FALMOUTH — Lights, camera, anchors away.
That’s been the message for a group of students at Falmouth High School, who hope on May 27 to put on the most successful film festival the school has ever seen.
Maxwell Abramson, a senior who is also the executive producer and director of the Casco Bay Anchors Film Festival, said when it started four years ago, the festival was more of a fundraiser. He and a handful of other students took it over, and last year it was renamed.
“We made it much bigger,” he said. Twenty people attended the first festival; last year, 400 people attended.
Abramson said it’s no longer called the Falmouth Film Festival because the event is open to all high schools in Maine, and produced by Anchor Studios of FHS. This year, students from Greely, Gorham and Cape Elizabeth high schools will present their films at the second annual Casco Bay Anchors Film Festival.
“We’re expecting close to 700 people,” Abramson said (although the FHS theater only holds about 440, so it will be standing room only).
There will be 16 student-made films presented, starting at 6 p.m., at the school at 74 Woodville Road. Tickets, which are available through Anchors’ website, are $7. The event will be semi-formal, with a red carpet and press wall. There will also be an after-party to recognize the filmmakers.
There are also 12 awards that will be presented at the end of the night. Eleven are Anchor Awards, in categories from Best Picture to Best Screenplay and for acting. Awards for Best Cameo and People’s Choice will be determined by online balloting at the event, while 10 judges will choose the other winners.
Abramson said it is also easier now for students to submit films. There is no submission fee, and the only real requirements are that films be no longer than 15 minutes, be appropriate for a high school setting, and filmmakers have to make a poster to promote their entries.
Abramson and about 20 others spent the past year planning the festival, with monthly and then sometimes daily meetings.
“We are trying to make this a self-sustaining event,” he said. Corporate sponsors include Hannaford Bros. and Bueno Loco.
“It’s going to be a fun event,” Abramson said. “We’re looking at bigger venues for next year.”
Awards called “Anchors” will be handed out to the winners at the Casco Bay Anchors Film Festival May 25 at Falmouth High School.