The Camden International Film Festival will feature some 80 documentaries – all of which are worth seeing – during its four-day run from Sept. 25-28 (check out the full schedule of films). But here are some favorites from this year’s impressive slate, chosen by CIFF founder/executive director Ben Fowlie and managing director Caroline von Kuhn.
Caroline: “Virunga” (directed by Orlando von Einsiedel) – Depicts the desperate attempts of a small group of committed activists trying to save the last of the world’s mountain gorillas amid the chaos of Congo’s civil war. “This is our opening night film, and the director will be there. This is just an incredible film that plays like a thriller.”
Screening at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 at Camden Opera House | camdenfilmfest.virunga
Ben: “Guidelines” (directed by Jean-François Caissy) – A meditative portrait of the school and home lives of a group of teenagers in a small Quebec town. “The sensibility is phenomenal, with a very (Frederick) Wiseman-esque, veritè documentary style. It captures a theme in the festival this year – the transitional phase of passing from adolescence to adulthood. And it has one of the most amazing endings I’ve seen in a long time – which I can’t spoil for you.”
Screening at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 ay Bayview Street Cinema | camdenfilmfest.guidelineslamarcheasuivre
Caroline: “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” (directed by Alex Gibney) – All there in the title, the film chronicles the career of music legend Brown. “While we don’t program based on premiere status, this will be the film’s first theatrical screening. It’s always exciting when a film will be a real discovery, not only for the local audience, but for the industry and press as well.”
Screening at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 at Strand Theatre | camdenfilmfest.mrdynamitetheriseofjamesbrown
Ben: “Tomorrow We Disappear” (directed by Jim Goldblum and Adam M. Webber) – About the struggles of a community of slum-dwelling street performers against the wheels of progress. “This is a really poignant film about a group of cultural artists banding together to make sure they don’t get lost forever. Scored by Dan Romer, the composer of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” it’s a playful, emotional and really fun film that shows the diversity of what CIFF represents.”
Screening at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 at Strand Theatre | camdenfilmfest.tomorrowwedisappear
Caroline: “Waiting For August” (directed by Teodora Mihai) – Character study of a 15-year-old girl in Romania forced to raise her six siblings. “This is just an unbelievable film, a young female coming-of-age story under extreme conditions.”
Screening at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at Bayview Street Cinema | camdenfilmfest.waitingforaugust
Ben: “Wild Home” (directed by Jack and Robert Schurman) – About a Vietnam vet who runs an animal sanctuary in the Maine woods. “This is a great character portrait about Bob Minor, a Vietnam veteran coping with his return to society by trying to find a home for animals and rehabilitate them. In doing that, he’s able to communicate with people again. It’s a real Maine story – every Mainer knows a Bob Minor in their life.”
Screening at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28 at Strand Theatre | camdenfilmfest.wildhome
Check out the complete schedule at camdenfilmfest.org.