Camden International Film Festival, Sultans of Swing, choral music, open gardens, and free museum entry

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I’m back from 10 days without Internet access, and my inbox has filled with all kinds of Maine fun. Let’s start with what’s happening this week.

Camden International Film Festival & Points North Documentary Forum: Sept 27-30, 2012

Recognized as one of the top 25 international film festivals for documentaries and one of the 12 best small-town film festivals in the country, CIFF will screen more than 50 documentaries and shorts, followed by discussions with most of the filmmakers. The Documentary Forum networking event provides the opportunity for New England filmmakers  to meet industry poohbahs.

Opening film, screened at the Camden Opera House tonight, is Betting the Farm, a feature documentary. It follows a group of Maine dairy farmers who launch their own milk company, Moo Milk, after their farms are dropped by a national company.

The festival closes Sept. 30 with Chasing Ice, the critically acclaimed film that earned raves at Sundance. It helps tell the story of Earth’s changing climate.

Free Admission to the Maine State Museum, Sept. 29, 2012

Here’s a great opportunity for families or really anyone with an interest in Maine. With a free Museum Day Card, available in the current issue of Smithsonian magazine or from the magazine’s website, you can visit the Maine State Museum without paying admission on Sat., Sept. 29. If you’ve never been to the museum, it’s a gem, with engaging exhibits for all ages and interests.

Choral Art Society Season Opens with Voices of Light, Sept. 29, 2012

Portland’s Choral Art Society will open its 2012-13 season with the Maine premiere of Voices of Light, which merges the legendary silent film masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc with a new choral work by composer Richard Einhorn. The performance by the 16-member Camerata ensemble of The Choral Art Society and Portland Symphony Orchestra instrumentalists will be held at Hannaford Hall in Portland on Sat. Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. A pre-concert lecture led by USM professor Kathy Ashley from the Women and Genders Program will begin at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door; $10 for students.

Maine School Garden Open House, Sept. 29-30

School gardens around Maine will hold free, open-house events this weekend to showcase the effort of students and highlight the benefits of educational gardening programs. Participating school systems include Scarborough, Bath, Saco, Portland, Standish, Waldoboro, and South Berwick. The open-house events are being coordinated through the Maine School Garden Network. Activities include garden tours, demonstrations, games, food tastings, and artwork. For details, visit the website.

Sultans of String in Kingfield, Unity, Carthage, and Dexter: Sept. 30-Oct. 4

The Sultans of Swing Duo are swinging through Maine:

Kingfield Pops presents the Sultans of String at the Herbert Hotel this Sunday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $5 for kids younger than 12. Seating is limited, so advance purchase is recommended (info@kingfieldpops.com).

On Tues., Oct. 2, the Sultans will perform at Unity College’s Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m., $15.

On Wed. Oct. 3, they’ll be at the Skye Theatre, in South Carthage, with a pre-who jam session beginning at 6 p.m., $15.

On Wed. Oct. 4, they’ll swing by Dexter Maine Middle School for a 7 p.m. show.

Note: The Sultans of Swing will return to Kingfield on June 29, 2013, to headline the Kingfield POPS concert with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.