The Camden International Film Festival, recognized as one of the top 25 documentary film festivals worldwide, has finalized its lineup of films for this year’s festival. Venues include the Rockland’s Strand Theatre and Farnsworth Art Museum; the Camden Opera House and Bayview Street Cinema in Camden; and the Rockport Opera House.

Camden International Film Festival is New England’s premier documentary film festival, in large part because of the excellent films screened; the unparalleled quality of participants from industry and filmmaking communities who attend; and the intimacy and interaction not found at larger festivals.

The festival, now in its sixth year, will run Thursday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 3, presenting features and short films from all across the globe. Forty-six films were selected from more than 300 submissions and the Camden IFF will host a number of United States and regional premieres.

“This year’s Camden International Film Festival is our most ambitious program to date,” said Benjamin Fowlie, founder and director of the Camden IFF.

“We’ve got a number of international films making their first appearance in the United States, along with several of this year’s most award-winning films from the festival circuit.  The craft and quality of these stories are remarkable and I’m extremely excited to share these incredible films with our audiences,” Fowlie said.

Carrying on the tradition of discussion that characterizes the Camden IFF, nearly every film will be accompanied by a post-screening Q&A with directors or producers. The festival will also expand upon its Points North Forum. Points North, founded in 2009, has grown this year to two full days and provides the New England filmmaking community an unparalleled opportunity to connect with industry leaders from ITVS, PBS, The Sundance Channel, ZDF-ARTE and a number of other funders, broadcasters and independent executive producers. In total, nearly 50 industry representatives and filmmakers will be in attendance over the course of the four-day festival.

Tickets to the 2010 Camden International Film Festival are available online at camdenfilmfest.org. Pass options include the VIP Pass for admittance to all screenings, panels, special events and parties throughout the weekend; and the Festival Pass for admittance to all screenings and panels. Full passes to the two-day Points North Forum (Oct. 1 and 2) are available online. Day passes to the Points North Forum and individual tickets can be purchased at the appropriate venues on the day of show.

2010 Features

Following is a list of the features films selected for this year’s Camden IFF. Additional information about each film, including stills and video clips, is available at camdenfilmfest.org.

“A Road Not Taken” (2010, USA), directed by Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, tells the story of the solar panels that former President Jimmy Carter had installed on the roof of the White House. His successor, Ronald Reagan, had the panels removed as part of a radical alienation from Carter’s energy program. Thirty years later, two filmmakers tracked down the panels and traced the story of their journey from Washington, D.C. to Maine.

“Budrus” (2009, Occupied Palestinian Territories/Israel/USA) is directed by Julia Bacha. A Palestinian leader unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.

“Cape Wind” (2010, USA) is a work-in-progress by directors Robbie Gemmel and Daniel Coffin. The film translates the furor which exploded on Cape Cod into a definitive battle that will be replicated hundreds of times over as industrial-scale renewable energy projects are proposed for America’s deserts, ridgelines and waterways.

“Circo” (2010, USA), directed by Aaron Schock, will have its New England premiere. Set within a century-old circus, the film is an intimate portrait of a Mexican family struggling to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences and a simmering conflict that threatens this once-vibrant family tradition.

“David Wants to Fly” (2010, Germany), directed by David Sieveking, will have its U.S. premiere. In search of enlightenment, young filmmaker Sieveking follows his idol David Lynch and uncovers the billion-dollar industry behind Transcendental Meditation.

“Do It Again” (2010, USA) is directed by Geoff Edgers and Robert Patton-Spruill. Edgers, a newspaper reporter dreading the approach of his 40th birthday, sets out to find the still-surviving members of the long-dormant British rock band the Kinks (“You Really Got Me,” “Lola” and “Come Dancing”) to convince them to reunite.

“Dreamland” (2009, Iceland), directed by Andri Snær Magnason, will have its U.S. premiere. Leading up to the Iceland’s greatest economic crisis, the government started the largest project in the country’s history to build the biggest dam in Europe to provide the Alcoa company cheap electricity for an aluminum smelter in the rugged east fjords. Today, Iceland is left holding a huge debt and an uncertain future.

“The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan” (2010, USA), directed by Henry Corra will have its New England premiere. Private McKinley Nolan vanished 40 years ago in Vietnam on the Cambodian frontier. Some say he was captured, some say he was a traitor, some say he was an American operative. The film follows the Nolan family from the cotton belt of Texas to the battlegrounds of Vietnam and the killing fields of Cambodia, unfolding as a mysterious fever dream filled with doubt, longing and the will to believe.

“Family Affair” (2010, USA) is directed by Chico Colvard. At 10 years old, Colvard accidentally shot his older sister in the leg, a seemingly random act detonated a chain reaction that exposed unspeakable realities and shattered his family. Thirty years later, he ruptures veils of secrecy and silence again as he bravely visits his relatives.

