What to expect when CIFF’’s Mini Film Fest March 1 & 2

Sex Rafts, Ski Bums, Farm Life & Meeting Gorbachev: How’s that for a cabin fever reliever?

Plus 12 short films from Maine on Saturday March 2
Thu, 02/28/2019 - 1:00pm

    “All my life, I’ve always wanted to know why people fight and what is really going on inside our minds.” Thus, begins the a voice over in the trailer for THE RAFT, a one-hour 37-minute documentary film by Swedish director Marcus Lindeen. Easily the most compelling short documentary in CIFF’s Cabin Fever micro film fest taking place March 1 and 2, THE RAFT sounds on the outset like The Fyre Festival Meets a Woodstock orgy...on a floating barge.

    “In 1973, five men and six women drifted across the Atlantic on a raft as part of a scientific experiment studying the sociology of violence, aggression and sexual attraction in human behavior. Although the project became known in the press as 'The Sex Raft', nobody expected what ultimately took place on that three month journey. Through extraordinary archive material and a reunion of the surviving members of the expedition on a full scale replica of the raft, this film tells the hidden story behind what has been described as 'one of the strangest group experiments of all time.”

    With the reality show conflicts and the social experiment of Lifeboat Ethics thrown in for good measure, THE RAFT is but one of the many goodies in store for this weekend’s micro film fest held in Camden, which in many ways, feels like a special event just for locals. “We invite you to get outta the house and join us for a wee bit of the CIFF experience during the time we all need it most…the dead of winter” reads the tagline.

    “This weekend is a little bit of an experiment, much like THE RAFT,” said Ben Fowlie, founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival. “Especially with FREE SOLO winning an Oscar, people have begun realize that Camden has really grown into this pre-eminent destination for documentaries. For the inaugural year for Cabin Fever, we thought we’d use this weekend as a starting point to get people out of their houses and into the theater to watch some great films to just get pumped and excited for the September festival.”

    The three other films in the weekend line up include THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, the story of documentarian John Chester and his wife Molly work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles (Sponsored in part by Maine Farmland Trust); MEETING GORBECHEV, a profile on the former President of the Soviet Union  by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog and Emmy Award winning Director, André Singer (Sponsored in part by the Camden Conference); and SKI BUM: THE WARREN MILLER STORY, a chronicle of the life and times of the legendary filmmaker who, through his annual ski films and national tours which began in the early 1950's, was a driving force in the development and promotion of the ski industry in America and throughout the world (Sponsored in part by Maine Sport Outfitters).

    “We chose these four films to give a taste of the CIFF programming with THE RAFT being the most typical being international, archival-based, and playful. The other component is we wanted to screen films that had strong ties to community partners,” said Fowlie.

    In addition, on Saturday, March 2, CIFF will be presenting DIRIGO DOCS, a selection of 12 short films spanning the past six years of CIFF's Dirigo Docs program. “This program will feature Maine from the perspective of land, the sea and its people—the iconic Maine spirit,” he said. “It’s been wonderful to see the quality of the fillmmakers over the years and to be able to tell the stories from this state, so this is an opportunity to bring some of the highlights back.”

    Passes are $30 for the entire weekend or $10 per film. Check out the website for the schedule of all of the films and tickets: cabinfever.eventive.org/welcome

    Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com