[.pdf version of this document can be downloaded here: 2013 dff press release]

The University of Southern Maine’s American Sign Language Club proudly announces its 11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival, to be held Wednesday, April 10th, Friday, April 12th to Saturday, April 13th, 2013. This student-organized event is the longest standing and only annual festival in the world to showcase the newest films and innovative videos by and for the Deaf Communities. Our mission is simple: Provide a platform for people to learn about, appreciate, and celebrate Deaf Culture, issues and art. All films are written, produced, created, and performed by Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals and film production companies.

The 11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival will boast a collection of the best new Deaf films from various festivals, as well as world premiers. Film schedule subject to change.

Wednesday Evening’s featured film: “Mea Maxima Culpa” Guest Speaker: Patrick Kuehn, St. John’s School for the Deaf Alum

For the first time this year, we are proud to be collaborating with SPACE Gallery [538 Congress Street, Portland] to screen Mea Maxima Culpa by Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney on Wednesday.

Synopsis [from their website, https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/mea-maxima-culpa/]:

MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD investigates the secret crimes of Father Lawrence Murphy, a charismatic Milwaukee priest who abused more than 200 Deaf children in a school under his control. The film documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the U.S., which led to a case that spanned three decades and ultimately resulted in a lawsuit against the pontiff himself. The investigation helped uncover documents from the secret Vatican archives that show the Pope, who must operate within the mysterious rules of the Roman Curia, as both responsible and helpless in the face of evil.

At the heart of the film is a small group of heroes – Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Arthur Budzinksi and Bob Bolger. These courageous Deaf men set out to expose the priest who had abused them and sought to protect other children, making their voices heard. Gibney uses the voices of actors Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Jamey Sheridan and John Slattery to tell the stories of men abused by Murphy. However, it is the faces and expressions of the courageous Deaf men that illustrate the indelible effect Murphy continues to have on their lives.

In addition to the Murphy case, MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD spotlights similar sex abuse cases in Ireland and Italy, and highlights the horrific actions of Marcial Maciel Degollado, a prominent church fundraiser and ruthless sex criminal beloved by Pope John Paul II. The film also reveals that in 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger – now His Holiness, Benedict the 16th – ordered that every sex abuse case involving a minor come through his desk, essentially establishing him as the most knowledgeable person in the world regarding priestly sexual abuse of minors.

Alex Gibney, the founder of and leading creative force behind Jigsaw Productions, crafts documentaries that take an unflinching look at the political landscape of America. He wrote, directed and produced the 2008 HBO special “Taxi to the Dark Side,” which received the Academy Award® for Best Documentary. He also wrote, produced and directed the 2006 Oscar®-nominated film “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” which received the Independent Spirit Award and the WGA Award. Gibney’s other films as director include “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” and HBO’s “My Trip to Al-Qaeda.” He is a regular blogger for the Atlantic, and has also written for Newsweek, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the New Republic.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film Projects and Below The Radar Films MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD; a film by Alex Gibney; director of photography, Lisa Rinzler; music by Ivor Guest and Robert Logan; edited by Sloane Klevin; producer, Kristen Vaurio; co-producer Sloane Klevin, executive producers, Lori Singer and Jessica Kingdon; producers, Alex Gibney and Alexandra Johnes; producers, Jedd Wider and Todd Wider; written and directed by Alex Gibney. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

VATICAN POPE BENEDICT XVI Madonna1_001 meamaximaculpa alex g Murphy_Pat001


Friday Evening’s featured film: “Lake Windfall” Film is Not Yet Rated; contains profanity and mild violence. May not be appropriate for children under 13. Guest Speaker: Roger Vass

We will also be premiering Rustic Lantern Film’s Lake Windfall on Friday night.

Synopsis [from their website, www.rusticlanternfilms.com/films.html]: The film is a portrait of interactions between deaf, heard of hearing, and hearing people. The plot focuses on five characters in a post-apocalyptic setting. Told with humor and emotion, this film takes an authentic look at three different types of hearing loss experiences. While navigating through this tale of awareness and survival, both hearing and deaf will realize how critical effective communication is to our collective survival.

Saturday Evening’s featured film: “Conned” Film is Not Rated; Contains violence, adult language, and nudity. May not suitable for children under 17.
Guest Speaker: Wally Carlson, actor

Synopsis [from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1668074/]: The Boston Underworld is too small for all of them. And there’s only one big prize left. It’s about to go under. All the smart operators have gone to jail, and all that’s left behind are the eccentric whacks and nut jobs deemed unworthy of being put behind bars. From Napolitano who runs the North End with the belief that every room is bugged, to Mr. Million, who is so insecure he needs constant reassurance, to a rampant gang that can’t take directions from anyone, simply because they can’t hear a single thing- their preferred method of communication is sign language which leaves everyone asking, just what is going on? Out of this melting pot of eccentric and dysfunctional criminals, ambitions arise and inevitably clash. With less and less up for stake, there is a sense of urgency for everyone to grab what they can and make a run for it before the underworld is shut down for good. As time runs out, attention turns to the biggest horse race which everyone knows is fixed, but just what is fixed? While everyone zeroes in on cashing out on the fixed race, they unfortunately become oblivious to the big con that is being laid out, leaving open the question of just who gets to take off with the big payday.

General Event Information:

11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival
Tickets sold at door.
ASL/English Interpreting available – open to the public
Parking available on Portland Woodbury Campus Center student ground lot [with exception of Wednesday night].

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 207-828-5600
7:30 PM – Mea Maxima Culpa, US, Documentary, 1 hour 45 mins.
$7 / $5 for SPACE Members and students / Free for USM Students with valid ID.
This film is NOT RATED and may not be suitable for all ages due to adult language and adult content.
Guest Speaker: Patrick Kuehn

Friday, April 12, 2013
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104
7:00 PM – Lake Windfall, US, Thriller, 1 hour 50 mins.
This film is NOT YET RATED. Film contains profanity and mild violence. Some material may not be appropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to give special guidance.
$10 General Admission / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.

Saturday, April 13, 2013
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104
Half Day Admission: General $8 / Seniors, Children & Non-USM Students $5 / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.
Full Day Admission: General $14 / Seniors, Children & Non-USM Students $10 / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.

Afternoon Session (Family-friendly selections)
1:00-5:00PM – Selected films.

5:00-6:30PM Open Reception for all ticket holders, refreshments served. University Events Room, 7th Floor Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 314 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME.

Evening Session (PG-13/+ selections)
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104
6:30PM-10:30PM – Selected films.
Featured Film: Conned will be screened. This film is NOT RATED. Film contains profanity, violence, and nudity and may not be suitable for children under 17. Guest Speaker: Director & Writer, Arthur Luhn.


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