Maine Farmland Trust, a statewide nonprofit that works to preserve farmland and keep Maine’s farms farming, will host the premiere screening of eight short documentaries Friday evening, June 25 at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

The short films of the Meet Your Farmer commission tell the diverse stories of eight Maine farms: from Aroostook to York; from potatoes to dairy; and from large commercial operations to small farms that sell directly to local people.

To shoot these eight profiles, filmmakers Cecily Pingree and Jason Mann thoroughly immersed themselves in each farm business for a number of days.

“Creating the Meet Your Farmer films for Maine Farmland Trust was a great experience for us. We were lucky to have the opportunity to meet such hard-working farm families and to experience firsthand the vibrant culture of farming in Maine,” said Mann.

John Piotti, executive director of the Belfast-based MFT, said the reason for making the films was to call people’s attention to some of the amazing things happening on Maine farms.

“Though farming is challenged, it also has great promise. Maine’s farmers and farmland are critical resources for our future,” he said.

The evening will kick off with a 6 to 7:15 p.m. reception featuring mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres created by some of Rockland’s finest chefs from locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. Participating in this event are Amalfi on the Water, Café Miranda, In Good Company, Lily Bistro, Primo Restaurant and Thorndike Creamery. Farmers Fare from Rockport will contribute a lavish display of local produce such as cheeses, cold cuts and seasonal greens, and the Strand’s bars will be open on both levels to sell drinks.

Whiffletree, the duo of Tyler and Seth Yentes from Monroe, will be playing their fiddle and cello in the theater against the backdrop of historical black and white farm footage from the collections of Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport.

The Meet Your Farmer shorts will begin screening after 7:15 p.m. Filmmakers Pingree and Mann; several of the featured farmers; and MFT executive director Piotti will be present to provide additional commentary to the films. Afterwards, coffee, chocolates and taste of local Maine ice cream will be served for those who wish to linger and mingle with the filmmakers and farmers, provided by Rock City Roasters, Black Dinah Chocolates and Stone Fox Farm Creamery.

Ticket prices are as follows. For the entire event — reception, films and coffee) — cost is $25, $20 for MFT members; these tickets are going fast. For the screenings followed by coffee and chocolates, tickets are $10.

Tickets may be purchased through MFT (338-6575) or at the box office on the evening of the event. There is limited space for the opening reception.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to