Camden International Film Festival opens with ‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’

Event has passed


The Camden International Film Festival has a full schedule of feature and short films for its 14th annual event, which will take place September 13-16, in film theaters Camden, Rockport and Rockland.

This year, the festival will present 37 features, 43 short films, one episodic series and 20 virtual reality and immersive experiences from more than 30 countries.

Half or more of the selections are directed or co-directed by women, across every category of the 2018 CIFF lineup, including features, shorts, competitions, artist programs and immersive and VR installations. In keeping with CIFF’s mission as a festival that discovers and fosters rising talent, half of the films are made by first- or second-time filmmakers. 

“Our organization has always embodied a spirit of inclusivity, and this spirit goes all the way back to our very first program in 2005, which featured a majority of remarkable women directors,” said Ben Fowlie, executive and artistic director of the Points North Institute, and founder of the Camden International Film Festival, in a news release. “This year, we’re honored to showcase more than 100 of the most inspiring and creative voices from across the globe working in nonfiction storytelling today.”


CIFF will open with Academy Award winning director Morgan Neville’s They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead. Fresh from its world premiere at Venice, the film is an intimate and captivating look at the last unfinished film of legendary director Orson Welles. The festival will close with the U.S. premiere of the sailing epic Maiden, which makes its world premiere at TIFF the week prior. 

The CIFF program will also present three world premieres by award-winning filmmakers, including Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski’s Young Men And Fire, Lana Wilson’s series The Cure for Fear and Jane Gillooly’s Where the Pavement Ends. Seventeen features from the program will be making their North American or US Premieres including TIFF premieres, Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, What Is Democracy, and The Truth About Killer Robots, Locarno winner Fausto, and Karlovy Vary winners Walden and Putin’s Witnesses. In addition to Putin’s Witnesses, CIFF will host Vitaly Mansky, the acclaimed and controversial Russian director now exiled to Latvia, and screen a curated retrospective of his work.

The festival will present a half dozen other documentary luminaries including new work from James Longley, Claire Simon, Astra Taylor, Nathaniel Kahn, and a dozen films that creatively interrogate current power structures and politics. Nearly all screenings will be attended by the filmmakers, with creators from Sierra Leone, Russia, Syria, Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany and Spain all converging on the coast of Maine.

CIFF will also feature four projects that have participated in the Points North Institute’s Artist Programs, including The Feeling of Being Watched, América, Dawnland, and the short Baby Brother. The incoming filmmakers selected for this year’s Points North Institute’s Artist Programs at CIFF will be announced in the coming week.

A complete list of the program’s selected feature films can be found below.

Storyforms: Remixing Reality is CIFF’s growing exhibition of immersive documentary experiences and art installations. This year the program will feature several room-scale VR and AR installations, 12 works of 360° cinema, a series of large-scale slow cinema projections, a monofilament light sculpture, and an audio-haptic installation that transforms trees into a medium for recorded sound.

“In addition to CIFF’s film slate, we’re honored to be presenting an exceptional selection of immersive artworks for the 3rd edition of Storyforms,” said Program Director Sean Flynn. “Each project will provoke a conversation about how emerging technologies are opening up new pathways for creative documentary storytelling in the 21st century.” 

Highlighted works include Asad Malik’s augmented reality documentary, Terminal 3, and a “Beta Test” work-in-progress of Fireflies: A Brownsville Story, a virtual reality documentary co-created by youth at the Brownsville Community Justice Center. 

The Points North Institute announced that SHOWTIME, under the Showtime Documentary Films banner, will serve as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 Points North Fellowship and a Headlining Sponsor for the 2018 Camden International Film Festival.

The Points North Forum’s lineup of masterclasses, roundtables, panels, and industry delegates will be announced in the coming week, with additional programs and Fellows being announced shortly thereafter. Festival passes and a complete festival lineup can be found at

The 14th Camden International Film Festival is a program of the Points North Institute, an expanded media arts organization established in July 2016. Building on CIFF’s long-established role in the nonfiction film community, the Points North Institute filmmaker programs provide a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers.

The complete program and asset links follow. 


Angels Are Made Of Light

James Longley | USA, Denmark, Norway | 117 mins

Angels Are Made Of Light reveals the daily struggles and inner lives of students and teachers at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan during the closing years of America’s longest war. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance



Chase Whiteside, Erick Stoll  | USA | 77 mins

América is a story of brothers confronting the chasm between adolescent yearning and adult realities when brought together to care for their ailing ninety-three year old grandmother.

Filmmakers in Attendance


Blowin' Up

Stephanie Wang-Breal | USA, Japan | 94 mins

Within a broken criminal justice system, a team of rebel heroines work to change the way women arrested for prostitution are prosecuted.  



