‘To Keep the Light’ Now Streaming Worldwide

“To Keep the Light” was filmed on Mistake Island in Jonesport and several other locations around Washington County. Now, it’s streaming on Amazon and iTunes. (Photo courtesy Erica Fae)

By Sarah Craighead 



It’s been nearly four years since New York-based director/actor Erica Fae packed up her lights, cameras and crew to finish production on her film “To Keep the Light.” 

 The independent movie tells the story of a lighthouse keeper’s widow determined to continue the light’s operation after her husband’s death. The film was shot at several locations around Jonesport and featured the Moose Peak Light on Mistake Island, where the facade of a home was constructed for exterior shots. The lighthouse’s interior shots were filmed at the Gates House in Machiasport, with other scenes filmed near the Lubec smokehouses, at Harbor House in Jonesport, and at the Jonesport Historical Society. 

After “To Keep the Light” made the film festival rounds collecting eight awards, including two for best cinematography, Fae sought a distributor for the film. “I joke about the lighthouse film like the little engine that could,” said Fae. “It has actually done very well.”

The film was picked up by California-based Gravitas Ventures, and now the movie is included with Amazon Prime memberships and available for rent on Amazon. It’s also available on iTunes and streaming in the U.K. on their Netflix-equivalent, Flix Premier.

“I’ve been nudging things to try to get some new reviews to accompany its actual release. It hasn’t happened yet,” said Fae. “All I can say is wow — independent filmmaking is challenging.”

Fae has warm memories of the friends she made when she was filming Downeast, and said many of them already know the biggest changes in her life since then. “The man who is my husband was my boyfriend at the time, Jordan,” said Fae. Two months ago they adopted a newborn boy they named Ezra.

“My husband and I have already talked about when we can make a trip up there as Ezra grows,” she said.

Fae’s next project is a solo play production. “Saved Again and By Him” tells the story of an 1863 narrative called “Six weeks in the Sioux Teepees” by Sarah Wakefield.  When the U.S.-Dakota War took place between Minnesota settlers and the Dakota Sioux, Wakefield was held hostage by the tribe.

“For a while I was really uncovering stories of amazing women I could look to and say, ‘They’re incredible,’” said Fae. “Sarah is more complicated than that, I wouldn’t say that she’s a heroine. She is a very layered character, not easy to digest.”  The play will open at the New Ohio Theatre in New York on May 23.

Fae has also just completed the screenplay for her next film. “I won’t say much about it, but I can say it’s looking at abolition in New England in the 1840s,” said Fae who hopes to build on the success of her lighthouse film to “take a step up in terms of size and scale.”

Fae said that her most poignant memories of filming Downeast are to do with Maine’s natural beauty. “Waking up so early in the morning, the beauty of those early mornings in Maine in August, there’s nothing that will change that in my mind,” she said. “I think it’s really in the film.”