The production of Keystone: Voices for the Little Fish brought Reel Quest Films co-founders Jerry Monkman and Ryan Smith to central Maine to produce this short documentary for the nonprofit Upstream. Shot over four days in the spring and summer of 2021, the RQF crew filmed throughout the Cobbossee Stream watershed from Cobbosseecontee Lake to where it drains into the mighty Kennebec River in downtown Gardiner.
Documentary interviewees included Nate Gray, a Maine Department of Marine Resources biologist; Landis Hudson, executive director of Maine Rivers; and Tina Wood, founder and board president of Upstream.
In 2022, the documentary screened at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, the Dunedin International Film Festival, the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival, and the New Hampshire Film Festival.
In addition to reaching crowds at movie theaters, the film has also played a big part in reaching a diverse audience in Central Maine. These experiences include:
- becoming a central component of a new anadromous middle school science curriculum developed by Herring Gut Science Center in Port Clyde.
- taking part in the Maine Summer Library Reading Program, Ocean of Possibilities.
- and inspiring schools and land trusts across Maine to take action to protect anadromous fish.
+ In 2022, Reel Quest Films partnered with the nonprofit Maine Rivers on a film highlighting their work to restore an alewive fish run to China Lake. Check out the film here.