CIFF Selects opens with ‘Fire at Sea’

Jan 04, 2017
“Fire at Sea” (2016, Italy/France), directed by Gianfranco Rosi with no narration, interweaves the lives of Italian island Lampedusa’s seafarers and fishermen with the thousands of refugees who land in hopes of a better life in Europe.

Camden — The 2017 CIFF Selects season of screenings at the Camden Opera House will open Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. “Fire at Sea” (2016, Italy/France) is presented in partnership with the Camden Conference and the opera house.

The first documentary to ever win the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and recently shortlisted for a 2017 Academy Award, “Fire at Sea” takes place in Lampedusa, a once-peaceful Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for African refugees into Europe. There, viewers meet Samuele, a 12-year-old boy who lives simply, climbing rocks by the shore and playing with his slingshot. Yet nearby, thousands of men, women and children are trying to survive the crossing from Africa in boats that are too small for such a journey. Award-winning filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully places these realities side by side, creating a remarkable third narrative that jolts viewers into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office. CIFF Selects is monthly documentary screening series that brings the cutting-edge programming of the Camden International Film Festival to Midcoast Maine year-round. In partnership with the Camden Opera House, CIFF Selects is a program of the Points North Institute. Select screenings are followed by Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via Skype. For more information, visit

The Camden Conference supports the screening of this documentary in anticipation of the 30th annual Camden Conference — Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis, Feb. 17 through 19, live at the Camden Opera House and streamed via satellite to the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast; the Strand Theatre in Rockland; and Lee Auditorium in Portland.

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world issues. For more information, visit; email; or call 236-1034.

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

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