include award-winning actor/director/writer John Turturro with his films “Mac” and “Romance & Cigarettes;” Oscar-winning animation artist Bruce W. Smith, creator and executive producer of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” on Disney+ and director of “Bebe’s Kids,” the first feature-length animated release to focus on people of color; and Emmy-award winning actor/director/writer John Shea with the romantic thriller “Grey Lady.”

Freeport’s restaurants and shops are conveniently located along a pedestrian route between locations, with Amtrak’s Downeaster stopping across the street from the movie theater. The Bates Film Festival is expected to draw film lovers from far and wide.

The 2022 Bates Film Festival lineup features nationally and internationally respected documentaries, including “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street,” a rare window into the early days of “Sesame Street,” revealing the creators, artists, writers and educators who together established one of the most influential and enduring children’s programs in television history; “Missing in Brooks County,” a mystery which brings the immigration debate into sharp focus; and “Try Harder!,” a humorous and heartfelt glimpse into the pressure-cooker world of college admissions, where being the best might not be good enough. The Bates Film Festival also spotlights exciting narrative features like “Memoria,” an intriguing thriller starring Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, and “The 24th,” the true story of the all-black 24th United States Infantry Regiment, written and directed by “BlacKKKlansman” screenwriter Kevin Willmott.  Rounding out the offerings is a slate of short films.

For more information and the complete schedule, visit

Advanced registration is required for all events. Attendees must adhere to Bates College COVID-19 Safety protocols, which include proof of complete vaccination, including booster for those eligible, and masking for all.

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