WATERVILLE — The Maine Film Center announces the award winners for the 43rd Maine Student Film & Video Festival. The Festival received submissions from K-12 students from around the state. The selected short films reflect the skill of young Maine filmmakers and the invaluable support they receive from their teachers, parents, and communities. A ceremony celebrating the students’ filmmaking achievements will be held during the Maine International Film Festival on July 17 at 12:30 p.m. at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville. The event is free and open to the public, and masks will be mandatory for all attendees of the event. The selected films are listed below:

Maine Public Grand Prize: “Days Before Summer”

Will Marshall, Grade 12

The experience of being a student during the pandemic is perfectly encapsulated in this dream-like, expansive cinematic journey.

Narrative Category

Prize winner: “Listen”

Olivia Smith, Grade 10

No need to turn up the volume. A Deaf girl struggles with her identity.

Honorable Mention: “The Musicbox”

Emma Jordan, Grade 12

At the Hope General Store, a creepy music box has unintended consequences.

Documentary Category

Prize winner: “Successful Students”

Quinn Denis, DJ McKenzie, Grade 11, Mid-Maine Technical Center

Students from the Mid-Maine Technical Center share their school experience during the pandemic.

Honorable Mention: “CTE PSA”

Quinn Denis, DJ McKenzie, Daniel Whitman, Grade 11, Mid-Maine Technical Center

The trades get the red-carpet treatment in this PSA for the Mid-Maine Technical Center.

Experimental Category

Prize winner: “Liminal Space”

Della Huntley, Grade 12, Baxter Academy

A shadow reads a newspaper in an in-between place.

Honorable Mention: “End of the World”

Caitlyn Gallagher, Grade 12

In a dystopian world inspired by current events, two sisters fight for their freedom.

Honorable Mention: “Dreams”

Graydon Burr, Grade 12

Distorted lights and color introduce a sense of dread to this unique experimental film.

Middle School Category

Prize winner: “Dental Floss”

Nicholas Rogers, Cameron Pinchbeck, Grade 8, Sweetland School

A group of students build a traditional umiak boat named Dental Floss.

Elementary School Category

Prize winner: Trenton Treasure Hunters

Nayeli Monahan, Grade 4, Trenton Elementary School

A young narrator teaches us how to hunt for treasure.


The Maine Film Center brings world-class independent film to Central Maine through Railroad Square Cinema, the only Sundance Art House Project cinema in Maine and the annual Maine International Film Festival, a 10-day celebration that attracts filmmakers and film aficionados from around the world, and by delivering impactful, accessible film exhibitions and education programs. MFC firmly believes that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. MFC is a division of Waterville Creates! For more information, visit MaineFilmCenter.org.