Camden International Film Festival has unveiled the lineup for its Points North Documentary Forum. Now in its sixth year, the Forum has quickly become the largest gathering in New England of filmmakers, key decision makers and thought leaders in the documentary field.

The three-day conference program runs concurrently with the festival, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 26 through 28, at the historic Camden Opera House and Rockport Opera House. This year’s program will feature a wide range of panel discussions, workshops, case studies, networking events and two public pitch sessions. Points North is dedicated to providing independent documentary filmmakers with unique opportunities for both professional development and creative inspiration, helping build a vibrant regional filmmaking community while sustaining a conversation about new directions in nonfiction storytelling.

This year, CIFF introduced the Points North Fellowship, which enhances and expands upon the well-established Points North Pitch. Six selected filmmaking teams will travel to Camden for a day of pitch training and industry mentorship at the Maine Media Workshops. On Sept. 27, the filmmakers will take the stage at the Camden Opera House to pitch their documentary works-in-progress and receive critical feedback from a panel of leading funders, commissioning editors and producers before a live audience.

The event, which will be free and open to the public, is an opportunity for filmmakers to secure vital support for their projects and audience members to see how documentaries are developed in their early stages. This year’s panel will include representatives from POV, ITVS, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Ford Foundation, Catapult Film Fund, The Fledgling Fund and Al Jazeera America, among others.

One project will receive the Points North Pitch Award and Modulus Finishing Fund, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize from Documentary Educational Resources, a $10,000 post-production package from Boston-based Modulus Studios, a $3000 tuition scholarship to Maine Media Workshops and three consultations with the Tribeca Film Institute. Last year’s winner, “The Sensitives,” went on to receive the TFI Documentary Fund. The 2012 winner, “In Country,” is returning to screen at CIFF.

A new addition to the 2014 Forum program will be the AJ+ Pitch, in which five filmmakers will pitch their ideas for documentary shorts on stage at the Rockport Opera House. At least one (but possibly all five) will leave CIFF with an AJ+ commission worth up to $10,000. The AJ+ Pitch finalists are “Emotional Robot,” directed by Jillian Schlesinger; “Hall of the Evening Star,” directed by Sierra Pettengill; “Plan C for Civilization,” directed by Ben Kalina; “Power Girls,” directed by Jayisha Patel; and “Thailand’s Floating Cities,” directed by Jon Bougher.

“We're honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop a platform for filmmakers to introduce their projects to some of the most influential decision-makers in the documentary industry," said Ben Fowlie, CIFF’s founder and executive director.

Filmmakers, students and other Points North attendees will have numerous opportunities to connect with industry delegates throughout the festival weekend, both formally during panels, workshops and one-on-one sessions, and informally during CIFF parties and receptions. In addition to the Points North Fellows, CIFF will host nearly 40 emerging and established filmmakers with projects in development, through partnerships with the UnionDocs Collaborative Fellows, the Bay Area Video Coalition’s MediaMaker Fellows and the LEF Foundation’s Moving Image Fund.

Since 2011, the Points North Documentary Forum has been highlighting experiments in documentary storytelling that take advantage of new media technologies. This year, the forum will continue a speaker series called Doc/Tech, featuring innovators and thought leaders working at the intersections between storytelling, technology and social activism.

For filmmakers interested in strengthening their storytelling craft, Points North will feature a master class with two-time Academy Award nominee Marshall Curry, director of “Street Fight,” “Racing Dreams,” “If a Tree Falls” and 2014 CIFF selection “Point and Shoot.” There also will be an editing master class with USC professor and Sundance Labs mentor Kate Amend, editor of the Academy Award nominee “Into the Arms of Strangers” and “The Case Against 8.”

"We’re really honored to be bringing in such a diverse, talented and inspiring group of participants to Camden for this year’s Forum," said Points North Director Sean Flynn.

On Thursday, Sept. 25, the Forum will host the second Aging in Maine Engagement Summit, in which approximately 20 Maine-based nonprofit leaders and healthcare professionals in the field of aging will converge in Camden for a daylong closed-door strategic summit meeting with documentary filmmakers focused on aging issues. The purpose of the meeting is to explore how their work can be supported and enhanced through the use of powerful documentary films focused on the experiences of older adults, their loved ones and caretakers. The summit agenda will be designed and facilitated by Working Films, an organization that specializes in connecting storytelling with community engagement and action.

Access to the full conference program is open to all CIFF pass holders; for more information, visit The Points North Documentary Forum is made possible by the generous support of the LEF Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, The Fledgling Fund, Camden National Bank, the Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation, Modulus Studios, Documentary Educational Resources, Maine Media Workshops and the Tribeca Film Institute.

A full conference schedule and list of industry delegates is available online. Following are the to-be-pitched works-in-progress of the 2014 Points North Fellows.

“American Warlord,” directed by Tony Gerber and produced by Gerber, Lynn Nottage and Johnny Dwyer, explores the journey of an American kid from Florida’s working middle class to the president’s palace in Monrovia where his access to power, drugs and his need to impress an absentee father transformed him into one of the greatest perpetrators of human right’s abuse in what was already one of history’s most lawless and abusive regimes.

“Dawnland,” directed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip and produced by Adam Mazo, is a lyrical story of belonging in which the future of four sovereign nations is at stake. A historic truth and reconciliation commission investigates why so many Native American children have grown up in non-Native families, losing their connections to their tribes and cultures. Can the commission overcome centuries of assimilation and oppression to begin an age of healing?

“The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” directed by Amy Benson, Ramyata Limbu and Scott Squire and produced by Benson and Squire, was filmed over seven years. It offers an intimate portrait of a family in Nepal who gets a chance to break their cycle of poverty when their brightest child is awarded a scholarship to attend school in the city. When she doesn't return home, the family is forced to survive without her and the opportunity they believed would change their fate.

“The Reagan Years,” directed by Pacho Velez and produced by Sierra Pettengill, is a film about the Reagan administration's quixotic attempt to chronicle the President's every single official activity during his eight years in office. Told entirely through a largely-unseen trove of archival footage, the film will capture the pageantry, pathos and charisma that followed the 40th President from Hollywood to the nation’s capital.

“Soledad,” directed by Cassidy Friedman and produced by Carmen Osterlye, visits a group of inmates inside one of California’s most violent and overcrowded prisons as they painfully seek rehabilitation through a radical process of cathartic storytelling.

“Sweetheart Deal,” directed by Elisa Haradon and Gabriel Miller and produced by Peggy Case, is an astonishingly intimate journey of hope, survival and transformation in the face of seemingly impossible odds, shot in a raw, vérité style. Four Seattle women struggle to survive in the dangerous world of street prostitution, trapped by crippling heroin addictions. Their lives converge in the battered RV of a benevolent old man who tries to help them kick drugs … but he has a dark secret.

The Camden International Film Festival is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Fledgling Fund, the Unity Foundation and Vimeo.