CIFF brings ‘DamNation’ to Midcoast

Apr 28, 2014
The award-winning documentary “DamNation” will be screened and discussed at the Camden Opera House.

Camden — The Camden International Film Festival will present a special screening of Travis Rummel and Ben Knight’s award-winning documentary “DamNation” Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House, Elm Street/Route 1. The evening is collaboration with CIFF, Patagonia, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Penobscot River Restoration Project, Maine Sport Outfitters, the Camden Conference and the Camden Opera House.

Filmmakers Rummel and Knight, along with Conversation Biologist Matt Stoecker, will be in attendance for a Q&A directly following the screening, moderated by Laura Rose Day, executive director of the Penobscot River Restoration Project. Rummel and Knight’s previous film, “Red Gold,” screened at CIFF in 2009, where it won the inaugural Emerging Cinematic Vision Award.

“It’s an honor to share this special screening with audiences across Midcoast,” said Ben Fowlie, CIFF Executive Director. “The fact that portions of the film were shot here in Maine along the Kennebec and Penobscot, and that it’s a new film from filmmakers that CIFF has supported in the past will make for a fascinating evening.”

“DamNation” premiered in March at the prestigious SXSW Film Festival, where it won the 2014 SXSW Audience Award, followed by the 2014 Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy at the DC Environmental Film Festival. The film is a powerful odyssey across America, exploring the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.

Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. The film’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature. Part of the film was shot right in Maine during the Veazie Dam Removal Project.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased day of show at the Camden Opera House Box Office, starting at 6 p.m.; or in advance at the Camden Town Office weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets also may be purchased online at camdenoperahouse.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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