Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Points North Institute and the Camden Opera House screen Award-winning SHERPA as part of CIFF Selects

Camden, Maine – The Points North Institute and the Camden Opera House will continue their monthly CIFF Selects with the award-winning documentary, SHERPA, on Wednesday, March 22nd at 7 PM at the Camden Opera House. Nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Award for Best Documentary Feature, SHERPA has received international critical acclaim, and is the latest from award-winning Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom.

Synopsis: A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas.

In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults – even blows. What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred?

Determined to explore what was going on, the filmmakers set out to make a film of the 2014 Everest climbing season, from the Sherpas’ point of view. Instead, they captured a tragedy that would change Everest forever. At 6.45am on 18th April, 2014, a 14 million ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. It was the worst tragedy in the history of Everest.

The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the Everest industry. SHERPA, tells the story of how, in the face of fierce opposition, the Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain they call Chomolungma.

“We’re thrilled to continue our increasingly popular CIFF Selects series with a film that has been hailed as “absorbing,” “beautiful, captivating,” and “jaw-droppingly spectacular,” said Ben Fowlie, Executive Director of the Points North Institute. “There are films that must be seen on the big screen to truly experience the work, SHERPA is one of those films.”

SHERPA is being co-presented by Maine Sport Outfitters.

Additional CIFF Selects titles will be announced in the coming months. Screenings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, except for October. Upcoming screenings dates include April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 11 and November 15. Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via skype, will follow select screenings. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office. More information here: http://www.camdenoperahouse.com/

About the Points North Institute:

Established in 2016, the Points North Institute is a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. Building on the success of the Camden International Film Festival, which is now entering its 13th season, the Points North Institute’s mission is to bring together a unique, interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders and local audiences, forming a creative hub on the coast of Maine where new stories and talent are discovered, collaborations are born, and the future of nonfiction media is shaped. Programs include the annual Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum, as well as a year-round calendar of artist development initiatives that nurture the careers of diverse nonfiction storytellers and help them develop a stronger artistic voice.


Founded in 2005 and recognized as one of the top documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) brings the finest non-fiction cinema to the coast of Maine, showcasing nearly 80 documentary films from around the globe each fall. Running concurrently with CIFF, the Points North Forum provides filmmakers and media artists with opportunities for professional development and creative inspiration. Past industry participants include representatives from HBO, A&E, BBC,CNN, Discovery, PBS, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, Vimeo and Kickstarter.


The 2017 Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum will take place September 14 - 17 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine. Major support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maine Office of Tourism. For more information please visit our website at http://www.pointsnorthinstitute.org.

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