The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is completely dedicated to the work of first and second time filmmakers. It is our sole focus. It is what we love to showcase. The event takes place in scenic Middlebury, Vermont in late August each year. Our 7th Annual event will hopefully take place on the ground in Middlebury this August 25-29, 2021 but, pending developments in the efforts to contain and diminish the COVID-19 virus, the Festival is prepared to once again pivot to an online event.

We anticipate screening over 100 films at MNFF7, a diverse array of features and shorts across all genres, as selected by MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven, but the mix of venues is still to be determined. In the months ahead, we will know more.

We encourage our filmmakers to come to the Festival, support each other’s work and engage in Q&A sessions with audiences following the screening of their film. More than 80 directors, producers, writers and cinematographers from around the world attended MNFF6 in August 2019 and had a wonderful time here in Middlebury. After a year’s hiatus this past August, we truly hope that this treasured aspect of the Festival can be restored in 2021, along with the appearance of other distinguished guests to our stages and compelling panel discussions and conversations on topics of interest to both our filmmakers and the folks who come to see their films.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is a juried competition and our winning filmmakers all receive the coveted VTeddy Award in the Best Feature Narrative, Best Short Narrative, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Audience Award Feature and Audience Award Short categories. MNFF also offers multiple cash prizes and valuable in-kind awards to selected directors.

In addition to the main Festival in August, MNFF also presents its Split/Screen Monthly Online Screening Series, in partnership with the Vermont International Film Festival. Split/Screen began in November 2020 and will run through June 2021, with each festival curating a selection of high  profile films in alternating months. Learn more about the successful Split/Screen series.

Should conditions on the ground permit, MNFF will reestablish its MNFF Selects Screening Series at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury in October 2021, a monthly exhibition of heralded feature films by prominent first- and second-time directors as well as tributes to significant established filmmakers.

The Festival has also created the MNFF Vermont Tour, taking a selection of its best feature films from the August event to multiple geographically diverse venues around the state the following February over the course of one weekend. Filmmakers typically attend several of the screenings. This highly popular “barnstorming” event allows the Festival to raise awareness for the filmmakers involved and for MNFF itself. The 2021 Tour did not take place due to COVID-19 related closure of our partnering venues but we anticipate being back on Tour in February 2022.

Our Commitment

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival was formed to support, promote and exhibit the dynamic and imaginative efforts of new filmmakers. The emphasis at MNFF is entirely on filmmakers who have completed within the 24 months prior to the Festival either their first or second feature film or first or second short film. All genres are welcome including narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and virtual reality.

Our commitment at MNFF is to offer a level playing field to new and emerging voices in independent filmmaking, to give our audiences an opportunity to discover fresh and engaging talent and to give filmmakers a chance to be discovered in a setting that is all about their work, from start to finish.

Meet our team.

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