Matt Siegel and Jim Boutin, filmmakers; Patrisha McLean, founder/president of Finding Our Voice; and Christine, owner of a framing store and the subject/star of one of two Finding Our Voices short documentaries premiering July 16 at the Maine International Film Festival. Submitted photo

Two movies starring Maine domestic violence survivors will premiere at the 25th edition of the Maine International Film Festival on Saturday, July 16, in Waterville. The short documentaries will share the stage with the award-winning documentary “And So I Stayed,” about women serving long prison sentences for killing their abusers.

Courtney, a Midcoast Maine hairdresser, and star of one of two Finding Our Voices short documentaries premiering July 16 at MIFF Submitted photo

The Finding Our Voices films feature Midcoast Maine residents Courtney and Christine recounting how they were pulled into domestic violence situations – and how they escaped.

The screening at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Courtney, a hairdresser; Christine, owner of a framing store; Patrisha McLean, the founder/president of Finding Our Voices; and Natalie Pattillo and Daniel A. Nelson, the directors of “And So I Stayed.”

The Finding Our Voices films were produced by acclaimed director/producer of photography Matt Siegel, who reached out to the grassroots nonprofit with the offer to break the silence of domestic abuse through film after seeing the group’s huge posters featuring the faces and voices of 43 Maine survivors including Christine, Courtney and governor Janet T. Mills. Filmmakers who also lent their talents to the two films are Jim Boutin, Josh Gerritsen, and Neil Shelley.

The executive director of the Maine International Film Festival Mike Perreault said the festival “is honored to partner with Finding Our Voices, which does important and impactful work to raise awareness and provide support for survivors of domestic abuse. The films to be shown highlight the ways in which abuse affects the entire family — and for generations. We’re proud to take part in bringing this conversation to the forefront.”

Tickets to the Saturday, July 16 afternoon program are $12 and can be bought at

Finding Our Voices marshals survivor voices and community creativity to break the silence, stigma and cycle of domestic abuse, with twin pillars of bold outreach and tangible peer support including direct funding to women victims  to get and stay safe and get and keep their children safe as well. For more information on Finding Our Voices visit

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