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‘The Waiting Room’ and ‘Only the Young’ Take Home Top Honors at Camden International Film Fest

'The Waiting Room' and 'Only the Young' Take Home Top Honors at Camden International Film Fest

As the four rainy days of the 8th Annual Camden International Film Festival wound down, the energy was still high as documentary fans nestled into their seats at Sunday’s closing-night screening of Jeff Orlowski’s environmental photography doc “Chasing Ice.”

Festival founder Ben Fowlie opened the evening by thanking the audience for continuing to make the small-town festival a robust showcase for great documentary films. The festival, which hosts screenings in Camden and Rockland, Maine, plus a filmmaking forum, is New England’s most respected documentary film festival.

Also last night, the festival’s Harrel Award for Best Film (for which I was a jury member) was given to Pete Nicks’ look at emergency room care and American health care, “The Waiting Room.” A special jury mention went to David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s “Downeast,” about a small-town lobster processing plant.

The festival’s Emerging Cinematic Vision Award went to Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ look at suburban California youth, “Only the Young.” And a special jury mention was given to Benjamin Kahlmeyer’s “Meanwhile in Mamelodi,” a look at a South African family struggling with their day-to-day lives as the World Cup comes to town.

Update (8 Oct 2012):  Opening night film “Betting the Farm,” from Jason Mann and Cecily Pingree, won the festival’s Audience Award.

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