The inside joke among the staff at MMW+C is that we are always looking forward to the slow time. Things never really slow down here, and this fall is no exception. We still have loads of great weekend and week-long workshops running, but we're especially excited about some new additions that take advantage of our area's seasonal focus on documentary filmmaking that comes with the Camden International Film Festival each September.
With CIFF gearing up for it's 10th season later this month, documentaries are the primary topic of conversation around town right now. We're proud to be a major sponsor of CIFF, and are thrilled to view some amazing work by several of our instructors and alumni in the festival line-up. This year, we are also a cornerstone sponsor of CIFF's Points North Fellowship. "The program is a unique opportunity for six filmmaking teams with projects in development to receive intensive industry mentorship on the Maine Media campus with representatives from Sundance, Tribeca, Hot Docs, Kickstarter, and the LEF Foundation," said CIFF's Points North Forum Director Sean Flynn. Following this training, the filmmakers will pitch their projects to a group of leading funders, broadcasters, and distributors in the Points North Pitch. "As documentary film grows in popularity and becomes more artistically adventurous, we're excited to continue working with Maine Media to create a platform for the discovery of the next generation of documentary artists, storytellers, and media makers," said Sean.
Earlier this month we announced the addition of Tawny Bradley as our new film program director. Coming to us from the UK's Sheffield Doc/Fest, Tawny brings new courses and instructors to a fresh line-up designed for filmmakers with projects in progress. "Perhaps the most exciting fall offering is a brand new series of workshops designed for independent documentary filmmakers who have their sights set on the festival circuit," says Tawny. A three-week strand, Doc Festival Prep pulls together heavy-hitting industry insiders to help doc makers hone their treatments, trailers, and pitches, as well as navigate the festival circuit to secure funding and commissions.
Leading off the Doc Festival Prep strand is Crafting Your Story, a week of treatment and one-sheet honing taught by former president of National Geographic TV Maryanne Culpepper. "Maryanne has extensive experience as a commissioner and specializes in story development," says Tawny. "She'll really help students transform their story into a document that potential investors and buyers can latch on to." During the second week, filmmakers will work with veteran video editor John Freeburn to transform their project's source footage into an attention-getting sizzle reel in Producing Your Trailer, and rounding out the series is a comprehensive insider's view into Funding and Pitching with Sheffield Doc/Fest CEO and Festival Director Heather Croall. "Heather is extremely relevant on the festival circuit," says Tawny. "Her connections are widespread, and this is a rare opportunity for filmmakers to get one-on-one mentorship time with her."
In October, National Geographic cinematographer and photographer Mauricio Handler will also be leading a pair of new natural history film and photo workshops that venture beyond our home base to take in the full scope of Maine's pristine shoreline and astounding natural beauty. And for those of you who weren't able to get in to any of this summer's sold-out alternative process classes with Brenton Hamilton, we're happy to announce the addition of a special 2-Day Collodion Process and 1-Day Cyanotype for Teens!
We hope you'll join us this fall, and take advantage of a season that many of us consider to be one of the most beautiful and also the most productive. It may not be the slow time, but it sure is gorgeous!