Community Films

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

Photo by Isaac Simpson
Courtesy Sumner McKane

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., Nov. 26 at 9:00 pm

Explore the life, work, family and culture in Northern Maine at the turn of the century; eulogizing the exemplary photography of Isaac Simpson.

A screen grab from the opening title sequence of the film

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

This historical documentary focused on the early and later years of Swan Island on the Kennebec. It's a fascinating tale of Swan Island, one of Maine's most intriguing historic islands. Located at the head of Merrymeeting Bay on the legendary Kennebec River, Swan Island was once the site of an Abenaki Indian hunting and fishing outpost.

Navajo children, June 19, 1929
University of South Carolina

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., November 12 at 9:00 pm
Sat., November 14 at 2:00 pm

Follow the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the United States as contemporary Wabanaki communities in Maine witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.

Participate in a live Q & A with the DAWNLAND producers on Thursday Nov. 12 immediately following the broadcast. Details HERE.

A graphic feating the Lobster Lady Virginia Oliver

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., November 5 at 9:30 pm
Sat., November 7 at 2:30 pm

Arguably the world's oldest licensed lobster fisherman — 99 year-old Virginia Oliver is a one of a kind. This film gives viewers a chance to meet this inspiring woman and ride along as she and her 74 year-old son Max haul their lobster traps in Spruce Head, Maine. Virginia's positive approach to life as well as her infectious laugh will capture viewers heart’s and inspire them in their own lives.

From Stump to Ship DVD jacket

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., November 5 at 9:00 pm
Sat., November 7 at 2:00 pm

The most complete look at the long-log industry. Men cut trees by hand and load them onto horse-drawn sleds to be hauled over snow to rivers. Skilled river drivers maneuver the logs downstream, risking their limbs and lives every day. Also, work in the steam powered mill. Remarkably detailed scenes, filmed year-round, are enhanced by the original 1930 script, read here by humorist Tim Sample.

The Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., October 31 at 2:00 pm

A history of the Holt Research Forest, including some of the key findings from nearly four decades of long-term forest monitoring.

Produced by Jack Witham and directed by Charles Hudson of Hudson Media Empire.

Wind-whipped flames destroy several summer homes at Cape Porpoise, Maine, as a forest fire in the Kennebunkport area raged unchecked on October 22, 1947.
Associated Press

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., October 17 at 2:00 pm

The Great Fire of 1947 was actually a series of more than 200 forest fires in Maine that destroyed thousands of acres and entire towns. This is a compilation of films and videos put together by Northeast Historic Film include extraordinary silent footage, a Universal Newsreel and others of this tragic, historical event.

Frances Perkins at work.

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., October 10 at 2:00 pm

As Americans struggled during the Great Depression, the federal government had a few systems in place to help its citizens. In response to the economic crisis, despite many dissenting voices, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins to create a social safety net — establishing a system that continues to shape the lives of Americans today.

Growing Local production poster

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., October 1 at 9:00 pm
Sat., October 3 at 2:00 pm

While "buying local" is on the rise, the stories in Growing Local make clear that small farms and access to locally produced food is not a sure thing.

In three short vignettes we meet the young farm couple Ben and Tayrn, who, on risky sweat-equity, have revitalized a famously fertile piece of farmland into a thriving community food hub; artisanal butcher Ben who helps us better understand how healthier, thoughtful meat production can be supported and sustained; and Richard and Adam, father and son organic dairy farmers struggling to keep their family farm going and in the family.

These poignant stories help us understand the interconnected fates of Maine's small farms, consumers and the local food movement.

Wabanaki Confederacy Logo

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., Sept. 17 at 9:30 pm
Sat., Sept. 19 at 2:30 pm

The history of the Wabanaki, or People of the Dawn Land — The Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Peoples — dates back at least 11,000 years in what is now called Maine and Maritime Canada. When Europeans came to live in the Wabanaki homeland during the early 1600s an estimated 32,000 Wabanaki People inhabited the region.

A production still from Dear Georgina

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., Sept. 17 at 9:15 pm
Sat., Sept. 19 at 2:15 pm

A Passamaquoddy elder journeys into an unclear past to better understand herself and her cultural heritage.

A still frame from First Light

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., Sept. 17 at 9:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 19 at 2:00 pm

The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is the nation's first task force dedicated to uncovering and acknowledging the truth about what happened to Wabanaki children and families involved with the Maine child welfare system.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., September 10 at 9:30 pm
Sat., September 12 at 2:30 pm

Built in Baltimore in 1924 and christened the John Wannamaker this 118 foot tugboat served the City of Philadelphia for decades. Although she did some towing along the Delaware, she was specially designed for entertaining, and carried dignitaries up and down the river in style.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., September 10 at 9:00 pm
Sat., September 12 at 2:00 pm

Examine the unique working relationship between human and domestic animal within the current and traditional context of horse pulling; and addresses the controversial question, What is abuse?

Ashley Bryan reading Beautiful Blackbird

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., September 3 at 9:00 pm
Sat., September 5 at 2:30 pm

A 97 year old artist who skips and jumps in his heart like a child, yet is a spiritually deep creative genius and poet/illustrator of 50 children's books, maker of magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. Ashley Bryan lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community.