Points North
North Star Residency2019-03-27T10:16:08-04:00


September 8-15, 2019

The North Star Residency brings together five young (age 21-29) boundary-pushing filmmakers of color in a shared house on the coast of Maine. In this intimate, focused environment, filmmakers have time to reflect on their artistic process, grow their voices, and build a community of support that will sustain their creative work.

The residents are joined by a curated group of mentors: accomplished documentary filmmakers, artists, programmers, producers, funders and other special guests who join the residents in a series of seminars, workshops, informal discussions, screenings, and outdoor excursions. Each session is designed to help these artists articulate their creative vision and reflect critically on both their own practice, and dynamics across the documentary landscape, while also meaningfully advancing their projects and careers.

At the end of the residency week, residents collectively explore the Camden International Film Festival program, attending screenings, conference sessions, networking events, and one-on-one meetings with funders and other industry decision makers.

The North Star Residency includes the following support:

  • $1000 stipend for travel and rental car
  • 7 nights of accommodations for one during the festival week (September 8-15)
  • 1 All Access pass to the Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum
  • Scheduled meetings with funders and industry decision makers during CIFF


Submissions for the 2019 North Star Residency program are now open!

The residency is intended for filmmakers aged 21-29 who are just beginning to develop their careers and artistic voices, but haven’t yet completed their first feature-length documentary.

If you are older than 29 years, you are sadly not eligible for the North Star Residency, but we invite you to apply to our other artist programs – especially the Shortform Editing Residency (if you have a short) or the Points North Fellowship (if you have a feature).”

DEADLINE: June 28 @ 11:59pm

There is no submission fee.


The North Star Residency application follows the guidelines established by the IDA’s Documentary Core Application Project.

In partnership with

In partnership with

My life after the North Star Residency has actually changed. Like actually. Through the organizers, through the mentors, and through my peers something really shifted for me, being encouraged and challenged in the way I was for those seven days in Maine. I feel like I have a jumping off point—a community that I’m rooted in that I can always come back to.

2018 North Star Residency filmmaker

The North Star Residency was one of the most life-enriching and career-affirming experiences I have had since embarking on the path of the filmmaker. I plan to continue seeking out the people and places that support what I do. After spending a week in Camden, I can assure anyone that these people and places exist.

2018 North Star Residency filmmaker

This was my first time at CIFF and was floored by how valuable this festival is for documentary filmmakers. The curation was stylistically diverse, and rigorous, the intimate size had it possible to make substantive connections, the town quaint, fog majestic, parties a blast, staff warm, logistics smooth…..really I could go on & on!

- Miasarah Lai, North Star Scholarship 2017


Daniel Chein

Daniel Chein is an independent filmmaker whose work explores transculturalism and expressions of identity in the performative. His short film “Basha Man,” examining the impact of tourism on a mountain village in southwest China, premiered at CAAMFest2017 and won the AT&T Student Film Award. His feature documentary in development, “Sonsplitter,” profiles a German Turk dancer for the internationally renowned Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, tracing his identity and intergenerational trauma through the lens of performance. Daniel holds a BA in Anthropology and received his MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. He is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and a board member of the Global Lives Project. Daniel is a 2018 BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow and recipient of the Princess Grace Award in Film.

Shelby Coley

Shelby Zoe Coley is a Black queer filmmaker based in New York City working across nonfiction and documentary forms. Shelby uses rhythm portraiture and the spoken word to explore intersections between queerness race and creative practices––from documenting renowned lesbian performance troupe Split Britches to detailing the origin story of #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke. Her work has been featured in publications such as Afropunk, Slay TV, and Curve Magazine. Shelby’s short film “Manley Stanley Takes New York” about a British drag king won the Audience Choice Award for Best Women’s Short at Philadelphia Qflix and was nominated for the 2017 Iris Prize. Most recently her documentary film on London-based podcasting trio Sistren “Talk the Ting” premiered at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival in May 2018. Shelby is a 2017-2018 recipient of the Puffin Foundation Grant for Video/Film.

Vicky Du

Vicky Du is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker based in New York. Her short film GAYSIANS (2016) screened at 30+ film festivals including Outfest, Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and Asian American International Film Festival. The film was distributed by Frameline, had a public TV broadcast on KQED, and was distributed to 1000+ middle and high school LGBTQ student groups. Vicky has directed and edited films for Art21, TEDx, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The North Face and more. She is a worker-owner of Meerkat Media, a film production cooperative, and a member of Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. Vicky is currently in production on her first feature documentary on Chinese diaspora and intergenerational trauma.

Milton Guillén

Milton Guillén is a Nicaraguan independent filmmaker who dwells in the borders between fiction and documentaries. His main interests gravitate around the cinematic intersections of ethnographic research and sensorial experiences. Milton has worked as a director in several projects worldwide, earning him awards for his short films and interactive pieces. Most notably is The Maribor Uprisings, co-directed with Maple Razsa, a live interactive film that has toured in multiple festivals around the world and has allowed him to continue to create original fiction and commercial work for several clients. At the moment Milton is working on a global project, an observational auteur-ish anthology of displaced activists/refugees that focuses on both the physical and mental health threats they face in their newly found spaces. Currently he’s based in Chicago doing a Documentary MFA at Northwestern.

Brittany Shyne

Brittany Shyne is a writer, director and producer. As a native of Dayton, Ohio she is influenced by artists such as Gordon Parks, Graciela Iturbide, and Mariana Yampolsky. Shyne received a M.F.A. in Documentary Media from Northwestern University and a B.F.A. in Motion Pictures from Wright State University. Her directorial work includes “Painted Lady” which screened at BlueStocking Film Series, Starz Denver Film Festival, St. Louis International Georgia Frontiere Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Citizen Jane Independent Women Film Festival. “Painted Lady” won awards for best short film, best director and tied for best actor at the Women’s Independent Film Festival. Her aspiration is to create works that combine elements of verité photography with ethnographic cinema. Her works analyze race, gender and culture seeking to examine the complexity of the human experience.



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