Janet van den Brand | Belgium, The Netherlands | 73 mins

A poetic and textured film that follows four children as they experience the natural cycle of life on a farm, learning the profession of their ancestors with the dream that one day they will take over the farm. US Premiere


Commander Arian - A Story of Women, War & Freedom

Alba Sotorra | Germany, Spain, Syria | 77 mins

In this tale of emancipation and freedom, a young and severely wounded Syrian commander redefines herself after retaking an ISIS-controlled city with her female battalion. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Communion Los Angeles

Adam R. Levine, Peter Bo Rappmund | USA | 68 mins

Communion Los Angeles explores California’s oldest freeway as it courses from the mountains to the ocean, defining and dividing the communities it is designed to serve. North American Premiere

Filmmakers in Attendance



Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip | USA, Wabanaki Territory | 86 mins

A story of stolen children and cultural survival: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans. 

Filmmakers in Attendance


Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

Alexis Bloom | USA | 107 mins

An “origin story”—the story of our current moment in American life — told through the triumph and downfall of Fox News founder Roger Ailes. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Easy Lessons

Dorottya Zurbó | Hungary | 78 mins

Kafia, a young girl on the brink of adulthood, has to leave behind a lot of what defined her Somalian life as she tries to adapt to her new existence in Hungary.


Exit Music

Cameron Mullenneaux | USA | 71 mins

A rare invitation into the world of a young artist dying of cystic fibrosis as he and his family navigate the ominous, sacred, and unmapped journey at the end of life. 

Filmmaker in Attendance



Andrea Bussmann | Mexico, Canada | 70 mins

Through literature and myth, characters from the Faust legend intermingle with the inhabitants on the Oaxacan coast, while attempting to control nature with a never-ending building project. North American Premiere


First Stripes

Jean-François Caissy | Canada | 106 mins

In 12 weeks, young civilians are gradually moulded into Canadian Armed Forces soldiers, and must adapt to a world governed by its own rules and values. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Free Solo

Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi | USA | 97 mins

With no ropes or safety gear, Alex Honnold becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall, arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

Filmmaker in Attendance


Going South

Dominic Gagnon | Canada | 104 mins

The post-truth era Internet: a mesmerizing echo chamber in which everything – from shopping lists to intimate outpourings, conspiracy theories to innocent holidays and tropical cataclysms – is connected. North American Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance



Hale County This Morning, This Evening

RaMell Ross | USA | 76 mins

Intimate and unencumbered  moments of a community trumpet the beauty of life, the consequences of the social construction of race, and a testament to dreaming - despite the odds. 


In the Realm of Perfection

Julien Faraut | USA | 95 mins

Vibrant 16mm footage of John McEnroe's 1984 French Open final illuminates a fascinating essay on the kinship between tennis and filmmaking. 

Filmmaker in Attendance


Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Gabrielle Brady | Germany, UK, Australia | 94 mins

On a small island in the Indian Ocean, forty million crabs make their way through dense jungle to the rugged coast and, finally, to sea. Yet the island's sublime beauty hides other, darker presences.

Filmmaker in Attendance



Alex Holmes | United Kingdom | 93 mins

In a moving portrait of resilience, Maiden chronicles the unprecedented journey of 24-year-old Tracy Edwards and the first all-female sailing crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


My Father is My Mother's Brother

Vadym Ilkov | Ukraine | 76 mins

A bohemian singer/artist becomes father to his five-year-old niece when his sister's health deteriorates, and finds himself balancing parenthood with his rowdy nightlife and provocative art. US Premiere


Of Fathers and Sons

Talal Derki | Germany, Lebanon, Syria | 99 mins

Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family. Filmed over two years, this film provides extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up in an Islamic Caliphate. 

Filmmaker in Attendance


On Her Shoulders

Alexandria Bombach | USA | 95 mins

Nadia survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS and now, at 23, finds herself thrust onto the international stage as the voice of the Yazidi people.  

Filmmaker in Attendance




Vitaly Manski | Russia, Germany, Czech Republic | 120 mins

Cameras follow the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline from Russia through Europe, chronicling the landscapes through which it passes and the lives that it impacts. 

Filmmaker in Attendance


Putin's Witnesses

Vitaly Mansky | Latvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany | 104 mins

On December 31, 1999 Vladimir Putin ascended to the president’s chair in Russia, and only a camera separated documentarian Vitaly Mansky from the upper echelon of politics. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Science Fair

Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster | USA | 90 mins

Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international science fair.  



