“Shot in the Dark,” “Cocaine Prison” set for CIFF ’17

Dustin Nakao Haider’s Shot In The Dark (pictured), Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison and Daniel McCabe’s This is Congo are among the more than 70 feature-length and short films to be ...
August 22, 2017

Dustin Nakao Haider’s Shot In The Dark (pictured), Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison and Daniel McCabe’s This is Congo are among the more than 70 feature-length and short films to be screened at the 13th annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF).

With a 30% surge in submissions for its 2017 edition, CIFF will present 37 features, 35 short films, and a dozen virtual reality experiences from 30 countries. More than half of the lineup’s 37 features are made by first- or second-time filmmakers, in keeping with CIFF’s mission to support rising talent in non-fiction filmmaking.

The festival is scheduled to run Sept. 14 to 17 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine and will launch with the world premiere of Nakao Haider’s Shot In The Dark (96 minutes), which focuses on the basketball team of Chicago’s Orr Academy as it navigates challenges of violence and gangs for a chance at greatness. Nakao Haider will be in attendance.

The film program also includes screenings from 12 features making their North American or U.S. premieres, as well as two sneak preview presentations by award-winning filmmakers.

Following premieres at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, films that will be making their U.S. debuts at CIFF include: Jason Kohn’s Love Means Zero, chronicling the tennis coach Nick Bollettieri on his quest for love; Lili Fini Zanuck’s Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars, chronicling the life and career of the legendary guitarist;and Violeta Ayala’s aforementioned Cocaine Prison, which documents the drug trade from within one of Bolivia’s most infamous prisons.

North American premieres include Sand und Blut (Sand and Blood) from Matthias Krepp and Angelika Spangel, which offers intimate accounts of refugees now living in Europe; Travis Wilkerson’s Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun?, billed as a “White Nightmare story”; and Daniel McCabe’s aforemmentioned This Is Congo, which explores Africa’s longest continuing conflict through four characters.

For the full list of feature-length films playing at this year’s festival, click here.

“This formidable collection of documentaries offers unexpected moments of courage, humour, creativity, and affection to stories that are often difficult to access or to tell,” said CIFF programmer Samara Chadwick in a statement. “With so much to explore at the festival, this year we are highlighting currents across the CIFF, Storyforms and Forum programs with filmmaker talks, extended Q&As and thematic strands that explore issues of race in America, the refugee crisis, and the complicated intersections between documentary and journalism.”

CIFF has also expanded its second annual of Storyforms: Remixing Reality — the festival’s exhibition of virtual reality, immersive media and installations.

Storyforms will present “room-scale” and “walk-around” VR experiences, with the latter a collaboration between PBS ‘Frontline’ and Nonny de la Peña’s Emblematic Group. The section will be open to festival passholders at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, Maine.

“The artists featured in this year’s Storyforms are using new tools and technologies to revolutionize the ways in which the real can be represented and shared with audiences,” added Points North Institute’s program director Sean Flynn.

Meanwhile, the incoming filmmakers selected for this year’s Points North Institute’s Artist Programs, which serves as a launching pad for the next generation of non-fiction storytellers, will be announced on Sept. 5.

The Points North Forum’s line-up of masterclasses, roundtables, and panels will be announced on Thursday (Aug. 24), with additional programs and Fellows being announced shortly thereafter.

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