Film center marks domestic violence awareness month

The Maine Film Center continues its new virtual series, “Cinema in Conversation,” where filmmakers, film experts, policymakers, and journalists from around the world converge on Zoom to discuss important films with the community.

The next event in the “Cinema in Conversation” series will take place on Sunday, October 18 at 2:00 p.m., and will be led by filmmakers Anna-Sophia Richards and Astrid Schäfer (IN MY SKIN), and founder/president of Finding Our Voices Patrisha McLean (producer, “Women in Windows”). Both films address the issue of domestic violence and will bring Domestic Violence Awareness Month into focus. To view the films and register for the discussion, visit The screening cost is $10 for both films, and proceeds will be split with the filmmakers.

Made in Germany, IN MY SKIN (72 minutes) asks, “Why do women stay in violent relationships even when they have been abused for a long time?” The film chronicles the experiences of the daily lives of three women with different backgrounds as the camera takes on their point of view. We hear their thoughts and suffer with them as they struggle to become more independent and break free. Based on true events, all voice-over texts were taken from interviews with the portrayed women.

WOMEN IN WINDOWS (7 minutes) is a portrait of domestic violence in our own Maine community. As COVID-19 took hold, domestic violence started to spike. The non-profit Finding Our Voices responded with “Women in Windows”: a campaign of huge (2′ x 4′) banners in the windows of 70 downtown businesses in Midcoast Maine, each featuring one of 25 Maine Survivors of domestic abuse, a nod to the abuse and the woman’s transcendence of it, and the local domestic violence hotline phone number: Getting word to women trapped more than ever with angry and controlling family members: “You are not alone” and “There is help out there.” Award-winning film director Daniel Quintanilla captures and preserves this campaign, now touring the state, in this seven-minute film that has a woman taking in the actual words of the actual women in a drive through town, inspiring her own coming out of the darkness and into the light.

A slate of discussions over the coming months will consider a wide range of films: LA LLORONA (dir. Jayro Bustamante, 2019), BIG NIGHT (dir. Stanley Tucci, 1996), and CODED BIAS (dir. Shalini Kantayya, 2020). Each discussion will be led by either the filmmaker or a film expert.


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