NORTH STAR SCHOLARSHIP
in partnership with
The North Star Scholarship is a collaboration between the Points North Institute, Kickstarter and the School of Visual Art’s MFA in Social Documentary Film, supporting four U.S.-based filmmakers of color with mentorship, travel and passes to attend the 2017 Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum. The program 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.
In addition to participating in festival and forum programming, participants will engage in structured one-on-one meetings with industry decision makers and advisors, as well as a tailored audience engagement workshop with Kickstarter staff. In this intimate, focused environment, participants have the chance to develop a deeper connection with the documentary and nonfiction storytelling community that will meaningfully advance their projects and careers.
The North Star Scholarship includes the following support:
- (1) round trip flight to Maine, plus local transportation
- (3) nights of accommodations for one during the festival
- (1) All Access pass to the Camden International Film Festival
2017 NORTH STAR RECIPIENTS
Paige Polk is a storyteller and communications designer based in Brooklyn, New York. With projects in the US and abroad, she uses multimedia practice to connect identity, expression and exchange in the digital age. A White House South by South Lawn Nominee & NYFA Artist as Entrepreneur Fellow, she explores where the political and the creative coexist. She’s currently Co-Creative Director of the Google’s interactive diversity media project and a Media Studies Master’s candidate at Pratt Institute.
Ishan Thakore is a journalist and filmmaker based in East Brunswick, New Jersey. He is passionate about reporting on how big national policies impact local communities, and currently working on a series of shorts about the impact of major dams on individuals in South Africa, Lesotho and Cambodia, funded through a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling grant. Previously, he worked as a fact-checker (with a few cameos) on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and has reported for National Geographic and Al Jazeera. He’s excited for his first ever trip to Maine to go to CIFF!
Jude Chehab is a Lebanese/American filmmaker, whose early career work has landed over 20 international awards screening in film festivals worldwide including Best Picture at CMF, Best Mediterranean Film at TISFF and Best Documentary at the Dubrovnik Film Festival. Jude has led documentary filmmaking workshops in the UK, Lebanon and Croatia. Her credits include collaborations with She Said Films, Scatter Brothers Productions, Oxfam GB, Antami and Doctors without Borders. She was part of Abbas Kiarostami’s last student group in Cuba, where she worked on a piece under his guidance. Jude’s richly visual and intimate personal shooting style has illuminated issues close to her heart including the refugee crisis and female empowerment. She is currently the Director of Photography on the feature documentary film, Rajada Dalka, a Nation’s Hope documenting the Somali national women’s basketball team.
Miasarah Lai is a Chicago based filmmaker. She holds a BA in Performing and Media Arts from Cornell University and MFA in Documentary Media from Northwestern University. From the Lower East Side, New York City, Lai’s Puerto Rican-Chinese heritage and diverse neighborhood shaped her global interests in visualizing alternative female and minority narratives. She prioritizes the physicality and performative role of the cinematographer in the dance between subject and storytellers. Her work has screened at film festivals including; Athens Ethnofest, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, & Wathann Film Festival. When she isn’t working on her own projects, Miasarah produces digital content for other organizations: producing, shooting, editing, sound mixing.
What we found in Camden was a community of filmmakers and film enthusiasts who helped foster creativity, conversation and collaboration, all set against the backdrop of an incredible town.
Points North gave my documentary, The Sensitives, the kind of introduction to the industry that filmmakers dream of. Not only was it the conduit for relationships with broadcasters, funders, and colleagues that continue to this day but also an otherwise impossible chance for honest feedback and discussion from the who’s-who of documentary institutions.
The Points North program helped us to distill the essence of my film into the powerful and engaging pitch needed to get funders, distributors, and broadcasters to pay attention. Through their workshop and practice sessions, we were able to fashion a key that opened these locks.
The Points North Fellowship launched not just our documentary project, but us as filmmakers, for the long term.