Posted on

May 28, 2024
Contact: Chris Melville, [email protected]

27th Maine International Film Festival to Honor Directors Mary Harron and Jos Stelling

WATERVILLE, Maine—The Maine Film Center is pleased to announce filmmaker Mary Harron as the recipient of the 2024 Midlife Achievement Award and Jos Stelling as the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award-winner at the 27th annual Maine International Film Festival (MIFF), held July 12–21 in Waterville, Maine.

“It’s always an honor to celebrate the works of filmmakers who have made such tremendous contributions to cinema, and to be able to present them with our famous, one-of-a-kind MIFF Moose award,” said Mike Perreault, executive director of the Maine Film Center. “Moviegoers will have the rare chance to spend a few days rediscovering the work of and engaging in conversation with Mary Harron and Jos Stelling—truly an amazing opportunity.”

The Festival is excited to present its signature Midlife Achievement Award to Canadian director Mary Harron. Since her acclaimed 1996 feature debut I Shot Andy Warhol, a storied career in film and television has yielded a catalogue of compelling stories that challenge their viewers with psychologically complex, often unsettling characters, but offer tremendous reward in their clever visuals, wit, and genuine human insight. Harron will join the Festival this year for screenings of her films Daliland (2022, starring Ben Kingsley as Salvador Dali), Charlie Says (2018, offering an unflinching profile of the women under Charles Manson’s sway), The Moth Diaries (2011, an unorthodox twist on a vampire story set in a girls’ boarding school), and cult classic American Psycho (2000, starring an unhinged Christian Bale in a tour de force role).

Harron returns to MIFF for the first time since appearing as a special guest in the festival’s ninth year in 2006 with I Shot Andy Warhol and 2005’s The Notorious Bettie Page.

“Mary Harron is a distinctive and major voice in the American independent cinema world, whose films touch on characters, often from real life, such as Salvador Dali and Bettie Page, who live on the edge,” said MIFF Programming Director Ken Eisen. “Our guest at MIFF’s ninth festival, she returns 18 years and three terrific features later, to accept our Midlife Achievement Award.”

Claiming this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is pioneering Dutch filmmaker Jos Stelling, who in 1999 received MIFF’s inaugural Midlife Award. A glance back through the Festival archives suggests this is Stelling’s second Lifetime recognition. Indeed, the auteur was brought to Waterville in ’99 to receive that prize, but in his acceptance speech quipped that it was more of a “Midlife” honor, thus renaming the award which in subsequent years went to Terrence Malick, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Demme, Peter Fonda, Ed Harris, and many more since. A quarter century down the road and with his final film set to make its U.S. premiere at MIFF, Stelling is ready to accept his long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This year, Dutch director Jos Stelling, whose absolutely unique directorial style has graced theaters and festivals from Cannes to Venice with a pioneering blend of humor, imagery, and surrealism, returns to MIFF for the first time since 1999, the festival’s second year,” Eisen said. “We will feature the North American premiere of what he says will be his last film, Natasja’s Dance, as Stelling receives our Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Many of Stelling’s inimitable films, including The Pointsman (1986), The Flying Dutchman (1995), and The Girl and Death (2012), have previously screened at Railroad Square Cinema, the former home of the Maine Film Center and the Festival, to much local acclaim. Stelling will return to the Waterville Opera House in July for the U.S. premiere of his self-proclaimed swan song, Natasja’s Dance.

MIFF returns to the Paul J. Schupf Art Center and the Waterville Opera House for its 27th edition July 12–21, 2024. Festival passes and packages are now available for preorder online at A full festival lineup will be announced soon.

About the Maine Film Center
Maine Film Center (MFC) educates, entertains, and builds community through film. Founded in 2009 to unite Railroad Square Cinema, Maine’s first independent art house cinema, and the annual Maine International Film Festival, MFC serves as an important cultural anchor by showing the best of American independent, international, and repertory film, and offering the best popcorn in the known universe. For more information visit

About MIFF
Founded in 1998, the Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) is a project of the Maine Film Center. The 10 days of the festival showcase nearly 100 films, representing the best of American independent and international cinema, and spotlight some of Maine and New England’s most exciting and innovative filmmakers.