CAMDEN — The 17th edition of the Camden International Film Festival, the Maine-based documentary event produced by the Points North Institute, will be an expanded hybrid festival, and the largest in person convening for the US-based documentary community since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Citing public health concerns, event organizers announced that anyone age 12 or older attending the festival in person this year must be vaccinated against COVID-19, along with a number of other protocols designed to safely bring together artists, audiences, volunteers, and staff.

The festival will take place in person from Sept. 16-19 throughout Midcoast Maine, and online from Sept. 16-26 for audiences across the globe. The Institute’s respected Artist Programs will be held in person leading up to the festival. In total, the festival will invite close to 100 filmmakers and industry members to the small coastal communities of Camden, Rockport, and Rockland. CIFF’s online festival will include a collection of nearly seventy feature and short documentaries, the majority of which will be US premieres. Organizers also announced that it will continue with its Filmmaker Solidarity Fund, a one-of-a-kind funding model established in 2020 that redirects 50% of all revenue from CIFF’s virtual pass and ticket sales back to participating filmmakers.

“Building community has been, and always will be, at the core of every decision we make here at Points North” said Ben Fowlie, Points North Institute’s executive director and founder of CIFF. “We owe everything to the communities that have supported us, both near and far, and that is why we are protecting our community’s safety by requiring all participants attending the festival in person in Maine to be fully vaccinated. Cinema is a beacon, and we wholeheartedly believe in its transformative power when experienced together. We are committed to providing safe and exciting ways to recommit to this mission this year, while also expanding our online platform for those that are not able to participate in person this year.”

CIFF will present nearly half its film slate in-person, including the exhibition of over 40 feature and short films across four venues, including their recently built Shotwell Drive-In and a new pop-up cinema housed inside a 12,000 square foot boat barn located on the edge of the Atlantic that has been designed with social distancing in mind.


In addition to the vaccination mandate, all visiting filmmakers and industry guests will be required to take a COVID-19 rapid test on the day of their arrival. Masks will be required for all attendees during all indoor screenings, and indoor venue capacities will be significantly reduced to ensure proper social distancing. CIFF has also hired a COVID compliance officer to oversee these safety protocols and provide on-site support to all attendees.


Passes to CIFF are still available, but quantities to all in person screenings are limited due to reduced venue capacities. Screening tickets will be available through pre-registration only on the CIFF website, with passholders getting priority access. Ticket holders will need to show proof of vaccination and will be scanned at the door for each event, enabling contact tracing if necessary.

Points North will announce this year’s Fellowship recipients and CIFF”s full slate of features and shorts soon. For more information on the festivals COVID policies, or to purchase your pass, visit www.pointsnorthinstitute.org.