The MNFF is pleased to announce a series of films, panels, and special guests that address the intersections between film and journalism, as part of a larger festival-wide focus on the role of film in a shifting media landscape. Through documentary films, on-stage events featuring members of national and local media, and panels exploring the exchange between film and journalism, the Festival hopes to ignite conversations that will extend beyond its four days this August 25th through 28th.

“In a time when pressing issues demand our attention on every front, at home and around the world,” said MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven, “we’ll take some time at this year’s festival to look at films that play a role that could be argued as journalism.”

Events and panels of note are listed below, though they, by no means, constitute an exclusive list. Please see our Schedule tab above for the full festival program and list of films.

Saturday, August 27

Saturday afternoon will feature an Op Docs session with New York Times Coordinating Producer Lindsay Crouse, who will present examples of how short documentary films are changing the face of the Times.  Crouse will screen several excellent Op Docs films and discuss how the series has been received, what kinds of discussions it has fostered, and what kind of developments she anticipates for the series, going forward.

The event will take place at Town Hall Theater on Saturday, August 27th at 4pm, and is open to all ticket and pass-holders.

 A concurrent panel entitled “New Currents in Documentary Filmmaking” will take place at the Middlebury Inn on Saturday, August 27 at 4pm. The panel will examine the role of documentary filmmakers who focus attention on and inform audiences about people and events that go beyond the news — into a cultural realm of communication and understanding about our places and times.

Panelists will include Barbara Kopple (“Harlan County, USA,” “Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation,” and “Miss Sharon Jones!”), Tony Stone (“Peter And The Farm”), Todd Wider and Jedd Wider (“God Knows Where I Am”) and Amy Geller and Allie Humenuk (“The Guys Next Door”).

The event will take place at the Middlebury Inn on Saturday, August 27th at 4pm, and is open to all ticket and pass-holders.

Sunday, August 28

MNFF featured guest Barbara Kopple’s captivating documentary Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation will screen at Dana Auditorium at Middlebury College. Following the screening, Jay Craven will speak with Kopple and John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation.

“Hot Type” tells the story of The Nation, America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine. Centered on editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, and the magazine’s impressive array of passionate writers, the film is a journey into the soul of American journalism. With unfettered access and unfiltered honesty, “Hot Type” captures the day-to-day pressures and challenges of publishing a weekly magazine that seeks to stimulate critical discussion and help shape current events.

The event will take place at Dana Auditorium on Sunday, August 28th at 10am, and is open to all ticket and pass-holders.

On Sunday, August 28th at 1pm, the festival will present Andrew Rossi’s feature documentary, “Page One: Inside the NY Times,” to be followed by an on-stage conversation with New York Times senior news editor, Hamilton Boardman and Jay Craven – and then an expanded conversation (at 3:15pm) on “The Changing Face of Journalism in the Age of New Media” that will include Hamilton Boardman and Lindsay Crouse, along with Seven Days editor and publisher, Paula Routly, Vermont Public Radio News Director John van Hoesen, and Addison Independent news editor John McCright.

The event will take place at Dana Auditorium on Sunday, August 28th at 1pm, and is open to all ticket and pass-holders.


“Many questions will surely grow out of these film screenings and panels,” said Craven. “Among them: what are the changing roles of print journalism, cable and broadcast television, independent documentary film production, and online media – in the shifting media landscape?  How does a democracy flourish when readers/viewers have increasing opportunities to limit themselves to media that reinforce their existing point of view? What is the future for complex and comprehensive (and costly) journalism that ensures that an informed public can frame crucial decisions to shape policy in the public interest? And, indeed, how do we foster open dialogues to determine the public interest?”

“We are delighted to present so many significant films and voices that illuminate a subject of obvious timeliness. The influence of documentary filmmakers is widening in our culture and the impact of their work on the journalistic enterprise is a major development, “ said Lloyd Komesar, MNFF Producer.

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