On Sunday, September 17, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) hosted their annual Awards Ceremony, with the Audience Award going to Jonathan Olshefski’s QUEST.Overall the festival presented four awards for documentary features and one for a documentary short, in addition to its Points North Pitch Award.
The 2017 class of Points North Fellows includes James Sorrels and Joshua Louis Simon’s AREA 2, Eva Weber’s GHOST WIVES, Claire Sanford and Adam Pajot-Gendron’s HWANGSA, Jessica Earnshaw and Holly Meehl’s JACINTA, Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian’s MIDNIGHT TRAVELER, and Todd Chandler’s UNTITLED SAFER SCHOOLS PROJECT.
Each of these projects in development received a $1,000 cash grant from the Points North Institute. This year’s Points North Pitch Award, which included in-kind post-production services from Boston-based Modulus Studios, went to MIDNIGHT TRAVELER. During the pitch, the project was offered an additional $10,000 by the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms.
Last year, CIFF became an Academy-qualifying festival for short films, making the winner of the Camden Cartel Award for Best Short eligible to enter the Documentary Short Subject competition for the Academy. The 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 long-time partner, Documentary Educational Resources, to present the John Marshall Award for Contemporary Ethnographic Media, awarded this year to Tala Hadid’s HOUSE IN THE FIELDS.
Jurors Iyabo Boyd (Producer), Brett Story (Filmmaker), and James N. Kienitz Wilkins (Filmmaker) awarded the 2017 Cinematic Vision Award to Martin Dicicco’s ALL THAT PASSES BY THROUGH A WINDOW THAT DOESN’T OPEN, with Special Jury Mention going to Drew Xanthopolous’s THE SENSITIVES.
The Jury stated that DiCicco’s film “stood out as an inherently political yet free-flowing and contemplative film with moments of humor and melancholia that used a classic metaphor for cinema to explore how the past is embedded, if not stuck, in the present moment. This film is unique for its autonomy in both content and technical execution — a portrait of laborers who must trust that their life work will mean something someday, and a filmmaker who spent years on an intense and often lonely journey as combined director, producer and cinematographer.”
This year’s jury of Molly O’Brien (Fork Films), Robb Moss (Filmmaker), and Jose Rodriguez (Tribeca Film Institute) awarded the 2017 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature to Ziad Kalthoum’s TASTE OF CEMENT, with Special Jury Mention going to Gustavo Salmerón’s LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE. The Jury stated the winning film was chosen “For its masterful use of visual metaphor, breathtaking sound design and poetic restraint in telling the chaotic story of war and its exiles.”
The 14th edition of the Camden International Film Festival will take place September 13 to 16, 2018. Submissions will open in January 2018.