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At CMP, our members are our best assets, and sometimes our best mouth-pieces, too! Recently, CMP Board Member Matthew Soraci of Lagralane Group joined us at the small and highly-regarded Camden International Film Festival in Camden, ME for a weekend of good food and great films. Matt kindly offered to share his experience with the rest of CMP to hear more about this unique festival in a beautiful setting . . . take it away, Matt!

My experience with Paula and Steve at The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) was unique and intimate. A showcase where film makers and industry leaders came together in beautiful mid coast Maine to support the very best in documentary film. The food, drink and company did not suck either.

The intimacy of the experience cannot be over stated. Opportunities for relaxed and thoughtful conversation with filmmakers, producers, sales agents and industry insiders were plentiful. As a major sponsor we had access to all the events and forums as well as priority seating at every screening. The programming was exceptional. A few personal favorites from the feature program included Morgan Spurlock’s Rats, Robert Kenner’s Command and Control and Jenny Gage’s All This Panic. The shorts program was focused and well curated. In fact, one of our collective favorite films from the entire weekend was a short, Dan Taberski’s These C-cksucking Tears (2016 SXSW Jury winner best short doc).

In addition to the CIFF programming the Points North Forum simultaneously brought the international documentary film community together for three days of master classes, panel discussions, networking events and a CMP supported public pitch session. Highlights from the forum included a Creative Producing discussion with powerhouse producer Julie Goldman (Life Animated, Weiner, Best of Enemies) and a panel discussion about the documentary marketplace from a sales agent perspective. Other forum subjects included a master class in editing with Joe Bini (Grizzly Man, American Honey, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired), a masterclass in cinematography with Kirsten Johnson (Fahrenheit 9/11, The Invisible War, Citizenfour) and a Newtown case study panel discussion about building movements with media.

The highlight of the weekend was the CMP supported Points North Pitch session. Six teams of filmmakers pitched their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of industry insiders including Jenny Raskin (Impact Partners), Greg Rhem (HBO) and Amy Hobby (Tribeca Film Institute). Each team received a 2k grant partially funded by CMP (go team!) and the winning film also received a 10k in kind post production package. Ironically the winning project has roots in Chicago! I have a feeling we will be hearing more about this project as it progresses.

But what truly elevated the trip was the unique picturesque setting that is mid coast Maine. An unforgettable coastal experience where classic New England towns meet the rugged, spectacular Atlantic coast. The food, drink and socializing were exceptional and an integral part of the weekend. We even found a little time to hike around the coast in the mornings before breakfast. All in all, a trip to remember and hopefully repeat several times in the upcoming years.

A few things I learned about Paula and Steve over the long weekend. Steve will eat multiple breakfasts and is not afraid to play chicken with traffic in order to make a U-turn to check out a cool looking roadside diner and Paula swears like a “Mainer” and walks REALLY fast. 


Thanks for the perfect recap of a perfect weekend, Matt! Want to spend more time with Steve, Paula, and the gang during a classic CMP festival experience for yourself? Contact us about our upcoming member trips to DOC NYC, Sundance, and Hot Docs!