Film fest weekend in Midcoast Maine

By Dagney C. Ernest | Sep 14, 2017
Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest Camden International Film Festival founder and Points North Institute Executive Director Ben Fowlie takes the Camden Opera House stage to introduce one of the fest’s free Shorts First screenings.

The annual Camden International Film Festival opened Sept. 14 with afternoon Storyforms virtual reality films in “the barn” on Winter Street in Rockland; and a world premiere film that evening at the Camden Opera House, with the first-time filmmaker in attendance. Friday’s midday showers offered more what festival founder Ben Fowlie calls “good film festival weather.”

CIFF ran through Sunday, Sept. 17, in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, and included a number of free screenings. Following are the festival awards.

Each of this year’s Points North Fellows received a $1,000 cash grant for their projects in development. Winner of the Points North Pitch is “Midnight Traveler,” which was offered $10,000 by the Ford Foundation's JustFilms in addition to the Points North Pitch Award’s in-kind post services from Boston-based Modulus Studios worth approximately $10,000.

CIFF is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short films, making the winner of the Camden Cartel Award for Best Short eligible to enter the Documentary Short Subject competition. This year’s award went to Ben Knight’s “The Last Honey Hunter,” with Special Jury Mention going to Adam and Zack Khalil’s “The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets.”

For the third year, CIFF collaborated with longtime partner Documentary Educational Resources to present the John Marshall Award for Contemporary Ethnographic Media. It was awarded this year to Tala Hadid’s “House in the Fields.”

The 2016 Emerging Cinematic Vision Award went to Martin Dicicco’s “All That Passes Through a Window That Doesn’t Open,” with Special Jury Mention going to Drew Xanthopolous’ “The Sensitives.”

The 2017 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Ziad Kalthoum’s “Taste of Cement,” with Special Jury Mention going to Gustavo Salmerón’s “Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle.” And the 2017 Camden International Film Festival Audience Award, sponsored by Ann and Dick Costello, went to Jonathan Olshefski’s “Quest.”

Camden International Film Festival volunteers assist passholders as they explore short “walk-about” virtual reality films Sept. 14. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
The Storyforms virtual reality experiences, open to film fest passholders only, take place in “the barn” on Winter Street in Rockland. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Boston artist Jeff Smith’s “The Smallest House in the World” is installed in the courtyard of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland for the duration of the film festival. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Colombian filmmakers Pinzón Silva, second from left, and, continuing right, Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Fernando Lopez Escriva answer audience questions at the Camden Opera House. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Points North Program Director Sean Flynn introduces the Points North panel Sept. 16 on the Camden Opera House stage. (Courtesy of: CIFF)
Lines start to form for a Camden International Film Festival screening at the Camden Opera House. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
This year, the CIFF Hub is located on Elm Street, Camden. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
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