August 23-27, 2023 | Middlebury, Vermont
5 Days | 6 Screens | 125+ Films | Panels, Parties & Special Guests
The 9th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Rolls Out August 23-27, 2023!
Greetings from Middlebury! Planning for MNFF9 is well underway. Films are being screened, Honorees and special guests are being lined up and panels and special events are being arranged. We look forward to seeing a new group of first and second time filmmakers in Middlebury who will enliven our Festival, along with the splendid Honorees and special guests who truly enjoy our beautiful corner of the world in late summer. So, mark your calendars for August 23-27 and get ready to attend what will be a most memorable event!
What We Do and Why We Do It
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is all about showcasing the outstanding work of first and second time filmmakers. It’s our sole focus and it’s what we do with great enthusiasm and care. The event takes place in scenic Middlebury, Vermont in late August each year. Our 9th Annual Fest will roll out August 23-27, 2023.
Over its first eight years, MNFF has been incredibly fortunate to attract a diverse array of passionate new filmmakers from around the world working across all genres who are creating outstanding work. We seek out compelling and memorable stories about underrepresented communities. We encourage risk taking and boundary breaking in the films that we select. We have created innovative Prizes as well as inspiring partnerships with prestigious organizations like the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Bali International Film Festival, all done to give our filmmakers truly distinctive opportunities to advance their craft and careers. And, at the heart of it all, MNFF offers a joyous festival environment that is genuinely and deeply supportive of the emerging new voices in independent filmmaking.
COVID Health and Safety Protocol
Given current developments and advances in the treatment of COVID, MNFF9 will NOT be requiring attendees to show proof of vaccination. Regarding the wearing of masks at film screenings, we will be complying with the policies at our venues, which currently have mask wearing as an optional choice. However, MNFF continues to encourage the wearing of masks to promote a safer environment in our indoor screening venues.
Passes & Tickets
MNFF9 Festival Passes will be available beginning May 1. Fest Passes are $115 through July 31 and $125 starting August 1. Fest Passes are available 24/7 online at townhalltheater.org or in person at the Town Hall Theater box office Mon-Fri, 12-5pm or by calling (802) 382-9222. Fest Pass sales will close on August 27.
MNFF9 Day Passes will be available for each day of the Festival at varying prices: $40 for a Wednesday and/or Sunday Day Pass and for $45 for a Thursday, Friday or Saturday Day Pass. Day Passes will be available through the Town Hall Theater box office beginning June 1.
MNFF9 Student Fest Passes [for enrolled high school or college students] can be purchased in person only at Town Hall Theater for $50 with the presentation of a valid student ID beginning August 1. MNFF9 Student Day Passes can be purchased in person only at Town Hall Theater for $25 with the presentation of a valid student ID, also beginning August 1.
Opening Night Tickets
Tickets to the MNFF9 Opening Night Film and AfterParty [at Swift House Inn] are $60 and will be available June 1 online at townhalltheater.org or in person at the Town Hall Theater box office Mon-Fri, 12-5pm or by calling (802) 382-9222. Please be aware of two things: first, these tickets are in very limited supply and, second, a Festival Pass IS NOT a ticket to the Opening Night film and AfterParty. Once Opening Night Tickets are gone, Town Hall Theater will create a Waiting List in the event of last minute availability.
Individual Advance Tickets
Individual advance tickets [$17 each] for MNFF9 feature films will be available beginning August 9 at 12n EDT only on the MNFF website. When you arrive on the ticket buying platform, hosted by FilmFreeway, all the MNFF9 feature films [listed alphabetically] will have tickets available for purchase, with the exception of our Opening Night film. The number of tickets available for each feature film depends on the size of the screening venue and the remaining number of tickets available is always visible to you on the platform. A maximum of 4 tickets can be purchased with each transaction.
Walk Up Tickets
Individual tickets can be purchased on a “walk up” basis at each MNFF venue for any block of films playing at that venue for $14.00. There is no priority seating for walk up ticket holders. Should the venue sell out its seating for that block of films before walk up ticket holders are admitted, the ticket may be used at any other venue to see any other block of films.
MNFF9 Films & Screening Schedule
Festival Program Online August 1!
All the MNFF9 films will be available for perusal on a handy Films A-Z page on the MNFF website that can be sorted by Feature, Short, Documentary and Narrative. Trailers, when provided by filmmakers, are there as well, accompanying each film’s individual page. We anticipate that this highly informative page will be published around August 1.
The entire Festival screening schedule is easy to navigate. Just click on the arrows next to each day’s various time blocks and see what films are being screened at what venue or what special events and parties are going on. Feel free to click all the arrows to allow the entire schedule to stay open while you scroll up and down. We anticipate that this highly informative page will be published around August 1, as well.
We will be showing more than 125 films on 6 screens at MNFF9, a diverse array of features and shorts across all genres, as selected by MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven, with screenings at Town Hall Theater, the Marquis Theatre, the beautifully refurbished Dana Auditorium and Twilight Hall [both on the campus of Middlebury College]. Additionally, MNFF9 will offer nightly screenings outdoors Thursday-Saturday under the tent at Swift House Inn, a well received innovation that returns by popular demand. And, after a three year absence, the MNFF Late Night screening returns to the Marquis Theatre on Festival Friday.
Honorees and Special Guests
TO BE ANNOUNCED IN THE COMING WEEKS!
The MNFF-VSO Special Event
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) are joining hands once again to present a special event combining screenings of our VSO Award winning short films with live performances of the films’ scores by a cohort of the orchestra. The show will take place on Friday, August 25 at 4pm. Please note: due to renovations at the Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall will not be available for this event. Instead, Middlebury College has generously offered to host the show in Wilson Hall, inside the McCullough Student Center on the campus. MNFF sincerely appreciates the College’s help in preserving this special event. Watch this space for further details on ticketing as they become available.
We encourage our accepted filmmakers to come to the Festival, to support each other’s work and to engage in Q&A sessions with audiences following the screening of their films. Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of many of our community members, filmmakers will largely be staying in homes around the area. For MNFF9, we anticipate a sizable turnout of over 50 creative and inspiring new filmmakers.
Awards & Prizes
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is a juried competition and our winning filmmakers all receive the coveted VTeddy Award in the Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Audience Award-Feature and Audience Award- Short categories. MNFF also offers multiple cash Prizes and valuable in-kind awards to selected directors of both shorts and features. The VTeddy Awards Ceremony will be held at Town Hall Theater on Closing Night, August 27, and is free and open to all.
With roughly 10,000 film festivals worldwide, MNFF is proud to be consistently selected as a Top 100 Best Reviewed Festival by the principal global film submission and viewing platform, FilmFreeway. Thank you to all our visiting filmmakers from previous Festivals who have taken the time to let us know why they enjoy coming to our joyous event in beautiful Middlebury. And to all the filmmakers who will be joining us this August from close to two dozen countries, we say welcome and thank you for your spectacular work!