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 6th Annual event will roll out August 27-30, 2020. We screen our selected films at four venues: the historic Town Hall Theater, the recently renovated Marquis Theater, the beautiful Dana Auditorium and the historic Twilight Hall, the latter two both at Middlebury College. We anticipate screening over 100 films at MNFF6, a diverse array of features and shorts across all genres, as selected by Artistic Director Jay Craven.
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 MNFF5 this past August and had a wonderful time here in Middlebury. We also welcome other distinguished guests to our stages and offer compelling panel discussions and conversations on topics of interest to both our filmmakers and the folks who come to see their films. To round out the Festival experience, multiple parties are scheduled during the event at lovely venues including an Opening Night party, an exclusive Filmmakers-Only cocktail reception, a Friday Night Late Night special screening, Festival Happy Hours and enjoyable evening parties for our Passholders.
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 MNFF Selects Screening Series at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, a monthly exhibition of heralded feature films by prominent first and second time directors as well as tributes to significant established filmmakers. We want to stay connected with our supportive local audience and the MNFF Selects Series does exactly that. The 2019/20 edition of MNFF Selects, entitled The Biography Series: Fabulous Films About Fascinating People begins in October and concludes in May, with eight outstanding films on the program. Find out much more about the MNFF Selects Series.
The Festival has also created the MNFF Vermont Tour, taking a pair of its best feature films from the August event to seven 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 2020 Tour takes place February 7-9.
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.