LEWISTON — The Lewiston Auburn Film Festival lost more films Monday in the controversy surrounding festival Director Joshua Shea, charged last week with possession of child pornography.

On Monday, local filmmaker Michael Miclon pulled his film, “Richard 3” from the festival despite a sellout of the Franco-American Heritage Center for his premiere screening.

“We have all worked too hard and invested so much time and energy into what we believe will be a great film to have our premiere night connected to this very unfortunate situation,” Miclon said in a statement Monday.

“We consulted with several community leaders throughout the weekend before making our decision and, while we all would have loved to have saved the festival, it became clear that it was impossible for many reasons which are out of our control. While it is a great disappointment, our focus and commitment is to ‘Richard 3’ as well as our cast and crew,” he said.

Also on Monday, Franco Center Program Director Richard Martin said representatives for realty TV star Les Stroud of “Survivorman” canceled his scheduled concert via email.

The concert was originally scheduled to kick off the four-day festival on April 3 and Miclon’s movie, shot at locations around Maine, including Lewiston and Buckfield, would follow on April 4.


Meanwhile, filmmakers and audiences await some definitive word on whether the festival will happen at all.

The scandal erupted March 20, when police arrested Shea at his Auburn home and charged him with one count of possessing sexually explicit materials of someone under the age of 12. An initial inspection of the computer showed hundreds of images of child pornography, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety said.

Shea was released on $500 bail hours later and has declined any public comment.

Shea, 38, co-founded the annual festival in 2011 and is the lone officer of the company that runs it, according a former shareholder.

Meanwhile, filmmakers have been leaving and audiences have been given few answers.

All festival tickets were sold through the Franco-American Heritage Center and its online seller, Brown Paper Tickets.


Brown Paper Tickets did not answer an inquiry Monday about the festival and Martin didn’t know what to tell people asking about refunds.

“I need to talk with Joshua,” he said.

Demands for refunds are likely as more and more filmmakers withdraw.

On Sunday, South Portland director Corey Norman pulled his premiere of “The Hanover House,” and director Bill McLean of Monmouth pulled his screening of “How to Kill a Zombie.”

“It was really sad,” Norman said. “It was a hard decision, especially being a film that was up for five awards to just walk away and cut our losses but we feel we made the best decision.”

Both films will be screened in May at the Saco Drive-In.


More movies dropped out on Monday.

Another local production, “Say Goodbye” withdrew despite months of work to get accepted.

“We shot our film just months before the deadline to get into the LAFF and worked editing and scoring it every day for hours on end for weeks,” Director Shawn McGrath of Lewiston said.

He completed his film on the last day of submissions.

He and the whole production were “disheartened,” he said.

California director Courtenay Singer pulled her documentary, “Out of the Fire.”


Chip Morrison, the director of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that he is hopeful that the community will have a film festival again, even if this year’s festival fails amid the controversy.

“I have enormous optimism about how this community handles adversity,” Morrison said, speculating a new festival could be created with new oversight and a public/private partnership.

“It’s a worthy event to consider,” he said.

Staff Writer Douglas McIntire contributed to this report.

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