Our take: This small (but growing) documentary festival on the coast of Maine burst onto the scene in a major way this year - screenings in opera houses, parties in local (haunted?) mansions, crackling dinners with filmmakers and industry gathered around long tables and plates filled with fresh-caught lobster. If a festival can be cozy and stimulating at the same time, then Camden is creating an exciting event to kick off the insanity that is the fall festival tour and is poised to become the top US doc showcase in the fall. A bit of a hike to get to (unless you want to take the prop plane to the local airport) but worth it once you arrive. Fest takes advantage of everything the area has to offer - the Maine Media Workshops, freshly caught seafood and a bounty of native sons and daughters who want to do something great in their hometown. Now, if only the local audiences catch up with buzz that's happening in the doc community.
Selection of US films screened at 2009 festival: CRUDE, GARBAGE DREAMS, MINE, OCTOBER COUNTRY, THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS, RACING DREAMS, CONVENTION, SONS OF A GUN
Our coverage of Camden here.
Filmmaker: “One really couldn't ask for a more perfect time of year or a more picturesque setting for a film festival. This place has charm. The folks in charge are young, friendly, and full of big ideas. Great films, great venues, great music. Someone pass the lobster.”
is so impressive about Camden is the tremendous
care and attention given to emerging independent filmmakers as well as the more
established. All filmmakers are treated to a wonderful level of
hospitality and are able to closely connect with highly engaged and
Filmmaker: "They’re not beholden to premieres and choose to curate in large part the best of what's been happening over the last year. First rate accomodations, screening rooms, attendance, parties, location. This festival has got it all. It will be great to see them expand and see if they can retain that feeling. Ben Fowlie and his team: aces."
Filmmaker: "it was a truly lovely experience from start to finish. Amazing hospitality, lovely accommodations, enthusiastic filmgoers (many students were in attendance) and a picturesque setting on Maine’s coast. The festival programmers also do a great job of promoting their films long after the film festival, really standing behind their filmmakers’ work."
Filmmaker: "played, won award. very nice folk. paid for travel hotel, but its crazy far away. two flights and 2+ hour drive from L.A. lovely town once you get there."
Industry: "LOVE LOVE LOVE. They care and treat industry and filmmakers like the stars we are :)"
Next up: Rounding out the top 20...