This year film festivals have had to change their game plan by moving to virtual and Livestream events due to the pandemic. The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) organized by Points North Institute announced new plans for the 2020 festival with the goal to directly support independent filmmakers and collaboratively create spaces for community-building, organizing and collective imagination. This year’s CIFF and Points North Forum will a 12-day creative virtual experience with dozens of Livestream events, alongside the launch of the festival’s very own drive-in movie theatre, and screenings at a small number of reduced-capacity theatres in Maine.
The sixteenth edition of the Camden International Film Festival will take place from October 1-12, 2020 and will culminate with a special program to honor Indigenous People’s Day in partnership with Nia Tero Foundation and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.
The Points North Institute also announced that SHOWTIME® Documentary Films will continue to serve as the Headlining Sponsor for the 2020 Camden International Film Festival and Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Points North Fellowship.
During the festival, CIFF will bring together filmmakers, industry leaders, journalists, organizers, and other special guests to re-imagine the art, business, and future of nonfiction filmmaking. The festival and forum will continue to advance industry-wide conversations about Story & Power – examining how power and resources are distributed in the documentary film industry and how festivals can build solidarity with filmmakers to create more equitable, sustainable conditions for the creation and distribution of documentary films – particularly for BIPOC filmmakers and other communities that for too long have been marginalized or excluded by the industry.
CIFF’s commitment to accessibility will also include greater investments in closed captioning, ASL interpretation, live transcription services, and outreach to ensure that people with disabilities are able to participate fully in the 12-day virtual festival.
Organizers are working closely with filmmakers to collaboratively re-imagine the role of film festivals and experiment with new strategies for audience development and transparency.
This work begins with the establishment of the Filmmaker Solidarity Fund, which will distribute 50% of net proceeds from all virtual festival pass and ticket sales as honoraria for every participating filmmaker or filmmaking team, including both features and shorts directors. The fund will also seek new tax-deductible contributions and corporate sponsorships from partners interested in supporting diverse independent filmmakers during this time of critical need.
Points North is committed to expanding filmmaker support through its Artist Programs as well. In a new partnership, the organization is joining forces with IF/Then Shorts, ScreeningRoom, LEF Foundation and Jigsaw Productions to offer a fund and rough cut lab for filmmakers from the American Northeast with documentary shorts in post-production. Growing out of the IF/Then Shorts program, Points North Institute’s Shortform Editing Residency and last year’s Follow Focus grant, the inaugural North Shorts Fellowship will support 6 projects that explore a range of socially, politically and culturally relevant topics that are rooted in the region.
Projects will receive a $5,000 post-production grant and participate in a month-long online rough cut lab, culminating with an invitation-only rough cut screening as a part of the 2020 Camden International Film Festival. Following the lab and festival, filmmakers will receive two months of distribution consultation to help get their film out into the world.
In addition to the festival and forum and these new partnerships, other Artist Programs, including the Points North Fellowship, North Star Fellowship , 4th World Indigenous Media Lab, and Points North 1:1 Meetings, will be conducted remotely. These programs will leverage digital tools to build stronger communities of support around each cohort of diverse, early-career filmmakers — connecting them with mentors, collaborators, allies, supporters, and audiences.
The 11th annual Points North Pitch will be livestreamed to a global audience on Saturday, October 3. All funds previously earmarked for travel will be redirected as tipends to filmmaker fellows and mentors.
The submission deadline for the Points North Fellowship and North Star Fellowship has been extended to July 15th. Submissions for the North Shorts Fellowship will open on July 1 with a deadline of August 3. Fellowship participants will be announced in late August.
Submissions to the Camden International Film Festival will be extended through July 10th at the Regular Deadline rate, and any film whose premiere has been interrupted by COVID is eligible for a full fee waiver. The entire film lineup for the 2020 Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum will be announced in early September.
Passes to the 2020 Camden International Film Festival are now on sale, and can be found on the Points North Institute website www.pointsnorthinstitute.org.