“General Orders No. 9” (2009, USA), directed by Robert Persons, will have its Northeast premiere. One last trip down the rabbit hole before it is paved over, this experimental documentary contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South as potent metaphors of personal and collective destiny.

“Goodnight Nobody” (2010, Switzerland/Germany), directed by Jacqueline Zünd, will have its U.S. premiere. Four protagonists from four different continents share the same affliction: they cannot sleep. With varying tactics, they resign themselves to the fact that they must live around the clock without interruption. This film is hypnotic journey through the most beautiful of all film settings: the night.

“Greetings From the Woods” (2009, Sweden), directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson, will have its New England premiere. Life follows its peaceful course in a remote little town in the Swedish forest. The unforgettable characters introduced enliven the sometimes absurd little scenes in this immersive exploration of everyday life in a particular place in Sweden.

“Heaven and Earth and Joe Davis” (2010, USA) is a work-in-progress directed by Peter Sasowski. Thirty years ago, a peg-legged motorcycle mechanic named Joe Davis walked into the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT because they had not returned his calls. The police were summoned; 45 minutes later he walked out with an academic appointment.

“La Belle Visite (Journey’s End” (2010, Canada), directed by Jean-Francois Caissy, will have its New England premiere. In the far reaches of the Quebec countryside, between a road and a headland that plunges into the sea, an abandoned motel has been converted into a retirement home. In this former travelers’ retreat, time seems to have ground to a halt. This film is an elegiac exploration of old age, set in a place at once physical and allegorical.

“Marwencol” (2010, USA) is directed by Jeff Malmberg. After a vicious attack leaves him brain damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in Marwencol, a 1/6th-scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

“My Perestroika” (2010, USA), directed by Robin Hessman, follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times – from their sheltered childhoods, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia.

“On Coal River” (2010, USA), directed by Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, will have its New England premiere. Coal River Valley, W.V., is a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. The film follows four longtime residents as they confront a notorious coal company, their local school board and state government to protect their families and community from the effects of an increasingly mechanized and destructive coal industry.

“On the Other Side of Life” (2009, Germany) is directed by Stefanie Brockhaus and Andy Wolff. To survive in a Cape Town township, brothers Lucky and Bongani learned their lessons early. They move through ever-shifting worlds, cultures, and traditions in a film that transcends a social environment study to become a far-ranging essay about the future of an Africa ground to pieces between tradition and modernity.

“Prodigal Sons” (2008, USA) is directed by Kimberly Reed, who returns home to a small town in Montana for her high school reunion in hopes for reconciliation with her long estranged adopted brother, Marc. Along the way she uncovers stunning revelations, including his blood relationship with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, intense sibling rivalries and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender that force them both to face challenges no one could imagine.

An untitled film (2010, USA) about light pollution and the disappearing dark will get a special Work-in-Progress Screening. When a filmmaker and amateur astronomer moves into his apartment in New York, he climbs atop his Brooklyn rooftop to survey the night sky. But bathed in its glow of orange streetlights, the City that Never Sleeps only has a dozen stars to see. One disappointing autumn evening becomes a journey to answer a simple question: do we need the dark?

“Summer Pastures” (2010, USA), directed by Lynn True and Nelson Walker, is a film about a young couple living with their infant daughter in the nomadic pastures of eastern Tibet. With rare access to an area seldom visited by outsiders, the film opens a unique window into a highly insular community and offers a sensitive portrait of a family at a time of great transition.

“Sun Come Up” (2010, USA), directed by Jennifer Redfearn, will have its New England premiere. This film follows the relocation of some of the world’s first environmental refugees, the Carteret Islanders, a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home.

“Tankograd” (2010, Denmark), directed by Boris B. Bertram, will have its U.S. premiere. Chelyabinsk in Western Siberia is infamous for its extreme pollution and its vibrant dance community. This film is a lyrical documentary about a world-class modern dance company that examines the hopes and struggles of a group of young Russians trying to find meaning and expression in the dreary and frightening reality of New Russia through the art of dance.

“War Don Don” (2010, USA), directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, takes its title from the Krio phrase meaning “the war is over.” Although today Sierra Leone is at peace, the specter of war remains ever-present. Can the trial of one man uncover the truth of a traumatic past? With unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and – from behind bars – the accused himself, “War Don Don” puts international justice on trial for the world to see.

“Wasteland” (2010, Brazil) is directed by Lucy Walker and follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz’s collaboration with the “catadores” to recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both dignity and despair.

CIFF ’10 is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Quimby Family Foundation, the University of Maine, Maine Magazine and Cellardoor Winery.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.