Filmmaker Ethan de Aguiar and his team of filmmakers are the people behind the inaugural New Bedford Film Festival, debuting April 18th through the 21st at various locations in downtown New Bedford.

He said the goal is to create an organization where filmmakers are celebrated and supported.

De Aguiar stopped by Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the film festival and what he and others have done to make it a reality.

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The festival will present authentic cinematic storytelling, such as short and feature films, episodic media, music videos, documentaries and PSA shorts.

De Aguiar said making films has been a part of his life since he was a young boy.

"I was always into movies as a kid, messing around with the family camcorder," he said. "A good friend, Tim Lavoie, put a camera in my hands when I was a teenager, and I loved it."

In 2020, de Aguiar went into business for himself and hasn't looked back since.

In 2022, with support from New Bedford Creative and Arts Midwest, he created his award-winning and internationally recognized documentary Love Letters for New Bedford, which will be shown on the first night of the film festival at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

In the coming months, Love Letters will be shown in the Visitor's Center at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

The festival is funded through the City of New Bedford and its American Rescue Plan awards, along with support from its Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund. Locations for the festival include the Whaling Museum, Groundwork New Bedford, Gallery X and the Steeple Playhouse.

"One of the goals of this festival is to introduce outsiders to New Bedford," de Aguiar said. "We're using it as a tourism-driver and encouraging people to explore the city."

A complete festival schedule and ticket information can be found on the New Bedford Film Festival website.

Townsquare Sunday is a community affairs program heard Sunday mornings on WBSM.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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