The Maine Masters documentary short film, Natasha Mayers: An Un-Still Life, released in 2021, reached new audiences across the globe this month. After winning the Vermont PBS Award for Best Documentary at the 2021 Made Here Film Festival, filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton launched a suite of education curricula available to educators across the globe and are planning a series of community events in 2021 to screen the film and inspire activism.
- MADE HERE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD FOR BEST DOC: The 2021 Made Here Film Festival, New England’s only competitive festival devoted entirely to films made by filmmakers of the Northern New England states and Québec, aired virtually 5–9 May. Vermont PBS hosted a virtual interview with Clearfield and Leighton on 16 May. The film will also be screened at the Vermont International Film Festival, running in person 8–17 October in Burlington, Vermont.
- MAINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Natasha Mayers: An Un-Still Life is an official selection in the Maine Shorts category at MIFF 2021, which runs 10–18 July. The film will be screened three separate times during the in-person festival and will also be available for online viewing throughout the festival. More details and information regarding festival tickets and online access can be found at https://miff.org/tickets.
- TORONTO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN FILM FESTIVAL: The film was an official selection of the monthly edition of Toronto International Women Film Festival for June. Toronto International Women Film Festival celebrates and recognizes films made by talented female filmmakers from all over the world and focuses on female driven stories, independent female directors, producers, writers, actresses, cinematographers, editors, and all female artists contributing to the language of cinema as women in film.
ARTS EDUCATION CURRICULA LAUNCHED: Maine educators Argy Nestor, Kal Elmore, and Catherine Ring created resources for art educators to utilize the film in lessons for students in grades K–12. Arts curricula, based around the powerful story of Natasha’s art activism, expression of social and political ideas through art, and using art to propel change, are available at natashamayers.org/education. In May, Nestor introduced the resources to collaborators from the Sweet Tree Arts Fellowship Program, extending the film’s reach as far as Kenya.
COMMUNITY EVENTS IN THE WORKS: The filmmakers and Natasha invite community groups to use the film as a tool to influence and energize their stakeholders around issues that are important to them. They have developed a Community Discussion Guide that can be used to organize special screening events, with options to facilitate a discussion of the film, display ARRT! banners, and design an “art-build” related to their cause.
For more information about the film’s increasing impact, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.