Filmmakers looking to get in front of the documentary world’s heavy hitters in an idyllic coastal Maine town should look no further than the Camden International Film Festival’s Points North Pitch. And for the first year ever, CIFF is offering the winner of Indiewire’s CIFF Project of the Week a travel stipend and accommodations during the festival!
Last year, the pitch, which included Phil Engelhorn (Cinereach), Judith Helfand (Chicken + Egg Pictures), Brian Newman (Sub-genre), Daniel Chalfen (independent producer), Beth Janson (Tribeca Film Institute), Christopher Hastings (WGBH) and more, opened up to filmmakers beyond New England.
The 2012 Camden Points North Pitch winners were “In Country” filmmakers Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara. Attie told Indiewire, “We were initially not sure, but
once we saw a list of the panelists — Judith Helfand, Simon Kilmurry,
Daniel Chalfen, Phil Englehorn — we knew it would be a good opportunity. But the event itself exceeded our expectations. The key is that
it’s a small, intimate environment. You’re in Maine, not NYC or LA, so
all of the filmmakers, broadcasters and funders hang out together, see
movies together, etc. It was not only the pitch, but the access you get
to key people in the world of documentary.”
O’Hara added, “Camden really turned a corner for our film. We’ve
had a huge amount of attention in the last six months and I believe none
of that would have happened without Camden. When we pitched at HotDocs —
one of the biggest international markets in the world — we had already
met a bunch of the people there when we were at Camden. It gave us a
huge leg up. When you’ve already shared clam chowder with someone in
Maine, it makes it easy to write to them about your film. The last major piece is [festival director] Ben [Fowlie] & [Points North director] Sean [Flynn]. They are very well
connected & respected in the Doc Community and they take a personal
interest in seeing that your film succeeds. I think that personal
attention is what makes Points North one of the best places to launch —
especially for first time filmmakers.”
Indiewire is giving one filmmaking team a chance to get to Camden before the final decisions get made at the end of August/beginning of September.
The best pitch at Camden wins a $1,000 cash prize from Documentary Educational Resources and 60 hours
of free sound mix or color correction services from Modulus Studios in Brighton, MA
worth approximately $10,000. One New England filmmaking team at the pitch will win a $3,000 scholarship from the Maine Media Workshops. We’d like to help you become eligible for those prizes.
Here’s how it works:
For the first week of July, 1 thru 4, all Projects of the
Day will be CIFF Points North Pitch submissions, selected by Indiewire.
- July 5-8, readers will select one of the CIFF projects as Project of the Week.
The winner will receive — in addition to a consultation from SnagFilms and eligibility for Project of the Month —
a guaranteed spot at the Points North Pitch, two passes to the Camden
International Film Festival and Points North Forum, a travel stipend and accommodations
for the duration of the festival.
While projects must submit to the pitch by August 9, 2013,
prospective pitches must have applied to CIFF and filled out the form
below by Sunday June 30, 2012, at midnight in order to be eligible for
the CIFF/Indiewire Project of the Day.
To submit your film for the CIFF Points North Pitch, fill out the entry form here, and to make sure you’re eligible for the CIFF/Indiewire Project of the Week contest, fill out the form here. In order to be eligible for the CIFF/Indiewire Project of the Week contest, you must submit both forms.
Here’s the official press release from the Camden International Film Festival:
Camden International Film Festival Announces Points North Pitch Call
Documentary filmmakers invited to pitch their works-in-progress to
a distinguished panel of industry delegates at two-day forum in Maine
Camden, Maine – The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF)
has announced that the Points North Pitch is now open for submissions.
Part 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 August 9,
2013 at 11:59pm.
All participating filmmakers will be eligible to win
the Points North Pitch Award and MODULUS Finishing Fund, which includes
a $1000 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 a $3000 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.
Six projects will be selected to participate in the
Points North Pitch, which includes an invaluable 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
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
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 both 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 Points North Director Sean Flynn. Since
winning 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
Now in its fifth year, the 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
running concurrently with the festival from September 27 – 28, 2013
in the Camden Opera House.
Points North is dedicated to providing independent
documentary filmmakers opportunities for both professional development
and creative inspiration in an intimate, small-town setting, helping
build a vibrant regional filmmaking community while sustaining a conversation
about new directions in nonfiction storytelling. The forum 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