Six years ago, a guy named Eddy Bolz who I had really just met, approached me at the best bar in the world (Ruski’s). There, he expressed to me a concept, something to the effect of “I love horror films, and wouldn’t it be great if we had a Maine film showcase of horror films?" It might have been the PBR talking, but I think I said something like, “Get me the theater, and I will get you the films.”
A week later, Eddy approached me at the best bar in the world (Ruski’s). Apparently, he had booked a night at the Nickelodeon. And We. Were. Off.
We quickly added David Meiklejohn as a co-conspirator, and then we were three. Five years later, that showcase is still alive. It has grown, like a benevolent tumor, into the culture of Portland. It’s called Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed. It is very dark. It is very Maine. And it is very, very good.
Every year we invite the brightest and best of the Maine filmmaking community to strut their stuff in Damnationland. It’s a collection of dark films, absurd films, scary films, and even some old fashioned horror films. We’ve had films about ghosts, demons, hallucinations, ghosts, sea creatures, fairies, and even a animation about a not so helpful spider.
We begin the event with a big premiere at the State Theatre. Yeah, that’s right. Bob Dylan’s played there a bunch. So have we. After over 500 people see this showcase of short dark films from Maine, we take it across Maine. In past years, we have screened from Houlton to Wells, Belfast to Bridgton, and several odd little places in between. Damnationland has screened in New York, Los Angeles, and even in Boston as part of the Boston Underground Film Festival. That’s right. Even in Boston.
Going into our fifth anniversary, we are really proud of what we have done. We have created a successful local showcase of the best film talent that Maine has to offer, and we have proven that Maine can compete with other filmmaking communities on a national level. So go out this October, and support the filmmakers of Maine. Take a trip to Damnationland.
2014 Damnationland Details:
Friday, October 17 — Portland, Maine
State Theatre | 609 Congress Street
6:45pm opening reception, 8pm films
price $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for students
BUY TICKETS* | FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
* OFFICIAL AFTERPARTY @ SPACE Gallery w/DJ set by WITCHES *
$3 with ticket stub, $5 without | 18+
(*to avoid the service charge, buy in advance in person at the Cross Insurance Arena box office)