Maine Outdoor Film Festival screening, 2022

Maine Outdoor Film Festival screening are being held on the Eastern Promenade and at other outdoor and indoor venues in Portland this week. Contributed / MOFF

The Maine Outdoor Film Festival’s 21st annual celebration of the outdoors, adventure and conservation is underway in Portland through Sunday, featuring 96 films from around the world, including 29 from Maine-based filmmakers.

“I think the filmmakers really deliver,” said the festival’s director Nick Callanan.  

The films come from 20 different countries, and Callanan said he’s always thrilled when filmmakers travel such long distances to participate in the festival.

 “When people fly in to be present with their films from California, that’s pretty amazing,” he said. 

Festivalgoers at the Eastern Prom last year. Contributed / Brendan Donahue

Films selected for the festival must have “compelling narratives, interesting characters, that make you feel something and that show you something new in the content or the filmmaking,” he said.

This year, the festival is being held at both indoor and outdoor venues in Portland for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020, allowing for more screenings and less dependence on weather.


“The last three years we’ve really been focused on doing outdoor screenings exclusively, and that’s still our bread and butter and it’s what people love,” Callanan said, but indoor events allow for more opportunities to collaborate with other organizations.

Films will be shown on the Eastern Prom and at indoor venues including Maine College of Art and Design and Maine Studio Works on Anderson Street. They range from “#MoCrazyStrong” about a professional skier whose recovery from a brain injury helped revolutionize traumatic brain injury treatment, to “Whatever Floats Your Goat” about a young woman’s day goat-packing a raft up to a mountain lake, to “The Indicators” about two teens who study the butterfly population in a small town in Eastern Panama as bioindicators of rainforest health.

“This River is Our Relative,” produced by Sunlight Media Collective, celebrates the Penobscot Nation’s intrinsic kinship and connection to the Penobscot River. In the film, 24 Penobscot people tell of their experiences with the river, interwoven with a traditional Wabanaki story of a monster frog who once hoarded all the water.

“Filmmaking is vital in the effort to fight climate change and strengthen environmental stewardship. Films educate, inspire and motivate people. And informed, inspired people are key to achieving environmental justice,” the producers said in a press release.

The festival also showcases short films, combined into different programs. Producer and Director Roger McCord of Cumberland’s “The Feeding Frenzy” is part of The Puffin Program. It follows five phoebes from hatchlings to their first flight.

“This 16-day bird’s nest documentation was a captivating experience of seeing nature up close. A technical challenge, yes, but the birds’ development was both fascinating and profound,” McCord said.


Organized discussions on topics ranging from storytelling in the outdoors, to navigating the film industry in Maine and producing and funding films for outdoor brands are also part of the festival’s schedule. 

Morgan Meyer, partner and senior editor at p3 Maine, a commercial film agency in Portland, will moderate a panel discussion Thursday on producing and funding from marketing and filmmaking perspectives. He wanted to support the festival’s cause, he said. 

“We can feel it this summer; we’re at an inflection point when talking about climate change,” Meyer said. “People partaking are very aligned with that messaging and that’s why we’ve seen such a growth” in recent years.

Tickets for all screenings are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. 

A portion of MOFF’s proceeds will go towards Teens To Trails, a nonprofit based in Brunswick devoted to connecting middle and high school students with impactful outdoor experiences.

Following the Portland festival, the MOFF Selects Tour will bring curated collections of films to venues across the state and New England.

The full schedule for the Maine Outdoor Film festival is available at

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