Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences with the venue have led to the cancellation of the Farmington Silent Film Festival this February. The henceforth Maine Silent Film Festival will play at a more professional venue in the summer of 2023. The structure of the festival and the film lineup remains unchanged.

The Emery Community Arts Center, a subsidiary of the University of Maine at Farmington, objected to the initial LGBTQ+ program, particularly the trans feature of the evening, very likely the earliest screen emergence of trans representation. The film is a product of its era and not without objectionable content, but within the context of our present era, erasing trans history is exactly what is being attempted. Libraries are being defunded for including trans material and drag performers are being threatened with death—even here in Farmington, they had to cancel performing at this year’s Pride for fear of their safety.

Though the lineup was changed and the film was no longer scheduled to appear at Emery, they continued to object to the film merely existing and, little more than six weeks out, we were forced to canceled the event.

UMF wishes to stress that they support the LGBTQ+ community however much their actions belie that. The days of Theodora Kalikow’s presidency are, sadly, no longer. Already many humanities professors have been fired, as have religious and women’s studies professors. Much of the administration has left and what few remain are there on sufferance. The school has been picketed and has still not emerged from the dark times it now finds itself in.

Alumni of the university can only hope it finds its way again but as yet it is still in the wilderness.

The festival is now set for July 24th and 25th at the historic Alamo Theatre in Bucksport, Maine:—