Banker White, Anna Fitch, Arthur Pratt, Lansana Mansaray | Sierra Leone, USA | 87 mins

Through the eyes of African filmmakers, an unforgettable portrait of Sierra Leone's heroes as they confront Ebola during the most acute modern public health emergency. North American Premiere

Filmmakers in Attendance


The Ancient Woods

Mindaugas Survila | Lithuania | 85 mins

The ancient woods are the place where the boundaries of time melt and everything that exists does not wither or age but “grows into” eternity. Welcome on an endless journey deep into the forests of Lithuania. NA Premiere


The Cure for Fear (Series)

Lana Wilson | USA, The Netherlands | 4 x 12 mins

A scientist says she's found the cure for fear, but what are the ramifications--and is it okay to be erasing human emotions? World Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


The Feeling of Being Watched

Assia Boundaoui | USA | 87 mins

When journalist Assia Boundaoui investigates surveillance rumors, she uncovers one of the largest pre-9/11 FBI terrorism probes, and reveals its impact on her Chicago Muslim-American neighborhood community. 

Filmmaker in Attendance



The Gospel Of Eureka

Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri | USA | 75 mins

Love, faith, and civil rights collide in the south as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to explore the meaning of belief. 

Filmmakers in Attendance


The Price of Everything

Nathaniel Kahn | USA | 105 mins

Holding a mirror to our consumerist culture, the film reaffirms the transcendent power of art and the deep need for it in our lives. 

Filmmaker in Attendance


The Proposal

Jill Magid | USA | 83 mins

Celebrated conceptual artist Jill Magid sets her sights on an ambitious new project: an exhibition inspired by the visionary Mexican architect Luis Barragán. The only trouble is, one woman in Switzerland owns Barragán’s entire professional archive and the legal rights to any reproduction of his work.

Filmmaker in Attendance


The Truth About Killer Robots

Maxim Pozdorovkin | USA | 81 mins

Robots are great... except when they kill people and steal jobs. That’s the conclusion of filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin’s eye-opening work of science non-fiction. US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

Morgan Neville | USA | 98 mins

Orson Welles' final film remains unfinished, locked in a vault for almost four decades. Neville's take on the archive exposes a dense story of betrayal made up of many fragments of high and low culture. 

Filmmaker in Attendance



Vitaly Manski | Russia | 85 mins

Three young women each have a sought-after commodity - their virginity. Kristina, Karina and Katya each try to make their way in a world ruled by fame, popularity and money. 

Filmmaker in Attendance


What is Democracy

Astra Taylor | Canada | 107 mins

If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. What Is Democracy? connects past and present, emotion and the intellect, the personal and the political, to provoke and inspire.  US Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Where The Pavement Ends

Jane Gillooly | USA | 85 mins

Beginning with a 1960s roadblock that divided then-white Ferguson from black Kinloch, the film depicts a micro-history of race relations in America. World Premiere

Filmmaker in Attendance


Young Men and Fire

Alex Jablonski, Khalil Hudson | USA | 77 mins

A wildland firefighting crew struggles with fear, loyalty, dreams, demons: a story of working-class men’s exterior world, interior lives and the fire that lies between. World Premiere

Filmmakers in Attendance


Young Solitude

Claire Simon | France | 100 mins

Young Solitude is a coming of age film on the words exchanged between young people aged seventeen who are learning to look at each other, to listen to each other, to deal with each other’s entangled stories. US Premiere


Yours in Sisterhood

Irene Lusztig | USA | 101 mins

Hundreds of letters sent to Ms. Magazine in the 1970s – the first mainstream feminist magazine in the US – are resurfaced from the archive and read aloud by strangers in communities across the country. 

Filmmaker in Attendance




2018 Storyforms Slate


Anote's Ark VR

Matthieu Rytz | Canada | 10 mins

Anote’s Ark VR takes you on a journey to Kiribati to bear witness to one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.



Gina Kim | South Korea | 12 mins

Bloodless is a ten-minute VR film that deals with camp town sex workers for US army stationed in South Korea since the 1950s.


Ch’aak’ S’aagi (Eagle Bone)

Tracy Rector | USA | 5 mins

One of the first VR pieces ever created by a Native American filmmaker, "Eagle Bone" ("Ch'aak' S'aagi") combines freestyle spoken word and lush Pacific Northwest scenes in a journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones.


Fireflies: A Brownsville Story (Beta Test)

Brownsville Community Justice Center, Peoples Culture  | USA

Traverse the structural realities of a Brooklyn neighborhood divided by an ongoing rivalry between public housing developments.


