Bicentennial Community Films Series

Thursday Evenings at 9:00 pm (Saturday afternoons at 2:00/2:30 pm)

With a variety of partners including Northeast Historic Film, we have curated some exceptional films that show rare glimpses into Maine’s past. In fact, every film we show in 2020 will be connected in some way to celebrating the richness and diversity of Maine. Our Maine Public’s Bicentennial Community Films Series is possible through the generous support of The Jackson Laboratory and Fallbrook Woods.

If you are a producer interested in submitting a film for possible broadcast on Maine Public Community Films please download the Community Films Submission Packet here.

If you are interested in learning more about each film and the filmmakers click the image or the title of the film.

Watch select Community Films On-demand

Ways to Connect

A still frame from Over the North of Maine

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., May 14 at 10:00 pm
Sat., May 16 at 2:00 pm

Spectacular aerial views of Northern Maine.

Cut and Run DVD jacket

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., May 7 at 9:00 pm
Sat., May 9 at 2:00 pm

In this video, American wood cutters in the mid-1970s defend their belief that the paper companies want to use cheaper Canadian labor to cut all of the good wood as quickly as possible and get it over with without regard to local workers or the health of the forests. An important piece of Maine history and includes wonderful woods-based folk songs and is narrated by Marshall Dodge.

Leon Leonwood Bean

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 23 at 9:00 pm
Sat., April 25 at 2:00 pm

Bar Harbor filmmaker Jeff Dobbs brings to screen the life of Leon Leonwood Bean and the company he started.

The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory image
Sunlight Media Collective

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 16 at 9:30 pm
Sat., April 18 at 2:00 pm

Traverse the landscape of deal-making and deal-breaking which has historically defined tribal-state relations in Maine. Spanning from the 1700s to the present-day legal battle being played out in Penobscot Nation v. Mills.

The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory illustrates the history of the Penobscots' tenacious fight to retain their territory and their inherent, treaty-reserved sustenance fishing rights for future generations. The Penobscot people's traditional, centuries-long stewardship to ensure a healthy ecosystem for all of Maine. It tells the urgent, inspiring story of a struggle for justice and cultural survival in the face of astonishingly open abuse of state power.

Robert Peary self-portrait c. 1909

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 9 at 9:00 pm
Sat., April 11 at 2:00 pm

The life of Admiral Robert E. Peary and his life-long dream of being the first to reach the North Pole, plus his love affair with his summer home on Eagle Island.

The Land of Norumbega DVD jacket

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 2 at 9:40 pm
Sat., April 4 at 2:40 pm

The Land of Norumbega was the earliest name of a region that we now recognize as New England. Its center was the Penobscot River of Maine, and around it grew the legend of a fabulous city, like El Dorado, that drew adventurers and explorers from Europe and brought them in contact with the native peoples who had lived in the Norumbega region for millennia.

Maine's Television Time Machine DVD jacket

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 2 at 9:00 pm
Sat., April 4 at 2:00 pm

Remember the magic of TV when it was new? Return to the 1950s and early 1960s. TV Time Machine recalls our leaders and people on the street. It chronicles great achievements and disasters, events of everyday life, sports and recreation, business, community, home and the texture of our lives.

DVD jacket cover for Working the Land: The Upper Kennebec Valley Region of Maine in the 1930s

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., March 19 at 9:00 pm
Sat., March 21 at 2:00 pm

A marvelous look at woods and farming operations. Great shots of life in the woods camp. Various tools and methods used to cut and haul logs (both long and pulp length) to streams that will eventually be steered down the Kennebec to the various mills. Winter work and the spring drive. Filling the ice wagons, log booms on Wyman Lake, a jam at Moxie Falls and slucing at Wyman Dam are featured.

An unidentified ice fisherman in Maine.

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., February 27 at 9:00 pm

This film chronicles Maine's ice fishing community through the eyes of Bob Foster, the last in a dying breed of winter anglers. The 77-year-old paints a picture of Maine's ice fishing history, while introducing us to key players in today's culture. A film about a treasured Maine tradition and a shared passion for storytelling amid the state's diverse, often misunderstood ice fishing culture.

The student filmmakers in the Downeast Documentary class at The University of Maine at Machias taught by Al Kryszak.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., February 20 at 9:00 pm
Sat., February 22 at 2:00 pm

A collection of stories on how Maine people solve problems, ranging from Machias, Maine taking on the world's most powerful navy, to an amputee father waiting for his son to return from Afghanistan so they can hike up Mt. Katahdin.

David Driskell in his studio

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., February 13 at 9:30 pm
Sat., February 15 at 2:30 pm

A story about one of today's most important artists and leading authorities on African American art. This film captures Driskell making collages inspired by mentor Romare Bearden, documents him with National Gallery consulting curator Ruth Fine, and painting at his Falmouth, Maine studio. The film also explores the give and take of his creative relationship with master printmaker, Curlee Holton. It all results in powerful works that pull from abstract expressionism, African masks, Coptic art, modernism, cubism — the history of art in the works of this wise and gentle man.

A still frame from the documentary film Making Cape Point.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., February 13 at 9:00 pm
Sat., February 15 at 2:00 pm

Artist James Groleau reflects on his adventures as he paints a large mosaic depicting Little Cape Point on Maine's remote Wass Island.


A still from Lee a documentary film

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., February 6 at 9:30 pm
Sat., February 8 at 2:30 pm

A non-hunter spends a week in the Maine woods with a hunter. Lee, is an intimate portrait of a hunter from Maine. Lensed by someone who is in many ways, Lee's opposite. All in hope of understanding a different perspective.

A still frame from Ice Harvesting Sampler

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., February 6 at 9:00 pm
Sat., February 8 at 2:00 pm

This compilation shows newsreel and amateur footage of ice harvesting operations in Maine and includes ice-house interiors with massive ice blocks being maneuvered at high speed, and horse teams delivering ice to brownstones in Boston.

George Dorr posing at the carved rock next to the spring canopy, c.1918. A gravel path leads to the Emery Path, one of six memorial trails built at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park c.1910s.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., January 30 at 9:00 pm
Sat., February 1 at 2:00 pm

The story of George Buckman Dorr, the father of Acadia National Park. The film documents just how Dorr with the help of others painstakingly engineered Acadia.

To learn more about the Becoming Acadia visit Dobbs Productions Inc.