The Camden/TFI Retreat, presented by CNN Films, kicks off on June 15 in Camden and Rockport, Maine and will run for seven days, providing five U.S.-based documentary filmmaking teams with professional guidance and mentorship, from notable filmmakers, editors and producers, to help them advance their filmmaking careers.
This year’s selected projects represent a variety of thought-provoking themes around American culture and social issues, from Syrian refugees resettling in New England amidst an opioid crisis, to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the effects of terrorism, the search for immortality within a globalized world, and what the American Dream really looks like in today’s society. Each tells a powerful and vital story about contemporary America.
This year’s industry mentors and experts include director/producer Kristi Jacobson (A PLACE AT THE TABLE, SOLITARY) producer Susan Bedusa (KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE, BISBEE ‘17), editor Francisco Bello (OUR NIXON, THE REAGAN SHOW), filmmaker Yoruba Richen (THE NEW BLACK), Courtney Sexton (vice president of CNN Films) and Josh Braun (film producer and co-founder of Submarine Entertainment).
The retreat participants are:
ETERNAL LIFE FAN CLUB - Rita Baghdadi (co-director); Jeremiah Hammerling (co-director)
A reclusive YouTuber and a Transhumanist politician embark on a road trip across the U.S in a 1978 RV modified to look like a coffin. Their mission? To convince the world they should never die.
TREASURE ISLAND - Cecilia Aldarondo (director)
A kaleidoscopic portrait of life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico.
THE GUT (WORKING TITLE) - Jennifer Maytorena Taylor (director)
Filmed over two years in a small New England community caught in the opioid epidemic and a battle over Syrian refugee resettlement, THE GUT (working title) explores what changes – and what doesn’t – when small town America meets the world and discovers it is us.
THE TERRORIST'S SON - Danny Yourd (director)
An intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the life of an Zak Ebrahim, an American boy raised by his terrorist father - the man who helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Zak has spent his life trying to understand what drew his father to terrorism, and struggled with the knowledge that he has his blood in his veins. This is a portrait of a young man who was raised in the fires of fanaticism and embraced nonviolence instead.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES - Hannah Jayanti (director)
In 1950, the residents of a small desert town in New Mexico voted to rename themselves after the game show, “Truth or Consequences”. Like many towns where work is scarce, they poured their dreams into the prosperity that might come. Now, nearly seventy years later, the same hopes are playing out as Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport, is built just outside of town.