EXCLUSIVE: The Points North Institute announced the recipients of three of its prestigious scholarship programs today, ahead of the Camden International Film Festival in Maine next month.
The trio of programs – the Points North Fellowship, the North Star Fellowship and the LEF/CIFF Fellowship – will support a total of 16 documentary projects currently in development in the United States and a dozen other countries. [see full list of projects below].
“Eighty percent of projects supported by Points North this year are directed or co-directed by filmmakers from backgrounds historically marginalized or excluded from the film industry,” the institute noted in a statement, “including those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability”.
The fellowship programs, consisting of private workshops, screenings, industry meetings and other events, will take place both in person during the Camden International Film Festival and online. The festival, itself a program of Points North Institute, takes place along a bucolic stretch of Maine’s coast.
“Points North’s artist programs are designed to connect filmmakers with potential mentors, funders and collaborators, using the 18th Camden International Film Festival (September 15-25) as a platform for build a supportive community, nurture the careers of emerging nonfiction storytellers, and help them develop a stronger artistic voice,” the institute said.[T]he festival and its concurrent filmmaker labs remain one of the largest and most international gatherings of the documentary community in the country.
“This marks another pivotal year for our artist development work,” said Sean Flynn, program director and co-founder of Points North Institute. “In a rapidly changing industry, independent filmmakers seek inspiring spaces like Points North where they can take creative risks, build community, access resources, and grow their projects and careers as they see fit.”
Each of the three scholarships contains a unique objective:
- The Points North Scholarship is supporting six film teams as they develop their pitches and publicly pitch their in-progress documentaries to a panel of funders and distributors at CIFF’s popular Points North Pitch, which will be moderated by Kickstarter’s Elise McCave.
- The North Star Scholarship supports five innovative media artists and filmmakers of color who develop projects at the intersection of non-fiction creative practices and contemporary art. The program creates space for mentorship, critical dialogue and industry access, allowing for a deeper connection with the documentary film community and new strategies for connecting different modes of documentary art.
- The LEF/CIFF Scholarshipa program developed in partnership with the LEF Foundation, offers seven New England-based filmmakers with feature documentaries in production or post-production the opportunity to attend CIFF for project development workshops and team meetings. ‘industry.
The 2022 Points North Scholarship recipients are:
Between the rains Directed by Andrew Harrison Brown and Moses Thuranira; Directed by Samuel Ekomol
Filmed over four consecutive years during record annual rainfall in northern Kenya, Between the rains is a collaboration with the Turkana-Ngaremara community that seeks to understand the experiences of a childhood caught up in a traditional culture that is a victim of climate change.
flying cows Directed by Vahagn Khachatryan & Aren Malakyan; Produced by Jia Zhao
Every month, cows are shipped from Armenia to Iran by cargo planes. As war approaches, people abandon their lands and follow the path of their herds.
gross national happiness Directed by Dorottya Zurbo & Arun Bhattarai; Produced by Noemi Veronika Szakonyi
A satirical road movie of two Happiness Agents working for Bhutan’s Ministry of Happiness going door to door measuring people’s levels of happiness while searching for theirs among the remote Himalayan mountains.
someone left Directed by Cyrus Moussavi & Hubert Taylor; Produced by Brittany Nugent
someone left is a feature-length documentary about 94-year-old spiritual singer Brother Theotis Taylor, told through a remarkable archive of footage collected by his son, Hubert. It merges Hubert’s extensive personal video archive with contemporary truth footage to tell a multi-generational, multi-vocal story of Brother Taylor and his sacred music.
inventory Directed by Ilana Coleman; Produced by Jamie Gonçalves & Abril López
inventory juxtaposes testimonies of mothers in search of their missing sons with a committee of linguists in search of a missing word.
time hunter Directed by Daniel Chein & Mark Mushiva; Produced by David Felix Sutcliffe
A revolutionary agent is sent to steal technology from his colonial oppressors to use against them. Can he help his people without getting lost in the maze of the diaspora?
The 2022 North Star Scholarship recipients are:
Coming to you, for you and about you… Directed and produced by Alexis McCrimmon
Drawing on archival footage set in the black media explosion of the 1980s, Coming to you, for you and about you… is a lyrical exploration of unearthed community history.
“Más Y Más Y Más Flores” Directed and produced by César Martínez Barba
The cempasúchil flower, used on the Day of the Dead to guide souls home, travels through a world grappling with the grief of a global pandemic.
persian cheetah Directed and produced by Pegah Pasalar
In my family there has long been a rumor of a lost Quran which contained, on its last page, the outlines of a dense family tree. All the elderly members of the family know of the existence of the tree, but none know all the tangles of the branches…
The taste of mango Directed by Chloe Abrahams; Directed by Elliott Whitton
A lyrical exploration of motherhood and joy in the face of trauma, The taste of mango wonders how we can continue to love those who often make us suffer in return.
We believe! Directed and produced by Janah Elise
Calling not just for socialism in one country, but across the galaxy, We believe! is the story of Juan Posadas, an Argentinian who in the 1960s called for solidarity with extraterrestrials, and whose quixotic beliefs are now legendary in countless internet and social media memes. Taking the memification of Posadas as a starting point, We believe! examines our renewed obsession with space travel and UFOs against the backdrop of this forgotten piece of Latin American history, and reveals a nostalgia for the heartfelt belief that a better world is possible.
The 2022 LEF/CIFF scholarship recipients are:
Of the earth Directed by John Hulsey
Of the earth reflects on the unstable relationship between human life and the land under conditions of economic precariousness and environmental decline.
More than a name Directed by Sandra Jaffe; Directed by Eric Juhola
When a Chinese teenager adopted by a filmmaker comes out as transgender, she struggles to understand and protect him as he becomes a man in turbulent times.
New Directed by Rachael DeCruz and Jeremy S. Levine; Produced by Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine and Gerald Hankerson
New tells the story of Gerald Hankerson as he campaigns to free his former cellmate and father figure from prison and fights for the men he left behind. It’s about the enduring bonds of friendship forged across generations and the power that gives them to fight against an oppressive system.
The Gatherers Directed by Suzanne Greenlaw & Chek Wingo; Produced by Sunlight Media Collective
Indigenous peoples at the forefront of rematriation and land return movements in the Northeastern United States are embracing traditional knowledge systems that are fundamental to sustaining human life on earth.
Untitled film about altered states Directed and produced by Julie Mallozzi
Five disparate rituals induce altered states of consciousness to heal medical conditions, mental illnesses and chronic pain and lead viewers into their own meditative trance.
In addition to the above programs produced and organized by Points North, the institute will host three additional cohorts of fellows at this year’s festival. “Brown Girls Doc Mafia, whose mission is to empower the creative and professional success of women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry, will be heading to CIFF with the 2022 winners of the BGDM Black Directors Fellowship and of the BGDM Sustainable Artist. Fellowship,” according to a statement. “The Bay Area Video Coalition will bring the 2022-23 class of nine BAVC MediaMaker Fellows to CIFF for their first reunion, where they will participate in industry meetings alongside other Points North-supported filmmakers.”
Sponsors of Points North Institute’s 2022 Artist Programs include CNN Films, National Endowment for the Arts, Nia Tero, LEF Foundation, SHOWTIME®, MSNBC Films, RandomGood Foundation, Netflix, Kickstarter, TV5 Monde, ITVS and Maine Media Workshops+ Middle School.