CIFF Selects: Sundance Winner CARTEL LAND! July15 at the Camden Opera House!

Posted July 9, 2015



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

CIFF unveils the inaugural Camden/TFI Retreat presented by CNN Films!

Posted June 22, 2015

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We are thrilled to finally be able to unveil the launch of a filmmaker retreat in partnership with Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and CNN Films. The five-day Camden/TFI Retreat, presented by CNN Films, will kick off today in Camden and Rockport, Maine and will provide mentorship and guidance to five U.S. filmmaking teams focused on creative, cinematic, character-driven documentaries.


The five projects selected for the Retreat represent exciting new voices in documentary and embody the theme “American Stories.” All the projects feature character-driven portraits of America, drawing from a variety of different regions, issues and perspectives. Together, the films form a diverse but intersecting body of work that maps the social, cultural and economic shifts happening in America today.


The retreat, which includes a series of master classes, mentoring sessions, and workshops, will take place in an intimate and natural environment on the picturesque coast of Maine. It will be led by expert advisors including Director Steve James (Hoop DreamsThe InterruptersLife Itself), Co-President of Submarine Entertainment Josh Braun, Producer Andrea Meditch (Grizzly ManMan on WireBuck), Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Music by PrudenceGod Loves Uganda), Editor Matt Hamachek (If a Tree FallsGideon’s ArmyCartel Land), Senior Director of CNN Films Courtney Sexton, and Vice President, Artist Programs, Tribeca Film Institute Ryan Harrington.


The participants in the retreat are:

  • CORONER – Tommy C. Andres and Jacob Motz (Co-Directors); Ben Hethcoat (Producer)

CORONER follows Dr. Thomas Noguchi, one of the most important investigators in many of Hollywood’s most mysterious and controversial tragedies, earning him the nickname “Coroner to the Stars.” He became a trailblazing figure in the world of forensics, revolutionizing the science and ushering it into popular culture before ultimately being forced from office in scandal.


  • COUNCILWOMAN – Margo Guernsey (Director and Producer)

COUNCILWOMAN follows the first term of Rhode Island Councilwoman Carmen Castillo as she balances her day job as a hotel housekeeper with the demands of public office.


  • GREYWATER;– Jeff Unay (Director); Ariel Sultan (Producer); James Orara (Co-Producer)

GREYWATER is about Joe, a longtime amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter, who sets his sights on Clayton, a young titleholder. Joe’s pursuit comes to a head as his life outside the cage begins to unravel.


  • THE REAGAN YEARS – Pacho Velez (Director); Sierra Pettengill (Producer)

THE REAGAN YEARS is about a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. It uses the Reagan administration’s internal documentation to capture the spectacle of American might at its peak.


  • ROLL RED ROLL – Nancy Schwartzman (Director); Jessica Devaney and Steven Lake (Co-Producers)

ROLL RED ROLL is an immersive documentary thriller investigating rape culture in small town America.

CIFF Summer Preview Party & Fundraiser! July 8 at Brewster Point Barn!

Posted June 9, 2015

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DONATE to come to our 2015 Preview Party on Wednesday, July 8 at Brewster Point Barn and RSVP today! This year, in addition to a sneak preview of the 2015 films, we have filmmakers and a behind-the-scenes look at what CIFF’s got up its sleeve for this year!

We believe that CIFF and Points North have a unique opportunity to re-imagine the role of what a “small-town” film festival can accomplish. And while the festival experience will always remain the core of our organization, we’re eager to develop our greater vision—to be a leader in the discovery of next generation nonfiction storytellers, and to be a trailblazing explorer of interactive media’s cutting edge. We couldn’t be more excited about what has been accomplished and what’s in store for 2015 and beyond.

We are extremely grateful for your support, and hope that you will Save the Date for our 2015 Festival held September 17-20, 2015!

We want to start this next chapter off right and hope you’ll consider a year-end tax-deductible donation. Your gift will go towards the development of new opportunities and the strengthening of our operations, ensuring the needs of our growing programs are met.


Aging in Maine Statewide Screening Tour!

Posted April 13, 2015

Aging In Maine


CIFF’s 2015 Aging in Maine screening tour is bringing award-winning documentary films and discussions to more than twenty different communities between April and July.

The tour is part of a two-year program sponsored by Camden National Bank, bringing together nonprofit leaders, healthcare professionals and community leaders from across the state to explore aging-related issues. By screening films that offer important insights about aging-related issues, our aim is to spark a public, intergenerational dialogue about the challenges and opportunities of Maine’s aging demographics.

This is year two of Aging in Maine! The 2014 Aging in Maine screening tour reached 18 different communities and included over 20 different screenings, many of which were free and open to the public. That tour grew out out of our collaboration with Working Films, a national media advocacy organization, which brought non-profit leaders and healthcare professionals together. The goal: to implement strategies for using film as a catalyst for discussion and cooperation. Since then, CIFF has worked alongside these organizations to develop the 2015 screening tour.

