Carnivalesque Films Photo

Demise of Live Lobster Gets a Movie Treatment

Carnivalesque Films Photo
Ashley Sabin and David Redmon

ELLSWORTH — When word got out that the Stinson Co. sardine plant was going to shut down, documentary filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin saw a movie in the making.

After all, what could be more compelling than the story of the closure of the last sardine cannery in the United States and the impact of that closure on the tiny coastal Maine village — Prospect Harbor — where more than 100 people, some of them employed at Stinson for decades, would lose their jobs?

For the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based team, it turned out that an even more compelling story was the failed effort of Massachusetts lobster dealer Antonio Bussone and his Live Lobster Co. to convert the old factory into a lobster processing facility. That would have brought bring some much needed employment back to Prospect Harbor and perhaps cut into Canada’s stranglehold on the business of converting live Maine lobsters into high-value products to be shipped to customers back in the United States.

On Saturday, The Grand will show Redmon and Sabin’s “Downeast,” which tells the story of Bussone’s doomed effort, as part of a Maine Mini Film Fest. The second film on the double bill is “Hardwater,” directed by Ryan Brod and Daniel Sites. Both films are part of the theater’s “Made in Maine” series of documentaries on Maine life.

Showings will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Both films will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. Admission for each double feature presentation is $10.

Tickets are available at The Grand box office (667-9500) or online at

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]