Defending the Dark

Preserving the Night Sky in Maine

Watch The Trailer

Coming Summer 2022

Film Festival Official Selections

We are excited to announce our official selection into these film festivals

Maine International Film Festival (World Premiere July 2022)

Full Bloom Film Festival (Sept 2022)

Berkeley Springs Film Festival (Oct 2022)

Maine Film Tour

Oct 5th - 15th, 2022 we will be screening Defending the Dark to audiences all across the state of Maine. These listed below are open to the public.

  • Wednesday, October 5, 7:30pm: Maine Beer Shed 394 Main Street, Kingfield, ME.

  • Friday, October 7, 6:30pm: Patagonia store, 100 Main Street, Freeport, ME.

  • Saturday, October 8, 6:30 PM: Walker Elementary School, 33 W. Main Street, Liberty, ME, The film will be followed by Night Sky Tour, if weather is cooperative, if not, an indoor virtual Night Sky Tour using Stellarium software.

  • Sunday, October 9, 4 PM: Blue Hill ME, Blue Hill Public Library, Parker Point Road.

  • Wednesday, October 12, 6 PM: Boreal Theater, Suite C 215 Penobscot Avenue, Millinocket, ME, followed by an virtual Night Sky Tour using Stellarium software.

  • Thursday, October 13, 7 PM: Versant Power Astronomy Center, Jordan Planetarium, University of Maine Orono.

  • Friday, October 14, 6 and 8 PM: Lakeside Theater, 2493 Main St., Rangeley, each followed by a virtual Night Sky Tour using Stellarium software.

  • Saturday, October 15, 6:30 PM: Moosehead Cultural Heritage Center (207-695-2909), Crafts Community Hall, 6 Lakeview Street, Greenville ME, tickets at the door.

All showings will be followed by Q&A with the filmmaker with introductions by Nancy Hathaway, president, Dark Sky Maine. Some will be followed by talks with astronomers and/or a Virtual Night Sky Tour using Stellarium software with John Meader of Northern Stars Planetarium.

Film Tour Sponsored by Dark Sky Maine

The film Defending the Dark educates viewers on why it is important to preserve dark sky areas while emphasizing the

unique dark sky environment of northern Maine.

Dark sky conservation benefits wildlife and their habitats, reduces health and safety risks to humans, saves energy, and reduces costs.

Light pollution has devastating effects on migrating birds, native plants, and pollinators.

By using the designated dark-sky areas in Maine as examples of natural, dark-sky environments, and highlighting the opportunities to

engage with the sky through the astronomy and nature programs offered by organizations in the region, we will educate the public

on why dark skies are important and can motivate viewers to shift their habits and take action to reduce light pollution in their communities.

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Grant

This project is partially funded by a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.
The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) helps fund critical wildlife and conservation projects throughout Maine. MOHF’s sole purpose is "maintaining, improving and expanding state and local natural resource conservation programs and associated compatible public uses."

Revenue is generated exclusively by a dedicated instant lottery ticket distributed by the Maine State Lottery. Tickets are available at most convenience stores, gas stations, and other outlets where Maine State Lottery tickets are sold.

Learn more here: Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund


Mountains of Stars offers astronomy-based programs and activities to help people better understand humankind’s place on Earth and our connection with the environment. As society becomes more technological and our impact on the environment grows, understanding science and our interaction with the environment is more critical than ever.

We offer lectures and presentations, hands-on activities, daytime and nighttime telescope observing, planetarium programs, workshops, and demonstrations for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Dark Sky Maine, a 501c3 nonprofit, promotes an appreciation of the night sky through education and by supporting measures that use appropriate lighting to provide security on the ground, promote the health of humans and nocturnal wildlife, while maintaining dark skies overhead.

By following the guidelines of current scientific research, we help Maine communities understand the benefits of efficient, safe lighting. Good lighting benefits healthy economic development and maintains Maine’s dark sky heritage.

Bureau of Parks and Lands manages Maine’s 48 State Parks and offers telescopes for visitors to use at the 12 State Parks with campgrounds.

What they do: Promote health and nature appreciation through outdoor recreation events and programs. - Generate $100 million annually for the Maine economy. - Help over 2 million people each year enjoy Maine’s natural heritage

Learn More

The International Dark-Sky Association provides guidelines for good outdoor lighting practices and oversees the Dark Sky Place program that includes Dark Sky Parks, Dark Sky Reserves, and more.


The Dark Skies of Maine

The wood of northern Maine is the only remaining truly dark sky region east of the Rockies in the United States, and its accessibility to a large fraction of the US population makes it a desirable destination for those seeking a nature experience. The ongoing astronomy and nature education programs in the area, including the Mountains of Stars programs at the Appalachian Mountain Club lodges and camps, and other activities and events held in the region such as the Stars over Katahdin, highlight to visitors the unique character of the Maine night sky environment - and the risks associated with losing that environment if poor and excessive lighting is implemented. The creation of the AMC Maine Woods International Dark Sky Park and the Katahdin Woods and Waters International Dark Sky Sanctuary are critical elements in keeping the area’s skies pristine - and offer the opportunity to draw new visitors to the area, build an industry of astrotourism, and promote behavioral changes among guests to reduce light pollution across the country.


About the Filmmaker

Tara Roberts Zabriskie, owner of Moosey Productions works with organizations on environmental educational videos and has been successful in getting important messages to a wide audience. Videos she created for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy have reached audiences through social media and classrooms, visitor centers, and PBS stations. Tara has worked on projects for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, The American Hiking Society, and the National Park Service. Her on-going work with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, highlighted in the Fall 2020 issue of ATC Journeys, makes her a great fit for this Dark Sky Video project.



Defending the Dark Photo Gallery