Our sincere thanks to the Fledgling Fund, Camden National Bank, the Maine Arts Commission, the Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation and the Bingham Program for their support, which is making this tour possible. We hope you will catch one or more of these screenings throughout the state:


Tue, April 14 – Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association – Maine Chapters’ 2015 Statewide Educational Conference — A MARRIAGE TO REMEMBER and KINDRED

Sun, May 3 at 3 p.m. – Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta– AGE OF CHAMPIONS

Wed, May 13 at 1 p.m. – Witherle Memorial Library, Castine, in partnership with the Thriving in Place program of Healthy Peninsula–Living with Alzheimer’s shorts

Fri, May 15 at 12:30 p.m. – Fort Fairfield Community Center, Fort Fairfield, in partnership with Cary Medical Center, AAA of Northern New England and the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce–OLD PEOPLE DRIVING

Sat, May 16  at 10 a.m. – Chan Center at Cary Medical Center, Caribou, in partnership with Cary Medical Center’s Healthy You Program–AGE OF CHAMPIONS

Tues, May 19 at 9:30 a.m.; discussion at 10:30 a.m. – Northern Maine Community College Wellness Center, Presque Isle, as part of the Aging Well, Living Well Expo, in partnership with the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging–YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T

Tues, May 19 at 12:30 p.m. – Penobscot Bay YMCA, Rockport, in partnership with the Penobscot Bay YMCA–ALIVE INSIDE

Tues, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. - Gracie Theatre at Husson University, Bangor, in partnership with Bangor YMCA and the Community Care and Geriatrics Division of Penobscot Community Health Care-ALIVE INSIDE

Thurs, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. – U Maine Center on Aging, University of Maine, Orono, in partnership with the University of Maine Center on Aging–AGE OF CHAMPIONS, THE CARETAKER, A MARRIAGE TO REMEMBER

Fri, May 22 , 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, as part of the Senior Expo, in partnership with Eastern Area Agency on Aging and Bangor Daily News–Living with Alzheimer’s shorts, AGE OF LOVE, PRISON TERMINAL, AGE OF CHAMPIONS

Sat, May 30, 9:00 a.m. – Strand Cinema, Skowhegan, in partnership with Somerset Public Health, Kennebec Behavioral Health, Redington Fairview General Hospital, Maine General Health, Spectrum Generations, United Way of Mid Maine, Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County,the Maine Hospice Council and the Jackman School Community Leadership Team–ALIVE INSIDE

Sun, May 31, 2:00 p.m. – Center Theatre, Dover-Foxcroft, in partnership with the Charlotte White Center–OLD PEOPLE DRIVING,YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T, MY LITTLE FRIENDS, SLOMO, DE ‘MEM’BUNCE(THE REMEMBRANCE)

Sat, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. – Augusta Colonial Theater, Augusta, in partnership with Home Resilience experiential installation, screenings of the short films THE CARETAKER and  DE ‘MEM’BUNCE(THE REMEMBRANCE), and A HOME FOR WOMEN, followed by Q&A

Tues, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. – Blue Hill Library, Blue Hill, in partnership with the Thriving in Place program of Healthy Peninsula–YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T

Tues, July 21 at 12:30 p.m. – Rockport, in partnership with the Penobscot Bay YMCA–AGE OF CHAMPIONS

CIFF Selects: PLANETARY on Earth Day at the Camden Opera House!

Posted March 28, 2015

CIFF Selects returns to Camden! We’re partnering with the Camden Opera House and SundanceNow Doc Club to bring back CIFF Selects, a monthly documentary series to Camden one Wednesday each month, March through August. On April 22 at 7 PM, Camden joins 70 cities around the world in screening PLANETARY on Earth Day, released by long-time CIFF supporter Vimeo! Straight to Camden from its World Premiere at SXSW Film Festival!

PLANETARY - KEY IMAGE © Planetary Collective

PLANETARY is a provocative and breathtaking wakeup call – a cross continental cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. In a stunning visual exploration, the film interweaves imagery from NASA Apollo missions with visions of the Milky Way, Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas, and the cacophonous sounds of downtown Tokyo and Manhattan, with intimate interviews from renowned experts including astronauts Ron Garan and Mae Jemison (the first African American woman in space), celebrated environmentalist Bill McKibben, National Book Award winner Barry Lopez, anthropologist Wade Davis, to National Geographic Explorer Elizabeth Lindsay, and Head of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu school, the 17th Karmapa. They shed new light on the ways our worldview is profoundly affecting life on our planet.

See our Facebook event page here.

Additional CIFF Selects titles will be announced soon. The screenings are held one Wednesday each month: March 25, April 22, May 20, June 17, July 15 and August 19. Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via skype, to follow select screenings. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased day of show at the Camden Opera House box office.

This monthly series will include select titles from the SundanceNow Doc Club, an online platform for the world’s best documentaries, including many CIFF alum, which offers our audience the chance to watch these films year-round. SundanceNow Doc Club is the only member-based, advertising-free streaming video service dedicated solely to documentaries. Overseen by resident curator Thom Powers (DOC NYC, Toronto International Film Festival), the Doc Club catalog features hand-picked favorites from festival programmers (Sundance, True/False, etc) as well as guest curators like Ira Glass. Subscribers also receive exclusive member benefits, including free tickets to local screenings and festival premieres.


September 17—20, 2015