Mainers plan a film festival in response to a Hollywood-backed park proposal.

MILLINOCKET (AP) – In a tongue-in-cheek jab at Hollywood for celebrity support of a Maine Woods National Park, opponents of the concept outlined plans Thursday for the first Maine Woods Film Festival.

The June 28 event, to be held between 10 a.m. and noon at the Big Moose Inn on Millinocket Lake, will feature home videos and photos from people who live, work and play in Maine’s woods, festival organizers said.

Film stars serving on a newly formed advisory committee for the proposed 3.2-million-acre park extending westward from Millinocket to the Quebec border have been invited to attend.

Actors and actresses on the panel include Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Holly Hunter, Laura Linney, Robert Redford, Ted Danson, Christopher Reeve, Meryl Streep and Sam Waterston.

“I hope they come,” said Gene Conlogue, Millinocket town manager. “I’m sure we can convince the Hollywood activists to give up their idea of a Maine Woods National Park by having them come to Maine and meet face-to-face with the people whose lives they want to change. It should be fun.”

Critics of a national park maintain that curbs on logging and restraints on development would lead to economic distress in a region already suffering from hard times. Restore: The North Woods, the group advocating for the park, says the project would provide economic benefits.

The Maine Woods Film Festival’s sponsors were listed as Piscataquis County, the Maine Woods Coalition, the Maine Leaseholders Association, the Fin and Feather Club and the Hourglass Alliance.

The festival will open with a performance by Matthew Heintz, the Northwoods Balladeer, who has written a song for the occasion. Festival-goers are invited to bring videos and photos depicting life in the Maine woods. Local artists are encouraged to design a poster to commemorate the festival.

Refreshments will include Moxie and pretzels.



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