MNFF will present a special Vermont premiere screening of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s award-winning new documentary film ”Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.” Showtime is 7pm, Wednesday, September 21st at Middlebury’s historic Town Hall Theater.
Following the screening, long-time Shaftsbury, Vermont summer resident Norman Lear will join MNFF artistic director Jay Craven for a live Skype conversation that will include questions generated by audience members.
Arguably the most influential creator, writer, and producer in the history of television, groundbreaking media giant Norman Lear brought primetime TV into step with the times. Using comedy and indelible characters, his legendary 1970s shows such as “All In the Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” and “The Jeffersons,” boldly cracked open new dialogues and shifted the national consciousness, injecting enlightened humanism into sociopolitical debates on race, class, religion, and feminism.
”Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” is the definitive chronicle of Mr. Lear’s life, work, and achievements, but it is so much more than an arm’s length, past tense biopic – because, at 94, Mr. Lear continues to produce and he is as vital and engaged as he ever was. In their film, cinéma vérité documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady seize the opportunity to fashion a dynamic portrait that matches the spirit of their subject. Breaking down the fourth wall to create an evocative collage where past and present intermingle, they reveal a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and a dialogue with the world. In addition to Mr. Lear, the film features appearances by George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Rob Reiner, Amy Poehler, and many others.
Filmmakers Grady and Ewing (“Jesus Camp,” “12th & Delaware,” “DETROPIA”) have received multiple accolades and awards including an Academy Award nomination (for “Jesus Camp”). “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” premiered as the opening night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and it was presented as the closing night selection at the prestigious AFI Docs festival, produced by the American Film Institute.
Tickets for the September 21st special screening are $15 and are now available online, at the Town Hall Theater box office, and by calling 802-382-9222.