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  • Greenlight Maine gives greenlight for start-ups TV exposure


    Thirteen startup companies moved on to the semifinals, and will compete in the final stage of the Greenlight Maine competition in June, 2017.

    Greenlight Maine is a   TV competition on WSCH6 on Saturday evenings at 7:30. After various rounds where new businesses pitch their ideas to panels of different experts every week the best pitch is given a $100,000 cash purse. The semi finalists also recieve mentoring as the panel widdles down who should move forward in the competition.

    It's really the first time start ups have recieved media attention on TV in Maine to this extent.

    "In our first two seasons, over 140 prospective companies have been vying for the coveted prize purse as well as received priceless mentoring from some of the most admired corporate and community leaders in our state," Brian Corcoran, a partner in Portland Media Group, which created the show.

    Portland Media comprises Corcoran's company Shamrock Sports & Entertainment; Nat Thompson, former producer/owner of WCSH-6; and Con Fullam, an executive TV producer and music composer.

    The Season 2 semifinalists are:

    • American Unagi, Sara Rademaker, Thomaston
    • McDermott Shapes, Ryan McDermott, Scarborough
    • Tip Whip, Spencer Wood, Bangor
    • Bluet Maine, Michael Terrien, Jefferson
    • Mobility Technologies, Ryan Beaumont, Brunswick
    • Izzy's Cheesecake, Jim Chamoff, Portland
    • Herbal Revolution Farm, Katheryn Langelier, Union
    • Switchdown, Jon Hanson, Durham
    • Foodwise, Leland Stillman, Portland
    • Surge Hydro, David B. Markley, Belfast
    • Springpoint Solutions, Troy Locke, Portland
    • Wag Rags, Chris Voynik, Readfield
    • Truck Task, David E. Grant, Brewer.

    Corcoran noted that more than the winner benefits. Millions have been invested in companies that have appeared on the show. In the first two seasons more than 140 prospective companies signed up to compete for the prize and mentoring. Corcoran's P.R business isn't doing to bad, eaither.

  • Special Showing of SEED: The Untold Story in Bethel, Maine on Jan 17

    Local Food Connection (LFC) and The Gem are pleased to announce the screening of SEED: The Untold Story on January 14th as part of its Food & Film Series. The collaboration between LFC and The Gem began in the autumn of 2016 and is expected to run quarterly in 2017.

    Following the January 14th Winter’s Farmer’s Market - held weekly from 1:00-3:00 pm at The Gem, 23 Cross Street, Bethel, Maine - an hour spent with the community will happen.

    LFC encourages volunteers and movie goers to bring an appetizer to share for  this social time at 3:30 pm with the film starting at 4:30 pm.

    At 6:15 pm, Taggart Siegel—the film’s director—will be available via Skype to answer audience questions. Will Bonsall—owner of Khadighar Farm, director of the Scatterseed Project and author of Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening—will be in-person for a book signing and Q&A. Tickets are $6.00.

    SEED: The Untold Story captivates with its attention to irreplaceable seeds nearing extinction, revealing the harrowing and heartening story of passionate seed keepers as they wage a David and Goliath battle against chemical seed companies, defending a 12,000 year food legacy.

    A short synopsis by the filmmakers reveals more.

    “Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000-year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 percent of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.”

    The award-winning SEED: The Untold Story has opened theatrically across USA and Canada to many sold out screenings.

    SEED is executive produced by Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine) and Phil Fairclough (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams).

    SEED is the recipient of numerous awards including winner of the ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD at Sheffield Doc/Fest; GREEN PLANET AWARD at Rhode Island Film Festival; BEST DOCUMENTARY at Nashville Film Festival; BEST IN FESTIVAL at Princeton Environmental Film Festival; ECOHERO AWARD at the Portland EcoFilm Festival; BEST DOCUMENTARY & AUDIENCE AWARD at Lunenberg Doc Fest; HONORABLE MENTION at Cine Eco Portugal; AUDIENCE AWARD at the American Conservation Film Festival; BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the United Nations Film Festival; and, Official Selection of the BEST OF FESTS program at IDFA in Amsterdam.

    About Local Food Connection (LFC)

    The Local Food Connection wants to help carry the Greater Bethel Area into a more sustainable future focused on self-reliance, local economic vitality and healthier food choices for all community members. LFC works to build and to sustain a food system environment that encourages all community members to grow, prepare, serve, purchase and consume local foods.

    About The Gem

    Movies, Art, and Co-working in Bethel, Maine. Their mission is to build community, frame by frame.

    They envision The Gem as a community hub where families go for a fun night out and individuals are able engage with the local arts community.  They offer affordable tickets and diverse programming to make the theater accessible to all ages and incomes.  Ten percent of Gem's yearly profits go back into the community by supporting local arts initiatives.

    Access to many forms of arts and culture is limited in rural areas, yet film is not limited by geography. Gem is committed to keeping the theater open in Bethel because we believe that access to great films and movies can inspire, educate, and bolster the community.

  • Portland awards four businesses on Congress Street with Facade Improvement Funds

    Three storefronts and a marquis on Congress Street will be looking their best next Spring/Summer with recent grant awards from the City’s Façade Improvement Program.

    The storefronts include 578 Congress, the home of Strange Maine; 612 Congress, the former Anna’s Used Furniture; 785 Congress which was previously a variety store; and the State Theatre marquis. All the projects will further enhance the streetscape of the Art’s District, helping to attract more culture and entertainment seekers and shoppers, as well as businesses looking to locate in a vibrant downtown environment. 

    All will help Portland's creative economy continue to grow.

    ”The Façade Program produces such tangible results,” said Greg Mitchell, Portland’s Economic Developer Director. “This is an effective program to stimulate private sector investment, and we're really thrilled that we were able to award the remaining funds. Thanks to the many property and business owners who have partnered with the City to rehab their storefronts, the experience of Congress Street continues to get better and better.” 

    The Facade Improvement Program is funded with federal community block grant dollars.
     
    Almost $24,000 in grant funds remained unused from the last round of the Façade Program, which had targeted Congress Street, from Washington Avenue to Weymouth Street. As a result, the City’s Economic Development Department invited business and property owners on Congress Street to submit applications for these remaining funds to be used for improvements to their storefronts, signs and awnings. Eight applications were received and the four that would have the greatest impact on the streetscape were chosen. 

    The Façade Program requires a private match that is at least equal to the grant amount. It is anticipated that these projects, receiving a total of almost $24,000 in grants, will generate close to $55,000 in private investment on Congress Street, more than twice the public dollars provided.