PORTLAND – The University of Southern Maine, American Sign Language, will present its seventh annual Maine Deaf Film Festival Saturday, April 4. The student-run event showcases innovation and creative talent within the realm of film and video, by and for the deaf community.

Featured will be Ryan Commerson, with his critically acclaimed documentary “Re-defining Deaf;” and Wayne Betts Jr., with his Maine-filmed feature thriller “The Caretaker.”

All selected films are written, produced, created and performed by deaf and hard of hearing individuals and film production companies.

Family-friendly selections will be shown from 1 to 5 p.m. in Talbot/Luther Bonney Auditorium on the USM campus. Commerson will speak from 4:15 to 5 p.m. An open reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Woodbury Campus Center Amphitheater. The evening session featuring PG-13/+ selections will run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Talbot/Luther Bonney Auditorium. Betts will speak from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.

In “The Caretaker,” Clem, the 40-year old caretaker for a school of the deaf, decides after graduating that he does’t want to leave the island where the school is located. He is constantly drawn to the causeway that connects the island to the rest of the world, but can’t bring himself to cross it. He works hard on a daily basis, breaking only for fishing trips on Fridays and weekend visits from Bill, the campus historian and a retired teacher. Things change for Clem when Dr. McCord, his mentor and the superintendent of the school, dies.

Tickets are $8 for the half day, $14 for full day; $5 for half day, $10 full day for seniors, non-USM students and children. Tickets will be sold at the door. ASL/English interpreting available. Parking available in the Woodbury Campus Center student ground lot.


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