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The Maine story of finding Donn Fendler at The Grand

September 18, 2013
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Finding Donn Fendler at The Grand Finding Donn Fendler at The Grand

ELLSWORTH - The Grand's film program concentrating on subjects of interest to the Maine community continues on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. with the Donn Fendler Event, including local schoolchildren reading from Fendler's book'Lost on a Mountain in Maine' segments of the documentary film, 'Finding Donn Fendler: Lost on a Mountain in Maine 72 Years Later,' 20 minutes of a new fiction film based on the book and a post-film Q&A with the directors and the film's subject. Tickets are available at The Grand box office (667-9500) or online at Adults are $10 while youth (12 and under) are $7. Scouts in uniform will receive a $2 discount on their tickets. The event is being held with assistance from the Ellsworth Public Library.

Fendler's story of hope and survival took place in July of 1939, when 12-year-old Donn got separated from his family while hiking up Katahdin's Hunt Trail. Lost and alone, Donn made his way down the mountain and through over 80 miles of thick Maine forest and over the course of nine days lost nearly 20 pounds, most of his clothing and was eaten alive by seemingly every insect known to man. Through hallucinations, black bears and abandoned cabins, Donn never gave up hope as he continued to push onward.

Because this story has been a part of the Maine public school curriculum for decades, the event begins with students reading a few paragraphs from the stirring tale. It is followed by excerpts from 'Finding Donn Fendler,' a documentary of the efforts to re-tell the story through interviews and footage of Donn Fendler today. Then filmmakers Ryan Cook and Derek Desmond will present both a trailer for - and 20 minutes of - a feature-length film based on Fendler's experiences. The night concludes with a question and answer period with the filmmakers, as well as Fendler himself. All in all, the Donn Fendler Event will be an experience the whole family can share and enjoy!
The film program continues at The Grand with 'Celebrating Diversity - the Third Annual Maine LGBT Film Festival' running on Saturday, Oct. 19 and a special 'Life of Pi Event' featuring a Q&A with the film's nautical consultant, author (and Lamoine native) Steven Callahan.

For more information on these or other Grand events, please call the box office at (207) 667-9500, visit The Grand website at or follow on Facebook at

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 22:18
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