The home-made film from the Belfast youth program will be screened in cinemas


One of the goals of the I KNOW ME program and the Game Loft is for their young people to expand their knowledge and appreciation of their condition. One of the ways the program has done this is through an immersive role-playing experience game of its own design called Coming of Age in America.

“It worked very well for a small group for several months of playing time,” Ray and Patricia Estabrook said in a press release. “Our challenge was how to scale it. How to make this experience accessible to 60 students, not just 6.”

So they made a film based on a specific moment, June 1852, with the children as actors, along with adult volunteers and staff.

The film, titled The more things changewill premiere on Monday 11 July at 6.30pm, at the Colonial Theatre, Belfast.

The Estabrooks provide more details, in their own words:

The more things change…

One of my heroes is Frances Willard, crusader from the late 19th century. His motto was “do everything!” And with that motto in mind, the I Know ME program made our first film. Ms. Willard didn’t say, “Do everything perfectly,” otherwise most of us would never embark on a new project. For us at the I Know ME program, “do everything” means “try everything”.

And so, in the spring of 2022, the I Know ME program went where we had never gone before, we made our first film. Thanks to Ned Lightner of Belfast Community Media, the results are much better than we expected, but if we’re nominated, we won’t accept the Oscar. We invite you to join us on July 11th at 6.30pm at Dreamland at the Colonial Theater in Belfast to see our effort, ‘The More Things Change’. The film lasts about an hour and the screening is free with accepted donations. After the film, we’ll have a brief chat with the cast and crew about their experiences and thoughts on life in the 19th century.

Unlike a feature film or even a TikTok video, the purpose of this film is to help children understand the past and how it relates to the present. The themes are school politics and bullying, topics that never seem to go out of style. The
cast and crew members helped shape the story and create the scenes and dialogue.

We invite you to our world premiere of the film, knowing its weaknesses but also applauding its strengths. For the children, it was an opportunity to create and reflect on education through the ages as well as “life” in Maine in the 19th century. For the adults, it was a memorable moment to see our vision come to life. We thank the Penobscot Historical Society for lending us their beautiful recreation village for our filming.

For more information on “The More Things Change,” please call Ray Estabrook at 207-322-3229.


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