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Story of Stephenville Theatre Festival's early years will feature founder Maxim Mazumdar

Maxim Mazumdar and the Stephenville Theatre Festival are the subject of this year's Stephenville Theatre Festival.
Maxim Mazumdar and the Stephenville Theatre Festival are the subject of this year's Stephenville Theatre Festival. - Submitted

The story of the early years of the Stephenville Theatre Festival and its founder, Maxim Mazumdar, is the focus of the Digital Filmmaking program students’ intersession film project.

This is the seventh year for the project at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, according to a prepared release from the Digital Filmmaking program.

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In the film, the Canadian playwright, director, and actor is preparing for his eighth season with the local festival and knowing this could be his last he is planning what he calls a “particularly ambitious season” with challenging shows and a world-renowned dancer.

The Stephenville Theatre Festival is in its 40th season, making it the longest-running theatre festival in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Stephenville’s case, the theatre festival was established in 1979 as a professional theatre company located in rural Newfoundland. The little theatre festival quickly grew after the stage was filled with the talents of well-known performers, such as John Gilpin, Gordon Pinsent, and Eric Bentley.

This year’s film director John McKinnon and the team of Digital Filmmaking students will bring Mazumdar’s dramatic and engaging story to life.

The project will be kicked off with a casting call of local actors to be held Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. in Corner Brook at Theatre NL offices and in Stephenville at the Bay St. George campus – DSB Fowlow Building Lecture Theatre.

There are two lead roles: Mazumdar, as a confident 30-year-old man with East Indian descent who spoke with an elegant theatrical accent, and Cheryl Stagg, as a strong Newfoundland and Labrador businesswoman.

Supporting roles are also available, along with a number of extras, ranging from children to adults of all ages and ethnicities (no experience is required).

Organized by Digital Filmmaking program instructors, Peter Buckle and Keith Bonnell, the project promises to be a high-end production that captures the essence of both Mazumdar and the Stephenville Theatre Festival.

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