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Cabin fever reliever

Points North Institute hosts film festival
Feb 18, 2020
Astrologer Walter Mercado is the subject of "Mucho Mucho Amor" (2020, USA).

CAMDEN — The Points North Institute has announced its slate for the second annual Cabin Fever Film Festival, taking place Friday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 1, at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St.

Cabin Fever is an extension of the successful CIFF Selects monthly screening series which brings new, award-winning documentary films to Midcoast Maine throughout the year as a lead up to the Camden International Film Festival. This year's Cabin Fever event has been expanded to include three days of film screenings, virtual reality exhibitions, live music, and other special events.

Highlights include special pre-release screenings of several new films that recently premiered at last month's Sundance Film Festival and last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, the two largest film festivals in the world. Cabin Fever will open with "Crip Camp," which won the US Documentary Audience Award at its Sundance world premiere last month. Learn more here.

“Creating moments where we as a community can be moved and entertained by nonfiction storytelling is one of our biggest priorities,” said Ben Fowlie, Executive & Artistic Director of the Points North Institute. “It’s a thrill to bring Cabin Fever back to Camden for a second year, and an honor to have the opportunity to share such incredible new work with our CIFF community. This year's program is a special treat for any cinephile, and testament to the power of the documentary form.”

Films scheduled to screen include:

"The Capote Tapes" (2019, USA/UK) | 91 min.

March 1, 11 a.m.

"Answered Prayers" was meant to be Truman Capote's greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of NYC's glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked his downfall. Through never before heard audio archive and interviews with Capote's friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of America's most iconic gay writer.

"Crip Camp" (2020, USA) | 107 min.

Feb. 28, 7 p.m. | March 1, 1:30 p.m.

Down the road from Woodstock in the early 1970s, a revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers, transforming their young lives and igniting a landmark movement. With joy and humor, "Crip Camp" explores the universal experience of summer camp awakenings that would transform lives and shape the future of the disability rights movement. Told from the point of view of Co-Director and former camper Jim LeBrecht, the film traces the journeys of campers and staff up to the present day, in this compelling and untold story of a powerful movement toward inclusion.

"Love Child" (2019, Denmark) | 112 min.

Feb. 29, 1 p.m.

Sahand, Leila, and their 4-year-old son Mani are on the run. The Iranian lovers carried on a clandestine affair for years, and Mani was born out of wedlock. Now they’re fleeing their homeland — where they could face the death penalty for their indiscretions — and seeking asylum abroad. Filmed over more than six years, "Love Child" tells an extraordinary story, full of emotional twists and turns, about a family dedicated to each other, but straining under the pressures of bureaucracy and the world’s nationalist tilt.

"Mucho Mucho Amor" (2020, USA) | 96 min.

Feb. 29, 4 p.m.

Once the world’s most famous astrologer, Walter Mercado seeks to resurrect a forgotten legacy. Raised in the sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico, Walter grew up to become a gender non-conforming, cape-wearing psychic whose televised horoscopes reached 120 million Latinx viewers a day for 30 years before he mysteriously disappeared.

"Once Were Brothers: Robbie Roberston and The Band" (2019, Canada/USA) | 102 min.

Feb. 29, 7 p.m.

Inspired by Robertson’s 2017 bestselling memoir "Testimony," "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band" is a confessional, cautionary and sometimes humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music. The film blends rare archival footage and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Scorsese, Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel, David Geffen and Ronnie Hawkins, among others.

"Picture Character" (2019) | 81 min.

Mar. 1, 4 p.m.

The rapid rise of emoji is a global phenomenon without precedent. Their widespread use and ability to convey complex messages have not only cemented emoji's place as an emerging digital language, but prompted difficult questions about the creation of a language and digital communication’s fraught ties to identity and inclusion. "Picture Character" sheds light on the private consortium that approves new emoji offerings and the individuals fighting to make the language more representative of its billions of users.

"Primary" (1960, USA) | 60 min.

Feb. 29, 11 a.m.

Robert Drew's groundbreaking 1960 film "Primary" is one of the most important and influential documentaries in the history of the medium. A pioneering work in the documentary movement that came to be known as cinéma vérité, "Primary" follows the young charismatic senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, as he goes head-to-head with established Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey to win the Wisconsin presidential primary in April 1960.

Storyforms: Remixing Reality

The Points North Institute’s annual exhibition of groundbreaking immersive documentary experiences — one of the most popular components of CIFF — is now coming to Cabin Fever. Passholders will have access to audience favorite virtual reality (VR) films from past Storyforms programs — each transporting viewers to far-flung corners of the globe, where they’ll meet people and experience places they won’t soon forget.

Passes to Cabin Fever are now on sale. Cabin Fever Film Passes are $40 and admit one to all screenings. Cabin Fever All Access Passes are $75 and admit one to all film screenings, the Storyforms VR exhibition, the Opening Night Reception (Friday, Feb. 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House), and Saturday Night Party at Betty Forever, 46 Elm St. (Feb. 29, from 9 to 11 p.m.).

Tickets to individual screenings are $10 and can be purchased online in advance, or day of show at the Camden Opera House Box Office. For more information on the films, tickets and the schedule, visit

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