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Save the Date September 15 - 18, 2022
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Black Tie International Magazine
Camden International Film Festival


Camden International Film Festival (CIFF)

CAMDEN, Maine, August 22, 2022 – The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced the slate of feature and short films for its 18th edition, which will take place in person from September 15-18 at venues in Camden and Rockland, Maine, and online from September 15-25 for audiences across North America. Longtime sponsor SHOWTIME® returns as a Headlining Sponsor, and is joined this year by YETI, MSNBC Films, CNN Films, and the RandomGood Foundation.

The CIFF Box Office is open and passes are on sale now! Online registration for pass holders begins on September 1. General tickets for screenings will open on September 8.

A program of the Points North Institute, CIFF remains widely recognized as a major platform championing the next generation of nonfiction storytellers and one of the hottest documentary and industry festivals on the festival and awards calendars. This year's edition is the most international and formally adventurous to date and includes 34 features and 37 short films from over 41 countries. Over 60% of the entire program is directed or co-directed by BIPOC filmmakers and this is the 6th consecutive program the festival has reached gender parity within the program and across all competitions.

Nearly half of the feature program will be US or North American premieres, including several new titles fresh from Venice, Locarno, and TIFF premieres, alongside award-winning films from Sundance, Rotterdam, Cannes, and Visions du Reel.

This year's program celebrates the diversity of voices and forms in documentary and cinematic nonfiction," says Ben Fowlie, Executive and Artistic Director of the Points North Institute, and Founder of the Camden International Film Festival. "These films help us make sense of an ever-changing world, and do everything we expect from great art - they ask provocative questions and interrogate the form. This year’s program emphasizes the international that represents the 'I' in CIFF, and reminds us time and again of the limitless creative potential and potency of the documentary form. Just as we have been for each of the past seventeen years, we are grateful to the filmmakers who have made these works of art and shared these stories."

Major Festival highlights include the US Premiere of Tamana Ayazi and Marcel Mettelsiefen’s new Netflix release In Her Hands, a powerful film about Zarifa Ghafari, one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors filmed in the months leading up to the Taliban takeover in 2021; Sr., an endearing portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey Sr. and his relationship to his son and the latest film by award-winning filmmaker Chris Smith; and, a special sneak preview of My Imaginary Country, by acclaimed director and documentary icon Patricio Guzman, which chronicles the recent protests in Chile’s in which millions took to the street to demand democracy, dignity, and a new constitution. CIFF will also present two world premieres, an unlikely Western set in the world of the American national cowboy poetry gatherings called Cowboy Poets by Mike Day and This Much We Know by Lily Frances Henderson.

The festival will present seven North American Premieres from some of the most inventive filmmakers working across the globe, including Foragers by Jumana Manna, which will be one of two films opening CIFF and which recently took home the Green Dox Award at Dokufest Kosovo; recent Locarno premieres It Is Night In America by Ana Vaz and Matter Out Of Place, the latest from award-winning director Nikolaus Geyrhalter; the winner of Rotterdam’s prestigious Tiger Award EAMI by Paz Encina; Polaris by Ainara Vera, which recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; and the Visions du Reel special jury award-winning Herbaria, by Leandro Listorti.

In honor of Diane Weyermann, the widely beloved industry veteran and former Chief Content Officer at Participant who passed away last October, CIFF will screen several of the last films she Executive Produced. Films include A Compassionate Spy by Steve James which is set to premiere at Venice next month, Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power by Geeta Gandbhir and Sam Pollard, and the Sundance award-winning Descendant by Margaret Brown. Last November, Points North established a memorial fund for Diane, and is currently developing a filmmaker fellowship to honor her legacy and the impact she had on the global documentary community.

The feature slate also includes two alumni of Points North’s Artists Programs. Reid Davenport’s I Didn’t See You There, which received a Director prize at Sundance, was developed through the organization’s Points North Fellowship and received a grant from the American Stories Documentary Fund. Jon-Sesrie Goff’s After Sherman was also part of the inaugural cohort of American Stories grantees in 2020.

Storyforms, CIFF’s exhibition of immersive documentary experiences will feature a large-scale video installation of recent work by Colectivo Los Ingrávidos from Mexico, whose films and artworks have been exhibited across the world, including at the Whitney Biennial.

Organizers also announced that CIFF will continue with its Filmmaker Solidarity Fund for the third consecutive year. Established in 2020, this year the fund will provide $300 honoraria to all feature and short filmmaking teams participating in the virtual festival. The Filmmaker Solidarity Fund is presented by Bright West Entertainment. 

This year also marks the return of in-person panels and masterclasses through the festival's Points North Forum program, which will feature conversations around the ethics of film financing, an exploration of experimental filmmaking about the climate, a masterclass/performance with veteran editor Maya Daisy Hawke, and a special performance lecture on sensorial cinema led by award-winning Iranian artist Maryam Tafakory. The Forum program will conclude with a “town hall” gathering of the documentary community following the screening of Subject, which will include participants from Hoop Dreams, The Square,  a sneak preview of the Documentary Accountability Working Group’s upcoming publication, "From Reflection to Release: A Framework for Values, Ethics, and Accountability in Nonfiction Filmmaking." 

Once again the festival will run concurrently with Points North Artist Programs. 21 projects will be supported through four fellowship programs, 15 indigenous filmmakers will be present for a special alumni gathering of our 4th World Media Lab collaboration with Nia Tero, and nearly twenty additional fellows on the ground via continued partnerships with Bay Area Video Coalition and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. Dozens of industry leaders will be in attendance for the Points North 1:1 programs, making the CIFF weekend the most dynamic and intimate documentary market experiences in the US.

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