Arts & Culture

Indie Films Debuting at 13th Annual Maine Mayhem Film Festival

Film-making is an art form that doesn’t get to stretch its legs too much up here in Maine. Thanks to the Maine Mayhem Festival, however, there will be a spotlight on some of the local film-making talent. Maine Mayhem is a yearly film festival in its 13th year. This festival is participated in by second-year SMCC Communication & New Media students and has been run by SMCC’s Video Production professor, Corey Norman. The event will start out with a few animated shorts (similar to a Pixar movie), and six student films will be shown this year. The films are The Vase, directed and produced by Michaella Tillo, Shadow Nightmare, directed and produced by Macie Beaudet, Go To Hell! directed and produced by Emma Jordan, The City of Servers directed by Elora Griswold, The Antique directed by Hannah Perry Shepherd, and Pitch Fest directed and produced by Kira Lane Kennedy and Kayla Harding. All of these productions will be shown on May 11th, at Nickelodeon Cinemas in Portland, with showtimes being at 6:30 and 8:45

Last year was a return to form, as the previous two years had been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. This year is monumental, and for many reasons, the first being that all of the directors in the Festival are women! This has never happened in the 13 years of running the festival, but this is welcomed with open arms. Their ticket sales have gone up substantially this year, usually, they’d have only sold 20 tickets for the first showing, but this time they’ve sold around 75% of their tickets, and exceeded sales from last year for the second showing! These films will truly be a showcase of what Maine’s up-and-coming filmmakers have to show, as it has been doing in previous years. 

One film, in particular, has been gaining some traction: The Antique, directed, produced, written, by and starring Hannah Perry Shepard. This film centers around two twin sisters (Hannah Perry Shepard, and her twin sister, Hillary Perry) dealing with their mother’s passing, emotionally and financially. When they start to believe they won’t be able to keep their mother’s house due to foreclosure, they go searching for an antique she always said had value. Due to their mothers’ sometimes untrue manner, they believe it might be a wild goose chase, but they still search anyways since a traveling antique show is coming to town. 

In an interview with Dennis Perkins for The Portland Press Herald, Hannah had this to say about the filmmaking process: “I’m taking on a bunch of roles, maybe too many. Still, it went great. I’d never acted with my sister before, and that was wonderful. I had great support in Corey and learned to ask for help from fellow classmates and other film people. The Maine film community is amazing and more than willing to help. Mainly, it’s about not being afraid to ask.”

In addition to planning out the film, Shepard ran an IndieGoGo campaign and raised $1,800 for her passion project. She also reached out to many people around Maine for places to shoot, and to people for support towards the project. All answers about the project can be answered when the film comes out, or you can reach out to @theantiquefilm on Instagram for anything further.

With less than 2 weeks until the film festival, all of the filmmakers are probably getting just as antsy to show the films to the people as they are to see them. This festival gaining more traction this year could mean great things for the filmmaking scene in Maine, and provide some much-needed support for the local arts. 

For more information about the festival, or to get tickets, you can visit or the Maine Mayhem Film Festival page on Facebook

Categories: Arts & Culture, Technology

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