CAMDEN – The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) closed its 17th year on Sunday, September 26 after a successful 10-day virtual festival and four-day in-person festival that ran from September 16-19. This year’s festival was the industry’s largest documentary-focused gathering since the start of the global pandemic with more than 200 filmmakers, scholars and industry professionals attending CIFF or one of the concurrent programs of ‘Points North artists.
In addition to filmmakers and industry, nearly 2,000 attendees attended this year’s CIFF, including nearly 750 in-person festival pass holders. Organizers have established a number of protocols leading up to the festival, including requirements for vaccines, masks, and pre-travel testing, as well as rapid on-site testing throughout the festival for filmmakers, industry and the staff. As of October 6, organizers announced that there had been no reports of positive COVID-19 cases associated with the CIFF in-person event.
Organizers also announced that the dates for the 18th annual Camden International Film Festival will be September 15-18, 2022 in person with more information on the upcoming virtual festival.
âDespite the challenges of staging in-person experiences during this time, this year’s CIFF was a great gathering of the documentary community and a reminder of the importance of coming together in person to support and celebrate the ‘Film exposure and the creative artists behind the stories presented,’ said Ben Fowlie, founder of CIFF and executive and artistic director of the Points North Institute, in a press release. âFor over a year now our mantra has been that the show must and will continue, so it has been thrilling to see how impactful and transformative this year’s CIFF has been. Reconnecting, refocusing and re-imagining has never been so enjoyable, and I’m proud to see how Points North and CIFF have come together to creatively think about ways in which we can bring communities together to support the work of documentary makers at all times. stages of the creation process.
The films were screened at four locations, including the festival’s recently built Shotwell Drive-In and a new pop-up cinema called Journey’s End which was built in a 12,000 square foot boat barn located on the waterfront. Atlantic.
A leading showcase for international work, the festival presented 14 American premieres, including several award-winning titles including the recent winner of the prestigious Oeil d’Or award for best documentary at Cannes, A night without knowing anything. Highlights also include projections of The rescue directors Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, Become Cousteau by director Liz Garbus, Procession by Robert Greene, recently acquired by Netflix, All these threads by filmmaker Bing Liu, and Faya Dayi, the film by Jessica Beshir.
The Festival announced the winning films of the 2021 CIFF Audience Award. The Audience Award for Best Feature Film was awarded to The rescue by directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The National Geographic Documentary Film hits theaters this month. The audience for the best short film went to Intersection (Le Carrefour) by Jessamine Irwin and Daniel Quintanilla, which was supported by Points North as part of the first Maine Heritage Cinema Grant sponsored by TV5Monde. Audiences included those who participated in the in-person and virtual festivals.
Last week, the organizers announced the award-winning films of their competitive programs with the family portrait of Angelo Madsen Minax North by current winning the Harrell Award for Best Documentary of the Festival. The jury, which included filmmaker Penny Lane, filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes and new IDA executive director Richard Perez, also honored the Russian film, Ostrov – The Lost Island by Svetlana Rodin and Laurent Stoop with a special mention from the jury.
The CIFF Cinematic Vision Prize was awarded to A night without knowing anything by Payal Kapadia, which made its US premiere at CIFF. The jury, which consisted of programmer Rachel A. Rakes, filmmaker Ziad Kalthoum and critic Desanne Lopez Cassell, also awarded Special Jury Mention to Jessica Beshir Faya Dayi.
The 2021 Contemporary Ethnographic Media Prize, supported by Documentary Educational Resources, was awarded to Shared resources by Jordan Lord. The jury also awarded Songs that flood the river by GermÃ¡n Arango RendÃ¡n with an honorable mention.
In addition to the Audience Award, the 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick Award for Best Short Film at CIFF was awarded to The diamond by Caitlyn Greene. The film had its world premiere at CIFF.
The festival continued its Solidarity Fund for Filmmakers, distributing over $ 15,000 directly to filmmakers through a one-of-a-kind funding model established in 2020 that redirects 50% of CIFF’s virtual festival box office revenue to the participating filmmakers.
In addition to the festival, Points North brought together four cohorts of scholarship filmmakers in Maine through the organization’s growing artist programs: the North Star Fellowship, 4th World Media Lab, LEF / CIFF Fellowship and the Points North Fellowship. The 2021 Points North Pitch Award, which includes an in-kind post-production package from Modulus Studios, was awarded to La Flaca by Jessica Chermayeff and Ana Veselic. The Institute has also partnered with the BAVC MediaMaker scholarship and the If / Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab. Over forty filmmakers participated in the in-person scholarships.
Each of these groups had the opportunity to meet more than 70 influential funders, distributors and producers through Points North’s 1: 1 Meetings program, which facilitated nearly 500 meetings at a time in person during the festival. and virtually in the weeks that followed.
In the coming weeks, Points North will announce the 2021 recipients of the American Stories Documentary Fund. The program, which includes a $ 50,000 fund and a virtual residency, is a collaboration between Points North and presenting partner CNN Films.
About the Points North Institute
Established in 2016, the Points North Institute is the launching pad for the next generation of non-fiction storytellers. Building on the success of the Camden International Film Festival, Points North’s mission is to bring together a unique interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders and audiences, forming a creative hub on the coast of Maine where new stories and new talents are discovered, collaborations are born and the future of non-fictional media is emerging. Programs include the Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum, as well as an annual calendar of artist development initiatives that nurture the careers of various non-fiction storytellers and help them develop a more artistic voice. strong.
Founded in 2005 and recognized as one of the best documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) brings the best of non-fictional cinema to the coast of Maine, presenting documentary films and immersive works each fall. of the whole world.
The 2021 Camden International Film Festival will take place September 16-26 in person and online. SHOWTIMEÂ® Documentary Films, National Endowment for the Arts, Ford Foundation, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, LEF Foundation, CNN Films, National Geographic Documentary Films, MSNBC Films have provided major support to CIFF and artist programs of this year. , Mattina R. Proctor Foundation, TV5 Monde, XTR, A&E IndieFilms, ESPN, Netflix, Doha Debates, Kickstarter and Participant Media.