WATERVILLE — Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme is returning to Maine to help kick off opening night of next month’s 16th Maine International Film Festival.

Demme, who won an Oscar in 1991 for “The Silence of the Lambs,” received the festival’s Mid-Life Achievement Award in 2002.

He’ll be at the Waterville Opera House for the July 12 kickoff of this year’s festival by introducing “Enzo Avitabile Music Life,” a new film he directed about the Neapolitan saxophone player and singer-songwriter, festival organizers say.

The film is the first in a special section of the festival called “Demme Does Music” that highlights Demme’s musical films, including works featuring Neil Young, Kenny Chesney and Robyn Hitchcock.

The festival runs for 10 days and features nearly 100 independent, international and Maine-made films while also providing audiences opportunities to meet and talk with directors, writers, producers and others working behind the scenes. This year’s full schedule will be released June 26 on the festival’s website, www.miff.org .

This year’s Mid-Life Achievement Award honoree is actor, songwriter and producer Keith Carradine, well-known for his roles in director Robert Altman’s films “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” ”Thieves Like Us” and “Nashville.”

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