Founded in 2005 and recognized as one of the top documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) gathers the world's most boundary pushing storytellers and industry leaders for a four day celebration of nonfiction cinema.

CIFF is an experience just as unique as the films we exhibit. Hosted on the rugged coast of Maine, the festival weekend is packed with opportunities for surprise and discovery at every turns: screenings and Q&As, pitch sessions and panels, karaoke parties and immersive art installations, field-building convenings and conversations. At CIFF, our emphasis is on building lasting, meaningful relationships -- between filmmakers, industry professionals, and audiences.

CIFF and the Points North Forum take place in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine, and online.

Our Filmmaker Solidarity Fund is part of our ongoing commitment to examining how power and resources are distributed in the documentary film world, and fostering more equitable, sustainable conditions for independent filmmaking.

The fund provides an honorarium to directors of both feature and short films. In total, we have distributed nearly $60,000 to filmmakers over the past three years. The 2023 Filmmaker Solidarity Fund is made possible by the generous support from Bright West Entertainment.

A filmmaker-first festival, CIFF’s program celebrates the myriad of possibilities that nonfiction cinema has to offer. Our programming team cherishes the medium not only for its ability to connect audiences to the wider world through heartfelt stories, but also for the ways it engages with provocative questions through exciting and innovative forms. With each year’s slate of films, CIFF creates multiple entry points into the contemporary conversation about what nonfiction cinema can be.

CIFF is a program of Points North, the launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. Points North's programming includes filmmaker grants and fellowships that bring dozens of early-career filmmakers with projects in development to the festival, along with 50+ leading funders, distributors and industry professionals. Our Points North Pitch is one of the most recognized public pitching forums in the United States.

If you have a documentary feature or short in development, consider applying for one of the Points North Artists Programs:

To receive updates on submissions timelines and applications, sign up for our email list at

Rules of entry:
The Camden International Film Festival is open to all documentary films of all styles, subjects and lengths. We also encourage submissions that push the boundaries of the form.

Works-in-progress are accepted at all deadlines and will be considered for screening at the Camden International Film Festival. The festival is open for discussion on this topic. If you have questions, please contact us.

The filmmaker agrees to be responsible for all shipping and insurance costs for shipping submission materials to the festival office. The submission will not be returned to the entrants unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included for return.

Films and videos are submitted complete with English commentary and/or English dialogue or in the original version with English subtitles.

All submitting filmmakers and distributors will be notified of the official selections prior to the festival.

The festival has the right to use the publicity material (press books, posters, stills etc.) from selected films to promote the festival.

By submitting this documentary, I understand that I am agreeing to the following:

I own or control the copyright in and to, and am duly authorized to submit this documentary film to the Camden International Film Festival and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true;

This documentary contains no material which could result in tort claims, royalty claims, claims for breach of contract, or claims of any sort whatsoever;

Filmmakers give permission to the festival to use press kits for marketing purposes, and a 60-second or less clip from film in highlight reel for box office and online festival trailer.

Overall Rating
  • Gisela Chicolino

    This festival is really a necessary one. Please keep working on generating this exquisite and outstanding programming for the audiences.

    September 2022
  • Annie Berman

    Camden is truly a filmmaker's festival. I couldn't recommend it more highly. Hope you'll get to go and experience it for yourself.

    March 2022
  • Rodrigo Michelangeli

    CIFF is hands down one of the best festivals I've ever been a part of. Its phenomenal team of programers bring a very personal approach to their picks which makes the whole experience for us filmmakers a very pleasant and fulfilling one. The creation of the Filmmaker's Solidarity Fund is a wonderful tool that helps creators get fairly paid for the showing of our pieces. 10/10 in my book and I recommend to every documentary folk out there to send your work without hesitating.

    December 2020
  • Nancy Ghertner

    CIFF2020, provided many experiences that go beyond a festival experience for the documentary film maker. Webinars, Q & A's with selected film makers, networking opportunities through Discord, and Zooms, remember this was primarily a virtual year. They did screen select films at the Shotwell Drive-In which provided a spirit of "festival" even for those of us who were virtual. I would add that the communication level was exceptional - friendly and personal. A unique festival with its own way of engaging with its home state - Maine, and the documentary community.

    October 2020
  • Michel Negroponte

    CIFF is very special, one of my all time favorites, and I've been to countless film festivals. Camden, Maine is one of the most beautiful places on the east coast. The festival staff is involved and friendly. The venues are terrific, and the screenings are packed with enthusiastic crowds. Most importantly, the programming is thoughtful and first rate.
    Clearly, CIFF cares about filmmaking and filmmakers, and they do a tremendous job of sharing their vision with their audiences.

    September 2019