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Points North Institute Announces 2016 Forum Program, Including Masterclasses With Ezra Edelman and Kirsten Johnson

The annual forum runs concurrently with the Camden International Film Festival.

OJ: Made In America

O.J. Simpson archival photo in 30 for 30 film: O.J.: Made in America.


The Points North Institute has unveiled unveiled the lineup for its eighth annual Points North Forum. The three-­day documentary-focused conference program runs concurrently with the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) from September 16 – 18 at the historic Camden Opera House and Rockport Opera House in Camden and Rockport, Maine.

This year’s program will include four masterclasses focused on directing, editing, producing and interactive media, panel discussions, case studies, networking events and the seventh annual Points North Pitch, part of the year­long Points North Fellowship for six filmmakers with feature documentaries in development. Those masterclasses will be taught by director Ezra Edelman, director and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, producer Julie Goldman, veteran editor Joe Bini and interactive media pioneer Hugues Sweeney of the National Film Board of Canada.

A full conference schedule and list of industry delegates can be found online, right here. For filmmakers looking to crack various aspects of documentary filmmaking — from making episodic content to producing projects — there’s no better place than the forum.

Additionally, six projects have been selected to participate in the 2016 Points North Fellowship and Points North Pitch. These filmmaking teams will each receive a $2,000 grant (thanks to support from Chicago Media Project) and will travel to Camden for two full days of pitch training and industry mentorship held at Maine Media Workshops. Check out the full list of those projects below.

READ MORE: Here’s What It’s Like to Pitch Your Documentary at Points North Pitch

“The Feeling of Being Watched,” Directed by Assia Boundaoui
A filmmaker digs into tales of surveillance inside her Arab neighborhood in Chicago’s south suburbs and discovers that her hometown was the subject of the largest FBI terrorism investigation conducted before 9/11. The Feeling of Being Watched follows a filmmaker’s personal journey to discover the truth about why her community fell under blanket surveillance and asks: is it still happening today?

“Midnight Family,” Directed by Luke Lorentzen
The Ochoa family operates a for­profit, independent ambulance in Mexico City. When they hear of an emergency over their illegal police radio, they rush to the scene with twin motives: saving lives and getting paid.

“The Mountain and the Magic City,” Directed by Bridget Besaw and Ben Severance
In the shadow of a northern mountain, a place once known as The Magic City stands on the brink of collapse, abandoned by industry and torn apart by a national park that threatens to unite or divide it. This is the story of what happens when the American dream is lost and what one community will sacrifice to get it back. It’s an intimate look at the nature of change, and why compromise is often easier said than done.

“Printed Circuit,” Directed by Sofie Benoot, Isabelle Tollenaere and Liesbeth De Ceulaer
Not far from Los Angeles, lies the unfinished California City. In this grid of thousands of crumbling streets, former LA gang members try to reinvent themselves, while being constantly haunted by their turbulent past.

READ MORE: Camden International Film Festival Announces Program for the Seventh Annual Points North Documentary Forum

“Rescue Breath,” Directed by Elaine Sheldon
After his son holds up a bank while high on heroin, Kevin Blankenship, a successful doctor who reinvented the urgent care system, is forced out of retirement to battle the opioid epidemic that has swept through his home state of West Virginia. In his six­month, farming­based recovery center, addicts attempt to let go of painful pasts as they live in the present, and dream of a future where they can break the cycle of generational addiction.

“A Taste of Sky,” Directed by Michael Lei
In the dizzying heights of Bolivia’s capital of La Paz a gastronomical revolution is offering the possibility of hope to the country’s impoverished youth. We follow the trials and tribulations of GUSTU, the innovative cooking school and world­class restaurant of South America’s poorest country.

Access to the full conference program is open to all CIFF passholders. Passes are now on sale on the Camden International Film Festival website. Find out more information at their official website.

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