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Tumbledown, Desi Van Til, Sean Mewshaw

More than 850 people attended the 2015 Maine International Film Festival in Waterville as it kicked off its 18th year with a nearly sold out showing of the Maine premiere of Tumbledown, a feature length film set in western Maine from Portland-based filmmakers Desi Van Til and Sean Mewshaw.

In Tumbledown, a young widow (Rebecca Hall), falls for a brash New York writer (Jason Sudeikis) who barrels into her rural Maine town investigating the death of her husband, folk-music hero Hunter Miles (voiced by Damien Jurado). Hannah is scraping her life back together in a cabin at the foot of Tumbledown mountain, attempting to seal every shred of her husband’s life into a biography. When Andrew, an academic who has a different take on Hunter’s life and death, shows up looking for the truth of this mysterious musician, the pair clash. But gradually they find themselves collaborating to craft Hunter’s story, and beginning to write the next chapter of their lives together. The film also stars Blythe Danner, Griffin Dunne, Joe Manganiello, and Diana Agron.

“The great turnout for opening night shows that audiences are excited for MIFF’s return,” said Festival Director Shannon Haines. “We are incredibly proud of this year’s program, which is a truly diverse mixture of the best of American independent and international films as well as rare and restored prints of cinema classics, and we’re eager for audiences to experience it.”

Acclaimed actor Michael Murphy will be presented the Mid-Life Achievement Award in honor of his diverse career that includes a long-time collaboration with director Robert Altman and work with Woody Allen, P.T. Anderson, Elia Kazan and Oliver Stone. MIFF will present the U.S. premiere of Murphy’s new film Fall before the award presentation on July 16.

For the first time, MIFF will host the World Filmmakers’ Forum through a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. Filmmakers from France, Argentina, Turkey and Mexico will show their work and discuss their creative process and the state of international film.

On July 18, MIFF will offer Maine filmmakers a chance to showcase their work and network with each other during Making It In Maine Day. The day-long event will include a networking brunch and panel discussion at the Colby College Museum of Art.

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