The Maine Jewish Film Festival has appointed Carolyn Swartz as its new executive director. Swartz will take lead of the festival following the 5-year term of Barbara Merson, who has guided its growth through a major expansion in programming and a pivot to a virtual platform, which has resulted in greater outreach and access statewide.Swartz brings to her role a strong film and business background that includes 25 years as brand and content strategist and president and owner of a New York City-based production company that produced short films for Fortune 100 clients in locations around the world. Since moving to Maine three years ago, she has served on the boards of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and the celluloid-film screening collective Kinonik. Carolyn is also a writer whose work appears frequently in Creative Maine.“Since moving to Portland three years ago,” says Carolyn, “it has been my dream to contribute to the arts in the state I’ve come to love. I’m thrilled to be joining a dynamic organization that, thanks to Dr. Merson and MJFF’s talented board, has made itself integral to the cultural fabric of Maine. I’m honored that the board has placed its trust in me and look forward to building on the Festival’s considerable strengths – deepening connections with our audience, the Maine’s arts community, and the international community of independent filmmakers committed to exploring topics that promote tolerance and human understanding.”  The Maine Jewish Film Festival is a nonprofit organization whose mission is enrich, educate and entertain a diverse audience by presenting cultural programs based on the global Jewish experience. Founded in 1998, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has screened over 400 films in theaters and brought more than 150 guest artists from across the U.S. and around the world to Maine. Since 2020, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has presented its programs virtually. For further information please visit

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