WATERVILLE — The Maine International Film Festival is heading into its final days, with a student film and video showcase, a closing night film and ceremony and a Maine filmmakers forum in store for the weekend.

“It’s been an incredible festival so far,” MIFF Festival Director Mike Perreault said on Friday. “We’ve had guests from around the world and visitors coming to Waterville to celebrate 10 days of the best films.”

The festival, a project of the Maine Film Center, is in its 21st year. It features independent and international cinema and traditionally highlights films that are set in or produced by filmmakers from Maine and elsewhere in New England.

This year’s festival wraps up its 10-day run on Sunday with a screening of the closing night film, “Support the Girls,” a comedy about a group of women who work at a sports bar beside a highway. It will screen at 7 p.m. at the Waterville Opera House.

“It’s something really heartfelt and funny and it’s just a thought-provoking story to be telling right now,” Perreault said.

Other highlights for the final weekend include the 41st Maine Student Film and Video Festival, which will screen 20 student-produced films of no longer than 10 minutes each from around Maine. That event is free and open to the public and will be attended by many of the middle and high school students whose films are featured, Perreault said.

The Maine Film Forum will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Common Street Arts and will feature filmmakers, festival leaders and educators from around the state.

Saturday is also the final day of the MIFFONEDGE Vol. 6, an exploratory art exhibit held in conjunction with MIFF and hosted by the downtown arts organization Waterville Creates!.

This year its main feature is a virtual reality exhibit, “Floresta Encantada,” from Brazilian duo VJ Suave, in which visitors can enter a magical forest through the assistance of virtual reality headsets.

“The Inheritance,” a 1976 Italian film for which actress Dominique Sanda won the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Actress prize, will screen at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Railroad Square Cinema. The film is the final in the Dominique Sanda Retrospective honoring Sanda as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Perreault also recommends “Picture of Light,” a documentary about the Canadian Arctic Circle’s aurora borealis and the film crew’s sometimes comic attempts to deal with the extreme cold to document the lights.

After the screening of Sunday night’s closing film, “Support the Girls,” the staff will announce the top pick from the festival as voted on by audience members over the 10 days. A closing night party will take place at Portland Pie Co.

MIFF typically draws 9,000 to 10,000 visitors to Waterville over 10 days. Numbers were not available Friday, but Perreault said attendance has been “great this year.”

In addition to the films and events that are part of the festival, he said the guest experience was improved this year with the launch of MIFF’s new website and the installation of free Wi-Fi in downtown Waterville.

This is also Perreault’s first year as executive director.

“It was exhilarating,” he said. “It’s bittersweet because this is something I look forward to all year, and now it’s almost over. I just want another 10 days. It’s been an incredible experience and it’s been great to talk to people in the community and engage with them during workshops and receptions. There are a few good days left, and I hope people take the time to enjoy a film.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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