Guardians of the Forest

(360 Cinema)

Ben Ross, Brittany Neff | USA | 7 mins

A VR expedition into the Amazon rainforest, where a volunteer monitoring force of the Guajajara tribe brings illegal loggers to justice.


rack/pull focus

Rachel Lee Zheng | USA

A site-specific, sculptural installation of mono-filament, LED lights, and reflective material.



Gershon Dublon, Edwina Portocarrero | USA, Mexico

An “audio-haptic display” embedded in the natural environment, ListenTree points to a future where digital information might become enmeshed in material.


Manic VR

Kalina Bertin | Canada | 10 mins

Through room-scale interaction and 3D animation, Manic VR unearths the destabilizing effects of bipolarity – delve into the heightening of senses and the untamed imagination that accompanies this complex and mysterious condition.


Mind at War

Sutu | USA | 22 mins

This immersive virtual reality project explores the banality and horrors of war and England’s battle with mental illness through hand-drawn VR illustrations of places based on his memories.



Michel Huneault | Canada | 15 mins

This immersive story centres on Roxham Road, a small section of the border where people are arrested and welcomed at the same time.


Sanctuaries of Silence

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, Adam Loften  | USA | 7 mins

Silence just might be on the verge of extinction and acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton believes that even the most remote corners of the globe are impacted by noise pollution. In “Sanctuaries of Silence,” join Hempton on an immersive listening journey into Olympic National Park, one of the quietest places in North America. 


She Flies by Her Own Wings

Jesse Ayala | USA | 10 mins

Shannon Scott driven by the military tenet of “Leave No One Behind,” pulls the levers of democracy urging freedom and justice for all be secured from the marbled halls of Washington D.C. to the hallowed ground of those who championed LGBTQ equality before her. 


Terminal 3

Asad J. Malik | USA, Pakistan | 12 mins

Terminal 3 is an interactive, augmented-reality documentary that explores contemporary Muslim identities in the U.S. through the lens of an airport interrogation. 


The Hidden

Lindsay Branham | USA, India | 10 mins

There are currently more people living in slavery than at any other time in human history. Indian government representatives, supported by the human rights group International Justice Mission, plot a daring raid to free a family enslaved in a rock quarry in southern India for 10 years.


The Real Thing

Benoit Felici, Mathias Chelebourg (co-director) | France | 16 mins

Around China's largest cities, entire neighbourhoods have been inspired by foreign models. THE REAL THING is a VR journey into a copy of our world. 


This is Climate Change: FEAST

Danfung Dennis, Eric Strauss | Brazil, USA | 9 mins

Witness the beautiful expanse of Brazil’s ecologically valuable rainforest, threatened by loggers as massive trees are cleared to make way for sprawling industrial cattle ranches. Can the Amazon survive the growing global demand for beef?


This is Climate Change: FIRE

Danfung Dennis, Eric Strauss | USA | 11 mins

In just the last three decades, changes in climate have doubled the amount of land burned by wildfires in the western United States. Experience the scorching California fires of 2017, and follow the dedicated fighters - by air and on the ground - whose jobs have turned into year-round battles against these catastrophic blazes.


Tidal Drift

Allison Moore  | Canada | 24 mins

This immersive cinematic experience uses ambient textures exploring the micro / macrocosm of natural wonders. Hypnotic marine-landscapes superimpose with growing plants, crystals, cloud formations, and the glowing cosmic stars.



Peter Bo Rappmund | USA | 62 mins

Topophilia traces the 800 mile path of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), and examines one of the most historically productive oil routes in the United States. 



Daniel Zimmermann  | Switzerland | 106 mins

In the forest of the Catholic Monastery of Admont in Austria a fir tree is felled and processed into planks of wood. By train, truck, boat and finally by hand, the stack is transported to a mysterious destination right in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

About the Points North Institute

Established in 2016, the Points North Institute is the launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. Building on the success of the Camden International Film Festival, the Points North Institute’s mission is to bring together a unique, interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders, and 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. Programs include the annual Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum, as well as a year-round calendar of artist development initiatives that nurture the careers of diverse nonfiction storytellers and help them develop a stronger artistic voice. 

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, showcasing nearly 80 documentary films from around the globe each fall. Running concurrently with CIFF, the Points North Forum provides filmmakers with opportunities for professional development and creative inspiration. Past Forum industry participants include representatives from HBO, A&E, CNN Films, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Sundance Institute..

The 2018 Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum will take place September 13 - 16 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland. Major support provided by Showtime Documentary Films, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

For more information visit

Event Dates: 
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 9:00am
Fri, 09/14/2018 - 9:00am
Sat, 09/15/2018 - 9:00am
Sun, 09/16/2018 - 9:00am