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Dan the Lobsterman
by Jess Whited
Go ahead. We dare you to try not to sing along with the twangy theme song to Dan the Lobsterman, a documentary about lobstering in Casco Bay. It’s not that the song is so amazingly wonderful, just that it’s sing-song-ily catchy.

Jess Whited, a North Yarmouth resident, made the film last year, documenting the work of a friend who catches lobsters in Casco Bay. “I think a lot of people don’t really realize when you have a lobster, how did it ever get there,” Whited says.

The filming was done on a single day’s outing, with “a lot of tape,” says Whited, who usually confines his filmmaking to “smaller kinds of family stuff.” He admits his wife sometimes makes fun of him for his dedication to videotaping, but now he has something to show her when she gets in his face.

- Jeff Inglis

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Best drama
Happily Ever After
by Shireen Rahman
Written, directed, and produced by Yarmouth resident Shireen Rahman, Happily Ever After crams months of soul-searching and romantic ambiguity into one dialogue-dense short film. In the first scene, we meet Sam, a lesbian on the run from women, who’s decided to try dating men for a while after one painful breakup too many. Despite her lesbian friend’s very vocal objections, Sam starts dating a guy who seems nice at first. Sadly, he turns out to be a beer drinker with chronic punctuality problems and the relationship ends. Sam eventually finds true love in an unusual place, and you’ll have to watch the film online to find out what exactly that means. We suggest you check it out soon, before your overactive imagination slides straight into the gutter. This is Rahman’s first film, created in 2005 from start to finish in a four week crash course for beginner filmmakers at the New York Film Academy. “I never really wanted to do this,” says Rahman, an exercise physiologist. “But now I’m hooked.”

- Sara Donnelly

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Best production
The Marriage Class
by Margaret Broucek
This sleek, funny film is the third short created by Portland director Margaret Broucek, who in 2003 won a New England Emerging Filmmaker award at the Woods Hole Film Festival. The Marriage Class imagines a same-sex marriage counseling course run by a clueless instructor, modeled after the marriage-support groups for straight couples often sponsored by churches. “I married my partner in Massachusetts the week that it became legal,” says Broucek. “I thought it would be funny if the church had some sort of alternative to translate that [marriage class] for gay people.” The Marriage Class makes great use of the awkward pauses and silent revulsion caused by its overeager marriage expert, and the result is a clever film hilarious in its subtlety. But there’s more to come: the film is the first scene in a feature-length film Broucek is now working on.

- Sara Donnelly

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