‘Blood, sweat and laughter’ to spice up Emerge Film Festival

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LEWISTON — When the flood of details rises too high — concerning ticket sales, scheduling challenges and travel plans — Laura Davis channels a kind of film festival zen.

“Let’s take a step back,” Davis, president of the Emerge Film Festival, said. “We created a film festival nine weeks ago.”

In only that short amount of time, the festival was established as a nonprofit and drawn a national roster of filmmakers and a still-growing list of local sponsors.

When the festival kicks off Friday evening with an event built around a pair of Maine-made horror movies and Baxter beer — it’s labeled “Beer and Fear” — it will be with enormous satisfaction, Davis said.

During its two days, the festival is scheduled to show 41 movies in six locations.

“All we have to do now is open these venues up, fill the seats and have a great festival,” she said. “This is really a celebration of the commitment of Lewiston-Auburn to the arts.”

The movies have been exceptional, Sandy Marquis, the festival’s treasurer, said. They run the genres from horror movies such as Maine filmmaker Corey Norman’s “Natal” and “The Hanover House” to dramas such as New York’s “Bridge and Tunnel” and documentaries, including “A Place of Truth,” featuring poet/busker Abi Mott, and Chris McDaniel’s “Music City USA” about Nashville and its perseverance in the wake of a catastrophic flood.

McDaniel will be one of 20 directors who are scheduled to attend screenings and participate in question-and-answer sessions during the festival.

The festival will conclude with Buckfield filmmaker Michael Miclon’s “Richard 3.”

On Friday, fewer than a dozen tickets remained for the June 14 screening planned for the Franco Center Performance Hall. It will be the first public showing of the film shot at several locations around Maine, including Buckfield, Phippsburg and Lewiston.

Miclon and editor Jay Childs completed this cut of the film two weeks ago.

“It’s not the final one, but it’s a damned good first cut,” said Miclon, who is eager to see the response by a large audience.

During the show, he plans to sit in the center of the crowd and try to enjoy every laugh in the movie, a comedic version of Shakespeare’s Richard III, in which he also stars and co-wrote.

“Now, I’m anxious,” he said. “Now, I can’t wait to have an audience.”

Plans call for many of his cast and crew to be there, most watching for the first time.

“I’m really proud of this, I really am,” Miclon, a veteran comedian, said. “And I’m proud of everyone who worked on this film. We put in our blood, sweat and tears. Actually, it was more laughter. Call it ‘blood sweat and laughter.’”

Tickets are still available for all shows. General viewing passes cost $15 and admit people to films on Friday evening and all day Saturday, with the exception of “Richard 3.” Tickets for that film cost $22 each.

The festival is also selling an all-access pass that includes admission to all movies, a special filmmaker’s reception on Friday and two beer tickets. The cost is $40.

However, the festival is giving away free general viewing passes to all high school and college students in Maine as part of its nonprofit mission.

“I think it’s going to be a special weekend in Lewiston-Auburn and I just want to invite everyone,” Davis said.

For more information, including a a full schedule of films, see the festival’s website at emergefilmfestival.org.

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General viewing passes cost $15 each and admit people to films on Friday evening and all day Saturday.

All Maine high school and college students may receive free entry to general viewing films with the presentation of a current valid student ID.

General viewing passes and student admission do not include admission to “Richard 3.” Tickets to the film cost $22 each.

The festival is also selling a $40 pass that includes admission to all movies, a special filmmaker’s reception on Friday and two beer tickets.

Tickets may be purchased online at emergefilmfestival.org or at the Franco Center box office.

Films will be shown at:

Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring St.

Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon St.

Franco Center’s heritage hall and performance hall, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston

The Public Theatre, 31 Maple St., Lewiston

Free Grace Presbyterian Church, 160 Canal St., Lewiston

For more information, including a full schedule, see emergefilmfestival.org.

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