The TV5 MONDE Maine Heritage Film Grant2020-10-20T15:15:52-04:00


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Maine culture is a product of many, a multi-faceted kaleidoscope made up of voices from across the globe who have found their way to our rocky coasts, sandy beaches, rolling hills, and majestic mountains. One such voice has been heard in Maine for centuries – a voice speaking the French language – and that voice has endured. Joining these enduring French voices is a new wave of immigrants, who came to Maine from countries around the world, including Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and Angola. It is estimated that those who speak French as a primary language comprise at least 5% of Maine’s population.

We invite filmmakers to apply for a $15,000 grant underwritten by CIFF partner TV5MONDE USA, the global French language entertainment network. This grant will support production of a documentary short film (as defined by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) that must be filmed here in Maine and will premiere at the 2021 Camden International Film Festival.

Preference will be given to projects highlighting Francophone culture in Maine and/or French-speaking populations – whether from communities who have existed in Maine for hundreds of years or recent immigrant communities, but all Maine heritage-focused projects will be considered.

Submissions are now open! Selections will be announced in early February.

Deadline: January 11th, 2021 @ 11:59 PM EST 

TV5MONDE is the global French language entertainment network showcasing premium films and programs from across the world. As a leader in French language entertainment, they broadcast without commercial interruptions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


2020 LEF/CIFF Fellows

BOUND BY BLOOD – Echoes of the Elaine Massacre

When Sheila Walker discovers her ancestors were victims of the 1919 Elaine Race Massacre, it triggers a quest for understanding. Visiting Elaine Arkansas, she recognizes how the massacre still reverberates through her family and the still highly segregated community, which has not yet fully reckoned with its past. Through the stories of black and white descendants, BOUND BY BLOOD provides an extremely timely lens for investigating ideas around reconciling with race and history.

Directed by Franziska Blome, Llewellyn Smith

Produced by Franziska Blome, Llewellyn Smith, Annie Stopford

About the Directors

Franziska Blome is an Emmy and DuPont-Columbia Award-winning documentary researcher and filmmaker. She directed international research for the two PBS documentaries THE WALL and AFTER THE WALL, about the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. She was co-producer and researcher for the highly acclaimed PBS series on health disparities, UNNATURAL CAUSES. During her nine years at WGBH, her projects included many documentaries for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and NOVA. She’s produced and edited several shorts in recent years. Currently, she’s editing a 1-hr documentary about the criminal justice system in New Orleans. BOUND BY BLOOD is her directorial debut.

A veteran filmmaker of over 30 years, Llewellyn Smith’s documentary work takes as its focus American History, race relations and social justice. His films have received numerous awards including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont Award, the Eric Barnouw Award, the John O’Connor Film Award, the National Science Writers Award, and the Emmy Award. For 10 years Llew was Series Editor for the acclaimed PBS history series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and responsible for the acquisition and development of over 70 programs for broadcast. His race related film AMERICAN DENIAL was broadcast in 2015 on Independent Lens. He has since produced and directed several more documentaries for NOVA and PBS.

The fellowship begins with two full days of intensive pitch training and focused mentorship with industry veterans prior to the start of the festival on September 13-14. These sessions will prepare filmmakers to pitch their projects to an international panel of funders, broadcasters, distributors and producers before a live audience at the Points North Pitch on September 16. Each pitch lasts exactly 7 minutes, followed by 12 minutes of feedback from the panel.

Following the festival, all Points North Fellows will receive a ticket to the Cinema Eye Honors (held in mid-January 2017), an invitation to CIFF’s annual Cinema Eye Nominees Party and two nights of accommodations in New York. Taking place four months after the pitch, these events give Fellows an opportunity to connect with the wider documentary community and follow up on their pitches by setting up targeted one-on-one meetings with industry delegates.

Past panelists at the Points North Pitch include representatives from:

  • BBC
  • HBO
  • A&E IndieFilms
  • ARTE
  • POV
  • PBS
  • Al Jazeera America
  • ITVS
  • Ford Foundation
  • Sundance Institute
  • Tribeca Film Institute
  • Cinereach
  • Catapult Film Fund
  • The Fledgling Fund
  • San Francisco Film Society
  • Chicken & Egg Pictures
  • LEF Foundation
  • Participant Media
  • Naked Edge Films
  • The Orchard




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