THE 2018 VTEDDY AWARDS

Custom-made by Festival sponsor Vermont Teddy Bear Company, the VTeddies represent the creativity and joy that are at the heart of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. We hope that all our winning filmmakers will find a lovely spot for their bear in their hearts and their homes.

The 2018 Festival introduced another new VTeddy Award, with a $1,000 cash prize attached: the Gaia Prize for Environmental Filmmaking, endowed by a generous anonymous local donor. Returning for a second year: the Jacob Burns Film Center Creative Culture Award to a short film director, offering an opportunity to be in residence at the prestigious Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York and join the Burns’ ongoing Creative Culture film initiative for emerging artists; the Hernandez/Bayliss Prize [$1,000] to the feature film director whose work best captures the triumph of the human spirit; and the Clio Visualizing History Prize for the Advancement of Women in Film [$1,000], to a woman feature filmmaker who boldly explores a person or event of historical significance.

And back for a third year, the significant Vermont Symphony Orchestra Award for best integration of music into film, selected by the VSO and presented to a short film director at MNFF4. The VSO will again pair the winning filmmaker with a selected rising composer to co-create a new short film with original music.  Everyone hopes that the project will be ready for MNFF5 next August so that it can be screened alongside a live VSO performance of the original score. If this year’s screening of winner Robin Starbuck’s film, How We See Water with a simultaneous performance of an original score by Matt LaRocca by the VSO is any indication, this collaboration continues to evolve in exciting and highly original ways.

MNFF was also pleased to present special guest Steve James with a VTeddy for “Sustained Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.” Notable also was the presentation of a VTeddy to David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for “Sustained Excellence in Production Design.” The Vermont-based filmmaking team of Alan Dater and Lisa Merton received a VTeddy for “Sustained Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.” And Pakistani filmmaker Mohammed Naqvi received a VTeddy for “Courage in Filmmaking,” a new category. Awards were presented at the MNFF Closing Ceremonies on Sunday evening, August 26, at Town Hall Theater.

Congratulations to all our distinguished winners and honorees!

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

I Was Here
Documentary | USA | 5M
Director: Julian Dalrymple
Writer: Julian Dalrymple
Producers: Julian Dalrymple, Matthew Hill

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

Honeypot
Narrative | USA | 7M
Director: Jill Greenberg
Writer: Jill Greenberg
Producers: Robert Green, Martin Schulman

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Dateline-Saigon
Documentary | USA | 96M
Director: Thomas D. Herman
Writer: Thomas D. Herman
Producers: Bestor Cram, Thomas D. Herman

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

Until First Light
Narrative | Canada | 82M
Director: Kyle Armstrong
Writer: Kyle Armstrong
Producer: Kyle Armstrong

AUDIENCE AWARD – SHORT

The Test
Narrative | China | 14M
Director: Caroline Guo
Writers: Caroline Guo, Ziqin Han
Producers: Caroline Guo, Mufei Xu

AUDIENCE AWARD – FEATURE

Fail State
Documentary | USA | 94M
Director: Alex Shebanow
Writers: Alex Shebanow, Nicholas Adams, Regina Sobel
Producers: Alex Shebanow, Dan Rather

JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER CREATIVE CULTURE AWARD

Monty
Documentary | USA | 11M
Director: Margaret Metzger
Writer: Margaret Metzger
Producer: Margaret Metzger

VERMONT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AWARD FOR BEST INTEGRATION OF MUSIC INTO FILM

Hidden Blueprints: The Story of Mikey
Documentary | USA | 16M
Director: Jeremy Lee Mackenzie
Writer: Jeremy Lee Mackenzie
Producers: Julie Pacino, Aron Meinhardt, Mike Jacobs

HERNANDEZ/BAYLISS PRIZE – TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT

The Providers
Documentary | USA | 85M
Directors: Laura Green, Anna Moot-Levin
Writers: Laura Green, Anna Moot-Levin
Producers: Laura Green, Anna Moot-Levin

CLIO VISUALIZING HISTORY PRIZE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN IN FILM

Roll Red Roll
Documentary| USA | 80M
Director: Nancy Schwartzman
Writer: Nancy Schwartzman
Producers: Steven Lake, Jessica Devaney

GAIA PRIZE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FILMMAKING

Yasuni Man
Documentary| Ecuador, USA | 92M
Director: Ryan Patrick Killackey
Writer: Ryan Patrick Killackey
Producers: Ryan Patrick Killackey, Tomi Sugahara

MNFF HONOREE AWARD – SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

Steve James

Films screened at MNFF4:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Directed and Written by Steve James
Produced by Fennel Doremus, Julie Goldman, Mark Mitten, Nick Verbitsky
Documentary | USA | 88M

America to Me
Directed and Written by Steve James
Documentary Series | USA | 120M (2 episodes)

Minding the Gap
Directed by Bing Liu
Produced by Bing Liu, Diane Moy Quon, Steve James [Executive Producer]
Documentary | USA | 93M

MNFF HONOREE AWARD – SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco

Films screened at MNFF4:

La La Land
Narrative, Musical | USA | 128M

Molly’s Game
Narrative | USA | 140M

MNFF HONOREE AWARD – SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

Alan Dater and Lisa Merton

Film screened at MNFF4:

Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?
Directed and Produced by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton
Written by Alan Dater
Documentary | USA | 76M

MNFF HONOREE AWARD – COURAGE IN FILMMAKING

Mo Naqvi

Films screened at MNFF4:

Shame
Directed and Written by Mo Naqvi
Produced by Mo Naqvi and Jill Schneider
Documentary | Pakistan, USA | 95M

Insha’Allah Democracy
Directed and Written by Mo Naqvi
Produced by Mohammed Naqvi, Jared Ian Goldman and Jenny Raskin
Documentary | Pakistan, USA, UAE | 85M

Visit our Film Archive to see the VTeddy Award winners from MNFF1, MNFF2 and MNFF3.

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