“Lost on a Mountain in Maine” Filmmakers Getting Closer To Their Goal

Rob Poindexter

Updated 1 year ago

Two Maine filmmakers have a dream of bringing their favorite childhood story to life on the big screen. Wednesday, they cleared a big hurdle.As part of the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, folks got their first glimpse of the classic Maine story “Lost on a Mountain in Maine”. It’s the true story of Donn Fendler, who in the summer of 1939 at the age of 12, was lost for nine days on Mt. Katahdin..The showing was a 20 minute sample that filmmakers, Ryan Cook and Derek Desmond, are hoping attracts investors so they can make it into a feature film.”Wednesday’s screening is 74 years to the day of when he was lost,” Cook said Friday. “If you think about it next year when we’re making this movie next July, it will be the 75th anniversary of when he was lost.”Cook and Desmond grew up reading the book and still remember the day Fendler came to speak to their elementary school class.”I found a book report that I wrote on it in the 4th grade, illustrated very poorly,” Desmond recalls with a smile.Over the past few years, the pair have spent so much time with Fendler they now consider each other like family. Cook and Desmond were the driving force in helping Fendler get the rights to his story back after he’d sold them more than 25 years ago. Now all three men are eager to finish the project.”I think they’re gonna come up with a good movie,” Fendler said. “It’s a movie that I’ve been asked about for 25 years. People are asking me when is it gonna be. I believe in them and I think they’re gonna produce a truthful film.”Cook, who recently chose 12-year-old Maguire Anuszewski of Winthrop to play Fendler in the movie, says he’s already had some preliminary discussions with potential investors.”Now let’s take that next step,” Cook said. “Because if you think about the process we’ve been through, between the documentary we’ve made and getting his life rights back for him, we’re taking since 2009-2010. So it’s been a long journey and we know there’s still a lot left to do.”If everything goes according to plan, the feature film “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” could be finished within the next two to three years.Another showing of the 20-minute feature can be seen Saturday afternoon at 3:30 at the Waterville Opera House.For other chances to see it and to follow the progress of the film, you can find them on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/lostonamountaininmaine


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