THE MNFF5 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 2019 Festival introduced another new VTeddy Award, with a $1,000 cash prize attached: the Shouldice Family Prize for Best Vermont-Made Film. Returning for a second year: the Gaia Prize for Environmental Filmmaking [$1,000], endowed by a generous anonymous local donor. The Hernandez/Bayliss Prize [$1,000] was awarded for a third year to the feature film director whose work best captures the triumph of the human spirit as was 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 fourth year at MNFF5, the significant and singular Vermont Symphony Orchestra Award for best integration of music into film, selected by the VSO and presented to a short film director. 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 MNFF6 next August so that it can be screened alongside a live VSO performance of the original score. As this year’s screening of winner Jeremy Lee Mackenzie’s film, The Greatest Night with a simultaneous performance of an original score by Matthew Evan Taylor by the VSO demonstrates, this marvelous collaboration continues to evolve in exciting and highly original ways.

MNFF was also pleased to present special guest and legendary writer/director Paul Schrader with a VTeddy for “Sustained Excellence in Cutting Edge Filmmaking.” Notable also was the presentation of a VTeddy to Bruce Greenwood for “Sustained Excellence in Acting.” Awards were presented at the MNFF Closing Ceremonies on Sunday evening, August 25, 2019 at Town Hall Theater.

Congratulations to all our distinguished winners and honorees!

Visit our Film Archive to see the VTeddy Award winners from MNFF1, MNFF2, MNFF3 and MNFF4! Great trip down memory lane!

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Maria

Documentary | USA | 26 min
Director: Shiri Paamony Eshel
Producer: Shiri Paamony Eshel

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Don’t Be Nice

Documentary | USA | 96 min
Director: Max Powers
Producers: Nikhil Melnechuk, Cora Atkinson

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

Sophia

Narrative | USA | 12 min
Director: Jared Rosenthal
Writer: Jared Rosenthal
Producers: Sandra Tan, Jared Rosenthal, Ahad Mahmood

Note: Mr. Rosenthal was unable to attend this year’s festival.

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

The Return of Richard III on the 924am Train

Narrative | France | 85 min
Director: Eric Bu
Writer: Gilles Dyrek
Producers: Alexis Bougon, Stephane Sansonetti

AUDIENCE AWARD – SHORT

Topanga

Narrative | USA | 15 min
Director: Aycil Yeltan
Writer: Aycil Yeltan
Producer: Aycil Yeltan

AUDIENCE AWARD – FEATURE

Busy Inside

Documentary | USA | 70 min
Director: Olga Lvoff
Producer: Victor Ilyukhin

MNFF HONOREE | PAUL SCHRADER

VTEDDY AWARD – SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE IN CUTTING EDGE FILMMAKING

Film screened at MNFF5:

First Reformed

Narrative | USA | 113 min
Director: Paul Schrader
Writer: Paul Schrader
Producer: Jack Binder

MNFF HONOREE | BRUCE GREENWOOD

VTEDDY AWARD – SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE IN ACTING

Films screened at MNFF5:

The Sweet Hereafter

Narrative | Canada | 112 min
Director: Atom Egoyan
Writer: Atom Egoyan
Producer: Atom Egoyan, Camelia Frieburg

Wildlike

Narrative | USA | 104 min
Director: Frank Hall Green
Writer: Frank Hall Green
Producer: Frank Hall Green

VERMONT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AWARD FOR BEST INTEGRATION OF MUSIC INTO FILM

Sophia

Narrative | USA | 12 min
Director: Jared Rosenthal
Writer: Jared Rosenthal
Producer: Sandra Tan, Jared Rosenthal, Ahad Mahmood

Note: Mr. Rosenthal was unable to attend this year’s festival.

HERNANDEZ/BAYLISS PRIZE

For the feature film that best captures the triumph of the human spirit

Ingrid

Documentary | USA | 52 min
Director: Morrisa Maltz
Producers: Danielle Firoozi, Morrisa Maltz

CLIO VISUALIZING HISTORY PRIZE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN IN FILM

Presented to a woman filmmaker whose feature film boldly portrays a person or event of historical significance

This Little Land of Mines

Documentary | Laos, USA | 64 min
Director: Erin McGoff
Producers: Erin McGoff, Ka Xiong, Cyril Eberle

GAIA PRIZE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FILMMAKING

The Pollinators

Documentary| USA | 92 min
Director: Peter Nelson
Producers: Sally Roy, Michael Reuter

SHOULDICE FAMILY PRIZE FOR BEST VERMONT-MADE FILM

Major Arcana

Narrative| USA | 82 min
Director: Josh Melrod
Writer: Josh Melrod
Producer: Sarah Brennan Kolb

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