Exclusive: The Points North Institute is now accepting applications for the North Star Scholarship, a new program the lauded institute has developed in partnership with Kickstarter. The new scholarships — three in total — each provide travel support for mediamakers of color to attend the documentary-focused 2017 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) and Points North Forum, which will be held September 14 – 17 in the small towns of Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine.
The program is open to early-career documentary filmmakers and other media artists of color, between the ages of 21 and 29, who have not yet completed their first feature-length film or major project. Participants who are selected for the scholarships will receive airfare, accommodations, and an All Access pass to CIFF. Opportunities to participate in structured one-on-one meetings with industry decision-makers and advisors will also be made available to each North Star Scholarship recipient.
Applications are now open, and the deadline for the program is July 19. There is no application fee. Selections for the North Star Scholarship will be announced in August. More details on the program are available right here.
“Both Kickstarter and the Points North Institute are dedicated to the idea that doing creative work requires a strong community of support,” said Points North Program Director Sean Flynn in an official statement. “We are thrilled that this partnership will create new opportunities for diverse nonfiction storytellers to find that community of support in Camden.”
Founded in 2005 and recognized as one of the top documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) brings the finest non-fiction cinema to the coast of Maine. Each fall, the festival showcases nearly 80 documentary films from around the globe each fall.
In 2016, the Points North Institute was founded to be “a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers.” The institute’s mission is “to bring together a unique, interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders and local audiences, forming a creative hub on the coast of Maine where new stories and talent are discovered, collaborations are born, and the future of nonfiction media is shaped.” The North Star Scholarship program is an essential — and very timely — new addition to both CIFF and Points North.
“Camden International Film Festival is one of the biggest meeting grounds that brings our documentary community together – often resulting in future, successful collaborations and friendships,” said Liz Cook, Kickstarter’s Director of Documentary Film, in an official statement. “We are proud to partner with the Points North Institute and help launch the North Star Scholarship. It’s incredibly meaningful to us that we are offering this opportunity to young filmmakers of color, as we continue to focus our support around showcasing diversity in storytelling.”
Just this year long, CIFF and Points North alumni have enjoyed a slew of major festival premieres, including titles like “Whose Streets?,” “The Cage Fighter,” and “The Reagan Years.”
“Festivals are an important place for young filmmakers to find creative inspiration and build relationships that will help advance their careers, but it’s not always easy to attend major festivals unless you have film in the program,” added Points North Managing Director Angelica Das. “Opportunities like this can help diversify the documentary field by creating a space for new relationships to form.”