The Points North Institute and the Camden Opera House continue their monthly CIFF Selects series with the award-winning documentary “Under the Sun” (2015, Czech Republic/Russia/Germany/Latvia) Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St./Route 1.

Russian director Vitaly Mansky spent years negotiating with the North Korean government for permission to make a documentary. He was invited to follow a year in the life of 8-year-old Zin-Mi as she prepares to join the illustrious Children’s Union.

Unbeknownst to the government authorities, Mansky and his crew left the cameras running in-between takes. The result is film that peels back the curtain on a well-oiled propaganda machine, a painstakingly constructed reality … and the emotional struggle of a young girl born to play a role.

“North Korea’s authoritarian presence on the world’s stage has never been more palpable. ‘Under the Sun’ gives us unique insight into the impact of these political forces on individual lives,” said Ben Fowlie, executive director of the Points North Institute.

Additional CIFF Selects titles will be announced in the coming months. Screenings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, except for October; upcoming screenings dates are June 21, July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 11 and Nov. 15. Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via Skype, follow select screenings.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office. For more information, visit

Established in 2016, the Points North Institute is a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. Building on the success of the Camden International Film Festival, which is entering its 13th season, the Points North Institute’s mission is to bring together a unique, interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders and local audiences, forming a creative hub on the coast of Maine where new stories and talent are discovered, collaborations are born and the future of nonfiction media is shaped. For more information, visit

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