Online voting now open for BDN MaineFocus Film Festival

The submissions are in, and now it’s time to vote. The BDN MaineFocus Film Festival, in which the Bangor Daily News asked teens statewide to create short films about how drug abuse has changed their lives, has collected all the films submitted and voting online is now open on Facebook.

A Facebook account is needed in order to vote for one of the eight films submitted. Readers can vote once per day until noon on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at which point public voting will close and a panel of judges will make their own picks for the best of the best. Winners will be announced at a public event set for Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor during the high school basketball tournaments. All films will be available for viewing at that event.

The Film Festival started as the brainchild of BDN reporter Nok-Noi Ricker, and it was developed by Ricker and BDN newsroom administrator Natalie Feulner, BDN editorial page editor Erin Rhoda and Carl Lakari of Project AWARE, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and bullying.

For the past 10 years, Project AWARE has helped students make short films and public service announcements raising awareness about drug abuse and bullying. One of the prizes for winners of the MaineFocus Film Festival, in addition to cash prizes of up to $500, will be a scholarship to the organization’s annual Summer Film Institute, a weeklong summer session offering filmmaking training for high school students.

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