Points North Institute Unveils 2021 Artist Programs (EXCLUSIVE)

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One of the first major in-person gatherings for the documentary industry is gearing up in Maine, where next month’s Camden International Film Festival’s Points North Institute has unveiled the doc makers and projects selected for its artist programs.

The programs include the Points North Fellowship, North Star Fellowship, 4th World Media Lab and LEF/CIFF Fellowship. Through private workshops, screenings and industry meetings taking place both in-person on the coast of Maine and online, the four programs will support 25 documentary projects in development.

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Eighty percent of this year’s new Points North-supported projects are directed or co-directed by filmmakers from backgrounds historically marginalized or excluded from the film industry, according to the org.

The artist programs are designed to connect filmmakers with mentors, funders and potential collaborators. More than 80 fellows, mentors and industry professionals are expected to attend the festival — which runs Sept. 16-26 — alongside 20 directors in the CIFF program.

“After 18 months of film festivals and filmmaker labs taking place online, it’s more important than ever that we create spaces in person for filmmakers to find creative inspiration and build new relationships with partners and collaborators that can sustain their vital work,” said Sean Flynn, program director and co-founder of the Points North Institute.

The Points North Fellowship supports six filmmaking teams as they develop their pitches and publicly present their documentary features in progress to a panel of funders and distributors at CIFF’s popular Points North Pitch. This year’s pitch event will take place in person in a 12,000-square-foot waterfront boat barn that the festival has converted into a socially distanced cinema lounge. The event will also be live streamed to hundreds of virtual attendees around the globe. The program’s mentors include Monika Navarro (Firelight Media), Kristin Feeley (Sundance), and executive producer Andrea Meditch.

The North Star Fellowship supports five filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds with mentorship, critical dialogue and industry access. The cohort will be mentored by award-winning filmmakers Sabaah Folayan (“Whose Streets?”), Jessica Beshir (“Faya Dayi”) and others.

The 4th World Media Lab supports seven early- and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers, who will attend CIFF and meet for the first time before continuing to Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February 2022 and Seattle International Film Festival in April 2022. Mentors for the program include Mridu Chandra (Producer, “Becoming Cousteau”) and Tracy Rector, creator of the 4th World program and Nia Tero’s managing director of storytelling.

The LEF/CIFF Fellowship offers seven New England-based filmmakers with feature documentaries in production or post-production the opportunities to attend CIFF for project development workshops and industry meetings.

In addition, the organization will welcome two additional fellowship cohorts to this year’s festival. Four filmmaking teams in the IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab will travel to CIFF for their first in-person convening and an invite-only work-in-progress screening. Meanwhile, the 2021-22 class of eight BAVC MediaMaker Fellows will also travel to CIFF, where they’ll take industry meetings alongside other Points North-supported filmmakers.

All program fellows are listed below:

The 2021 Points North Fellows

EVO, The Burnt Palace
Directed and Produced by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky & Martin Sivak

La Flaca
Directed by Jessica Chermayeff & Ana Veselic
Produced by Alba Jaramillo

Night Fight
Directed by Khary Saeed Jones
Produced by Khary Saeed Jones & Kendra Taira Field

Time Bomb Y2K
Directed by Marley McDonald & Brian Becker
Produced by Brian Becker

Untitled Sam Project
Directed by Nadav Kurtz
Produced by Nadav Kurtz & Diane Quon

Untitled Underground Railroad Ride
Directed by Fiz Olajide
Produced by Nerenda Eid

North Star Fellowship Fellows

Jon Ayon (Project: “Mestizx”)
Livia Perini Borjaille (Project: “Presente!”)
Sofia Brockenshire (Project: “The Dependents”)
Resita Cox (Project: “Freedom Hill”)
Alisha Tejpal (Project: “Untitled Objects”)

4th World Media Lab Fellows

Brit Hensel (Project: “ᎭᏢ ᎢᏁᎾ”)
Ajuawak Kapashesit (Project: “Borders”)
Jared Lank (Project: Untitled Margaret Moxa Film)
Erin Lau (Project: “Lewalana”)
Theola Ross (Project: “appt”)
Lucía Ortega Toledo (Project: “HumanKind”)

LEF/CIFF Fellows

Adam’s Apple
Directed by Amy Jenkins

El Signo Vacío
Directed by Kathryn Ramey

Hummingbirds
Directed by Silvia Castaños, Estefanía Contreras, Miguel Drake McLaughlin, Diane Ng, Ana Rodriguez-Falco & Jillian Schlesinger
Produced by Leslie Benavides, Jillian Schlesinger, Ana Rodriguez-Falco & Miguel Drake McLaughlin

Kaksori!
Directed by Shirley Kim-Ryu & Eben Portnoy

School District
Directed by Leigh Morfoot & Jason Morfoot
Produced by Leigh Morfoot

The Star of Hope
Directed by Jason Mann
Produced by Lindsay Mann

Untitled Death Row Memory Film
Directed by Alex Morelli
Produced by Daniel Garber; Executive Producer: Sierra Pettengill

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