Camden International Film Festival has announced the participants in its inaugural Engagement Summit as part of Aging in Maine Initiative. Nonprofit leaders and filmmakers will convene during CIFF to discuss using documentary film as a resource for public dialogue and engagement around Maine’s aging demographic.

This first Engagement Summit is a program developed in partnership with Working Films that will connect documentary filmmakers with Maine-based nonprofit leaders to develop community-based social action campaigns tied to documentary film screenings. The inaugural Engagement Summit will focus on the theme of aging and tie to a yearlong thematic program called Aging in Maine.

The Aging in Maine program will continue during the Camden International Film Festival — Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 26 through 29 — with a curated series of documentary features and shorts that will help spark a public, inter-generational dialogue around the challenges and opportunities of Maine’s aging demographics. One highlighted film will be “The Genius of Marian,” directed by Banker White, which chronicles the filmmaker’s family responding to his mother’s diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s. Others include Chilean documentary “The Last Station”; and “Last Dreams,” a Danish film.

“Camden National Bank is excited to be a sponsor of the Camden International Film Festival and a lead sponsor of Aging in Maine,” said Joanne Campbell, Camden National Bank Executive Vice President.

During the festival, approximately 15 nonprofit leaders and healthcare professionals from across the state will converge for a daylong strategic summit meeting on Saturday; the full list of participants is included below. This event will be an opportunity for participating organizations in the field of aging to explore how their work can be supported and enhanced through the use of powerful documentary films focused on the experiences of older adults, their loved ones and caretakers.

The summit agenda will be designed and facilitated by Working Films, an organization that specializes in connecting storytelling with community engagement and action. Working Films’ involvement in Aging in Maine is part of their broader Reel Aging initiative, which positions compelling documentary media into the work of leading organizations serving the needs and advancing the rights of older adults across the country.

Following the festival and summit meeting, CIFF and Working Films will collaborate to screen these films in eight to 10 communities across the state, allowing participating organizations to implement strategies developed at the summit and use the screenings to further their goals and inform the public of resources available to them within the aging network.

The Aging in Maine program is made possible by support from the Fledgling Fund, Camden National Bank, Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation and the Bingham Program. Additional partnerships include the University of Maine Center on Aging, the Portland Press Herald and The Conversation Project.

"We are thrilled to be presenting the inaugural Engagement Summit at this year’s Camden International Film Festival. This unique program will help us harness the power that nonfiction storytelling has as a conversation starter and a community builder," said Ben Fowlie, Founder and Executive Director of CIFF. "Aging is an issue that affects each and everyone of us personally, and we believe that this program will be a great addition to the conversations that are already occurring throughout Maine."

 

Points North Engagement Summit: Aging in Maine List of Participants:

Jess Maurer, Executive Director, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Valeria Sauda, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems

Harriet Warshaw, Executive Director, The Conversation Project

Lenard Kaye, Director, UMaine Center on Aging

Roger Renfrew, American Geriatric Society

Gerard Queally, President/CEO, Spectrum Generations

Dave Brown, Community Liaison, Spectrum Generations

Dr. Ira Mandel, Medical Director, Pen Bay Healthcare’s Hospice and Palliative Care Program

Noelle Merrill, Executive Director, Eastern Area Agency on Aging

Steve Farnam, Executive Director, Aroostook Area Agency on Aging

Sharon Foerster, Program Manager – Geriatrics, MaineHealth

Joanna Rosenthal, Aging Consultation Services

Sheila Leddy, Executive Director, The Fledgling Fund

Judith Tierney, MaineHealth

Romaine Turyn, Director of Policy, Planning & Resource Development, Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Office of Aging and Disability Services)

Brooke Williams, Director, Communications and Grants, Making Community Happen

Banker White, Director/Producer of “The Genius of Marian”

CIFF is recognized as one of the top 20 documentary festivals in the world. Established in 2005, each year CIFF highlights work that shows a dedication and commitment to the craft behind nonfiction storytelling, showcasing more than 80 films from around the globe. CIFF’s Points North Documentary Forum provides both emerging and established documentary filmmakers with unique, accessible opportunities for professional development and creative inspiration. Past participants include HBO, A&E IndieFilms, BBC, ZDF-Arte, Discovery, PBS, POV, ITVS, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute and Kickstarter.

The ninth annual Camden International Film Festival will take place in Camden, Rockport and Rockland and is funded in part by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, The Fledgling Fund, the Unity Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation and Vimeo. For more information, visit camdenfilmfest.org.

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