The 2015 Sundance Winner CARTEL LAND will screen at the Camden Opera House at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, as part of the Camden International Film Festival’s monthly CIFF Selects documentary series.

CARTEL LAND is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy: the murderous Mexican drug cartels.

In the Mexican state of Michoacan, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as El Doctor, leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman—who won both the Directing Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography in the U.S. documentary competition at Sundance this year—embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. Executive producer Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER, ZERO DARK THIRTY) brings to the screen a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.

Last week, CIFF launched the inaugural Camden/TFI Retreat presented by CNN, which provided mentorship and guidance to five US filmmaking teams, focusing on creative, cinematic, character-driven documentaries. Among the esteemed industry mentors brought in to lead this retreat was Matt Hamachek, editor of CARTEL LAND.

Camden International Film Festival and the Camden Opera House, in partnership with SundanceNow Doc Club, are bringing CIFF Selects documentaries to Camden one Wednesday each month through August—sometimes including Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. The films shown include selections from the SundanceNow Doc Club, an online platform for the world’s best documentarians, including many CIFF alumni. The aim is to give CIFF’s audience the chance to watch great films year-round.

The final CIFF Selects screening for this season will be held August 19. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office. Passes are now on sale for the 2015 Camden International Film Festival (September 17-20) at


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