CIFF kicks off Aging in Maine tour

Mar 11, 2014
Photo by: Banker White “The Genius of Marian” examines the filmmaker’s mother’s journey through early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It will be screened Saturday afternoon, March 22, at Belfast’s Colonial Theatre.

Camden International Film Festival’s Aging in Maine screening tour, a new statewide program sponsored by Camden National Bank that will bring screenings of award-­winning documentary films and discussions to more than 10 different communities, will kick off Tuesday, March 18, and continue into early summer.

The tour is the second part of CIFF’s inaugural Engagement Summit: Aging in Maine, a program that connects Maine­-based nonprofit leaders with the documentary films and filmmakers to develop community­-based social action campaigns tied to these screenings. The films help foster a thoughtful inter­generational dialogue around the issues of aging and dementia­-related illness.

The inaugural Engagement Summit focuses on the extremely pertinent theme of aging and was developed in partnership with Working Films, a North Carolina-­based organization that builds partnerships between nonfiction media­makers, nonprofit organizations, educators and advocates to advance social justice and environmental sustainability and support community-­based change; and with the University of Maine’s Center on Aging.

“We believe strongly that documentary film can have a tremendous effect on raising awareness, sparking conversation and engaging community in unique and meaningful ways” said Ben Fowlie, Founder and Executive Director of the Camden International Film Festival. “The Engagement Summit takes this belief and puts it into direct action, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to find new ways to participate in one of Maine’s most important and difficult conversations, aging.”

During the 2013 festival, 14 organizations from across Maine convened in Camden to identify a wide range of needs facing aging communities and the organizations that support them, as well as workshops on how to utilize the power of nonfiction storytelling to advance their advocacy goals. Participating Maine­-based nonprofits included the Aging Consultation Services, Aroostook Agency on Aging, the Bingham Program, Dirigo­-Maine Geriatrics Society, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Maine Gerontological Society, Maine Health, Methodist Conference Home, Office of Aging and Disability Services, Pen Bay Healthcare, Seniors Plus, Spectrum Generations and the University of Maine Center on Aging.

The summit and screenings are proving to be a good way in which to mobilize Maine’s aging services providers and help them share with the larger public poignant stories of both the joys and challenges associated with growing older, said Len Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging. Joanne Campbell, EVP, Risk Management, Camden National Bank, agreed.

“The state of Maine has the oldest population in the country and is a primary demographic that we serve through our banking franchise,” she said.

Films screened as part of the Aging in Maine tour will include CIFF’s 2013 Harrell Award for Best Documentary, Banker White and Anna Fitch’s “The Genius of Marian”; a selection of short films called Golden Shorts; and other aging related films including Christopher Rufo’s “Age of Champion” and Estephan Wagner’s “Last Dreams,” which also received a Special Jury mention at last year’s festival.

Aging in Maine Screening Tour Schedule

• March 18, 7 p.m.: University of Maine at Orono, DP Corbett Room

• March 19, 7 p.m.: Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Rockland.

• March 22, 3:30 p.m.: Colonial Theatre, 163 High St., Belfast.

• March 23, 1 and 3 p.m.: Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta,

• April 2, at 6 p.m.: Portland Museum of Art, part of Maine Medical Center’s Division of Geriatrics Annual Geriatrics’ Day Conference.

• April 6, noon and 2:30 p.m.: Frontier Café, Brunswick.

• April 27, 2 p.m.: The Grand, Ellsworth.

• May 10, 1:30 p.m.: Muskie Community Center, Waterville.

• May 13, all day: Cross Insurance Center, part of EAAA Senior Expo, Bangor.

• June 12, 7 p.m.: Harborside Marina, part of the 24th Annual Maine Geriatric’s Conference, Bar Harbor.

• July 10, 8:30 p.m.: Camden Amphitheatre.

Many screenings will be free and open to the public, and additional screenings will be added. For more information on the Engagement Summit, this Aging in Maine tour and these specific screenings, visit camdenfilmfest.org.

The Camden International Film Festival’s Engagement Summit: Aging in Maine is made possible by support from the Fledgling Fund, the Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation, Camden National Bank and the Bingham Program. The Aging in Maine screening tour is sponsored by Camden National Bank.

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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