CAMDEN, Maine, September 6, 2017 – the Points North Institute (PNI), parent organization of the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), today announced the 14 documentary filmmakers and media artists selected for its 2017 Artist Programs.
Points North’s growing suite of Artist Support Programs include the Points North Fellowship and Pitch, which is celebrating its 8th year with a new Presenting Sponsorship from Showtime Documentary Films. The Shortform Editing Residency continues for a second year.
The Institute launched two new Artist Support Programs this year. The North Star Scholarship is a festival travel scholarship for young filmmakers of color to attend the Festival and Forum, created in partnership with Kickstarter and the School of Visual Arts MFA in Social Documentary Film. Also new are Points North 1:1 Meetings, which is connecting 20 documentary features, shorts and series in development with 25 Industry Delegates, including Catapult Film Fund, Cinereach, Field of Vision, Hot Docs, ITVS, PBS, Tribeca Film Institute, and Working Films. These 1:1 Meetings are by invitation only.
Each of Points North Institute’s Artist Support Programs are designed to connect filmmakers with mentors, funders and potential collaborators, using the Camden International Film Festival as a platform to build a community of support, nurture the careers of diverse nonfiction storytellers, and help them develop a stronger artistic voice.
“The Points North Institute is dedicated to the idea that doing creative work — particularly documentary storytelling — requires a strong community of support,” said Points North Program Director Sean Flynn. “We are thrilled that our growing partnerships with SHOWTIME Documentary Films, Kickstarter and the School of Visual Arts will create new opportunities for diverse nonfiction storytellers to find that community of support in Camden.”
The Points North Fellowship and the Institute’s Camden/TFI Retreat — a June collaboration with Tribeca Film Institute and CNN Films — have already developed a strong track record of successfully incubating powerful documentary films. This year, seven features that have been developed through these programs will be screening at CIFF. These titles include All That Passes By Through A Window That Doesn’t Open, No Man’s Land, The Cage Fighter, The Family I Had, The Reagan Show, The Sensitives, and Whose Streets?. These films have garnered awards and debuted at prestigious festivals including Sundance, Locarno, Tribeca, Rotterdam, and Visions du Reel.
“I didn’t know anyone in the documentary world. I had never pitched anything anywhere,” says Martin DiCicco, Director of All That Passes By Through A Window That Doesn’t Open, a veteran of the Points North Pitch and recent award winner at Visions du Reel. “Before I came to pitch at CIFF, my film was a dumb idea in my head, and it was the pitching workshop and Forum that made me realize, ok, I can do this… It was an experience that was both incredibly challenging and encouraging. So I spent the next 5 years trying to get back here. And five years later I’m making my US premiere here.”
Sierra Pettengill, co-director of The Reagan Show, which debuts this September on CNN, adds, “Every step of this project was nurtured through the support of the Camden International Film Festival and Points North Institute – from our very first pitch there in 2014, through the editing lab in 2015, and now screening it in 2017. It’s nearly impossible to overstate how valuable the input of team CIFF has been to the film’s success, including securing distribution with CNN. It’s difficult to think of a more thoughtful and special institution, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring it back to what feels like home.”
We are proud to announce the selections for the 2017 Points North Institute Artist Programs: