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Camden International Film Festival announces Points North Pitch call for entries [Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME)]

June 18, 2013


Documentary filmmakers invited to pitch their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of industry delegates at two-day forum in Maine

CAMDEN -- The Camden International Film Festival has announced that the Points North Pitch is now open for submissions. A highlight of the two-day Points North Documentary Forum held during the festival, the pitch is a unique opportunity for documentary filmmakers to present their feature-length work-in-progress to a panel of influential industry decision makers. Past panelists have included representatives from HBO, ITVS, POV, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, A&E IndieFilms, BBC, ARTE, Discovery and Participant Media, as well as leading executive producers, festival programmers and funders. The pitch is open to all international filmmakers and the deadline for submission is 11:50 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2013.

Six selected filmmakers will be eligible to win the Points North Pitch Award and MODULUS Finishing Fund, which includes a $1,000 cash prize from Documentary Educational Resources and 60 hours of free sound mix or color correction services from MODULUS STUDIOS (worth approximately $10,000). Selected New England-based filmmakers will also be eligible for a separate prize that includes three half-hour consultations with the Tribeca Film Institute's Ryan Harrington and a $3,000 tuition scholarship to the Maine Media Workshops. Past winners of the Points North Pitch Award include BETTING THE FARM by Jason Mann and Cecily Pingree, MOSQUITO by Jesse Epstein and Hannah Rosenzweig, and IN COUNTRY by Mike Attie and Meghan O'Hara.

Selected filmmakers will participate in an intensive pitch training session led by industry experts. Past trainers have included executive producer Andrea Meditch (Man on Wire, Encounters at the End of the World), filmmaker/funder Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl, Chicken & Egg Pictures) and Ryan Harrington (Tribeca Film Institute). Selected filmmakers will also receive two VIP passes to the festival, accommodations in the Camden area, and a stipend for travel expenses.

In a partnership with indieWIRE, one project will be selected by audience voting as part of the indieWIRE / CIFF Project of the Week Contest during the week of July 1-7. Details will be posted on the Points North website.

On Saturday, September 28, filmmakers will take the stage of the historic Camden Opera House and will be given exactly seven minutes to present both a verbal pitch and a trailer or sample clip from their work-in-progress. The Points North Pitch is free and open to the general public, providing a unique opportunity for filmmakers to secure vital support for their projects and audience members to see how documentaries are developed and evaluated in their early stages.

"We are thrilled to see filmmakers who have pitched at the forum go on to do great things and build on relationships that started in Camden," says CIFF Points North Director Sean Flynn. Since winning the Pitch Award at Points North, IN COUNTRY has received the Garret Scott grant and has been selected by the Hot Docs Forum and IFP Labs, as well as recognized as one of the "50 indie films to look out for in 2013" by indieWIRE. BETTING THE FARM went on to premiere at the 2012 Silverdocs Festival, and played to sold-out crowds as the official Opening Night Film of the 2012 Camden International Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.

Says Ben Fowlie, founder and executive director of CIFF: "We've seen tremendous growth in Points North over the last few years and we're particularly excited about building a community of support around the work of emerging filmmakers from New England and beyond."

Now in its fifth year, CIFF's Points North Documentary Forum has become New England's largest gathering of both documentary filmmakers and key industry decision makers. In addition to the pitch session, the two-day conference program will feature workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, one-on-one meetings and networking events. The Forum runs concurrently with the festival from September 27-28, 2013 in the Camden Opera House.

CIFF's Points North is dedicated to providing independent documentary filmmakers opportunities for professional development and creative inspiration in an intimate, small-town setting and to helping build a vibrant regional filmmaking community while sustaining a conversation about new directions in nonfiction storytelling. Points North is supported by the LEF Foundation, the Virginia Hodgkins Somers Foundation, the Maine Arts Commission, Maine Media Workshops, Documentary Educational Resources, Modulus Studios, IFP and indieWIRE.

More information about the Points North Documentary Forum, including an application for the pitch, can be found at:

About the Camden International Film Festival:

The Camden International Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting a snapshot of the cultural landscape through the year's best non-fiction storytelling by connecting audiences with the industry's emerging talent to discuss documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice.

Taking place from September 26-29, 2013, the Camden International Film Festival will hold screenings, discussions, forums and special events at several locations around Camden and Rockland, Maine. CIFF 2013 is made possible in part through the generous support of the University of Maine, Maine Magazine, Cellardoor Winery & Vineyard, The Quimby Family Foundation, Maine Today Media, Vimeo and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Please visit for more information.

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