The Points North Institute and the Camden Opera House will kick off the 2019 CIFF Selects series Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. with the Academy Award short-listed feature documentary “Minding the Gap.”

Recently recognized as the best non-fiction film of the year by the National Society of Film Critics, “Minding the Gap” is one of the most awarded films of 2018, winning best feature at more than 30 festivals, including a Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film also made former Pres. Barack Obama’s list of top 15 films of the year.

“Minding the Gap” marks the directorial debut of Bing Liu, a 30-year-old filmmaker who has spent more than a decade on the project. The film follows three young men as they bond together to escape the volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. A Skype Q&A with the director will follow the screening.

“We are thrilled to continue our popular collaboration with the Camden Opera House,” said Ben Fowlie, executive and artistic director of the Points North Institute.

Fowlie called “Minding the Gap” a rich, vibrant, and raw film that poetically weaves together themes of masculinity and friendship.

“It’s a must-see by one of the most exciting new voices in documentary, a film families should see together and an absolute privilege to start our 2019 CIFF Selects season with,” he said.

Additional CIFF Selects titles will be announced; screenings are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. This year’s remaining screening dates are March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23. Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via Skype, will follow select screenings.

Tickets are $10 for adults can be purchased the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office; or in advance online at All screenings are free for students younger than age 18; or who present a valid college ID. CIFF Selects is a program of the Points North Institute and is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

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