Organizers of the Camden International Film Festival in coastal Maine are moving ahead with regular programming today, as Hurricane Lee – downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone – aims further north towards Nova Scotia.
The festival, which attracts many of the biggest names in documentary film, sent out a notice to attendees this morning that noted key venues will be running as planned. “Like you, we are anxiously watching the weather,” the bulletin from CIFF said. “We are happy to share this update with you: The Camden Opera House is open and the Points North Pitch is on! The Strand is open and all screenings are on! Journey’s End is open and all screenings are on!”
The notice went on to say, “We will be suspending our regular line policy for the day and letting folks in as they arrive to keep things moving and get everyone out of the weather ASAP.”
There had been fears as Hurricane Lee churned in the Atlantic that it might wash out events at the 19th edition of the prestigious festival, a program of the Points North Institute. Today’s screenings include In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, with Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney in person; Eastern Front, a documentary about the Russia-Ukraine war, with co-director Vitaly Mansky in person; A Storm Foretold, about Trump whisperer Roger Stone and his machinations leading up to the January 6 insurrection, with director Christoffer Guldbransen in person; and Apolonia, Apolonia, the IDFA-prize winning film, with director Lea Glob in person.
Current weather conditions in the Camden area feature blustery winds and light rainfall. In the harbors of Camden and Rockport – the two towns that host the bulk of festival activities – many larger boats were pulled from the water in anticipation of Lee’s arrival. Winds began kicking up dramatically Friday night, but that didn’t stop festivalgoers from attending a big party at the Journey’s End venue in Rockport, which abuts the water. Some danced outside in the whipping winds, sporting wireless headsets that piped in music from a DJ located inside the warehouse-sized Journey’s End.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for New Brunswick from the U.S./Canada border to Point Lepreau, including Grand Manan Island and in Nova Scotia from Digby to Ecum Secum, according to the National Hurricane Center. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Westport Massachusetts northward to the U.S./Canada border, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Deadline learned a number of festival guests relocated to different hotels or homes as the storm approached, to make sure they had access to generators if power was knocked out.