LEWISTON — A movie shot secretly inside two Disney theme parks, a documentary about a sidewalk poet and a pair of Maine-made movies — one spooky and one funny — will be among the 50 to 60 titles featured April 3 to 6 at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.

Festival Director Joshua Shea said he and a crew of volunteers have screened more than 300 films for a final schedule that will likely include between 50 and 60 films.

“It’s a hell of a lineup,” Shea said. “I almost wish we had two or three more days so I could just show more films.”

Shea announced Monday that the festival will kick off on April 3 with a repeat of sorts. Les Stroud, the musician and star of TV’s “Survivorman,” will begin the festival with a concert at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

Stroud, who was given the festival’s executive producer’s award last year, saw the Little Canada landmark during his visit and wanted the chance to play its grand hall, Shea said.

The festival will continue Friday with the first public showing of “Richard³,” a comedic version of Shakespeare’s Richard III directed by and starring Michael Miclon of Buckfield.


The film was shot in several Maine locations, including Buckfield, Fort Popham in Phippsburg and inside the former St. Patrick’s Church in Lewiston.

Miclon said he is spending every free moment on the movie’s editing. Though most of the production was completed last fall, he still has a scene to shoot, he said.

The comedian, juggler and director of Gardiner’s Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center is working on making a splash for the screening. But those details will have to follow the completion of the film, he said.

“We know it’s going to come right down to the wire,” Miclon said.

The movie will be shown at the Franco Center on the evening of April 4. Meanwhile, a small schedule of films will be screened at other venues. More packed schedules will continue Saturday and Sunday.

The movies will the true stars, Shea said.


Since the festival was voted last fall as one of the world’s 25 coolest film festivals by MovieMaker magazine, Shea hopes the movies and their sometimes unknown creators will draw bigger audiences.

“I want to bring in filmmakers and writers and people who have Hollywood experience,” he said. “I want to create an environment that’s less of putting one person on a pedestal and more about a whole lot of people who are very passionate and into their work.”

Filmmaker Corey Norman, who heads Southern Maine Community College’s department of communications and new media, plans to premiere his movie, “The Hanover House” here and speak with audiences.

Documentarian Barrett Rudich plans to hold the East Coast premiere of his movie, “A Place of Truth,” about sidewalk poet Abi Mott. Both Rudich and Mott plan to attend.

And Roy Abramsohn, the star of the notorious indie “Escape from Tomorrow,” has signed on to appear at the festival.

His movie, directed by Randy Moore, filmed secretly inside Disney World and Disneyland for two weeks. The mouse houses became the setting for a trippy, black-and-white story about a middle-aged father, played by Abramsohn.


When the movie premiered last fall at the Sundance Film Festival, extra screenings were held to meet demand. Many people wondered if it would ever be shown again because of the looming threat of a lawsuit.

“They did not sue, and we don’t know why,” Abramsohn said Monday. A ticker on the movie’s website measures the months, days and hours that have passed without a lawsuit.

Abramsohn, who has had walk-on parts in many TV shows, said he took the part knowing full well the movie’s guerrilla status. He has sought work as an actor for 23 years. This was the first time someone offered him a lead movie role.

Acting while hiding from Disney security was worth it, he said.

“Spielberg isn’t knocking at your door saying ‘Hey’ and every other movie is George Clooney and Matt Damon,” said Abramsohn, who drives a limo to get by. “There’s no way that someone’s going to cast you in a movie and spend that kind of money on an unknown, except for the fact that this had to be an unknown.”

If Disney security had recognized him, the whole thing would have been blown.


Abramsohn plans to share behind-the-scenes info with Lewiston and Auburn audiences, including details about the time he was caught by security guards and detained.

The exact schedule of screenings is still being worked out.

However, tickets to the festival will go on sale Feb. 10. People may buy them through the festival’s website, lafilmfestival.org, or at the Franco Center.

Tickets to the Stroud concert will cost $19 and $24. Admission to the April 4 premiere of “Richard³” is $22. A pass to all films, except “Richard³” is $19.

A viewing pass and ticket to the April 5 awards gala is $40. And a VIP ticket, including all films, the gala, second-tier tickets to the Stroud concert, access to a VIP filmmaker lounge and Sunday brunch is $109.


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