MONTHLY MOVIES FROM MNFF & VTIFF
Streaming November through June – Online and on your Smart TV!
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival [MNFF] and the Vermont International Film Festival [VTIFF] are teaming up to present Split/Screen, an online streaming monthly movie series that will begin in November 2020 and run through June 2021. The two festivals will each curate a selection of four or five entertaining films in alternating months, with MNFF leading off in November, VTIFF following up with a December program and so forth in 2021. Split/Screen will be available on your phone, tablet, laptop or your big screen television.
Split/Screen continues January 22-31 with a dynamic MNFF-curated program that blends distinctive documentaries and narrative features. The two documentaries include Mr. SOUL!, a beautiful and revealing tribute to the groundbreaking PBS television series SOUL! [1968-73] and its enlightened host, Ellis Haizlip, along with Coup 53, a groundbreaking new work about the 1953 U.S.-backed overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The two dramas include Kajillionaire, the latest work from celebrated narrative director Miranda July, and Breaking Surface, a highly suspenseful Norwegian adventure thriller. Descriptions and trailers for each film appear below.
For complete information on buying Passes and Tickets, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.
FRI, JAN 22 – SUN, JAN 31
JANUARY PROGRAM BY
Director: Melissa Haizlip
From 1968 to 1973, the late night PBS variety show SOUL!, guided by its cerebral producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered and uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—presenting remarkable individuals whose voices had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home. The program was called the “Black Tonight Show” by some television writers of the day, but the distinctive style and substance of SOUL! was very much its own. The series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement.
Incorporating participants’ recollections and illuminating archival clips, the vibrant documentary Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in our nation’s culture whose impact continues to resonate, and offers us a loving portrait of an unsung hero in Ellis Haizlip, whose voice remains vital five decades on. The film’s director, Melissa Haizlip, received the 2020 Critics Choice Award for Best First Documentary Feature for Mr. SOUL!
Director: Taghi Amirani
Coup 53 presents the story of the 1953 Anglo-American coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and reinstalled the Shah. While making this stirring documentary, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and renowned editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover extraordinary, never before seen archival material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allowed the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but also to expose explosive revelations and dark secrets buried for 67 years. What began as an historical documentary about four fateful days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with the United States and Great Britain have never been so forensically and dramatically revealed.
Director: Miranda July
From acclaimed writer/director Miranda July comes Kajillionaire, a profoundly moving and wildly original comedy feature film. Con artists Theresa and Robert have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio, to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger into joining their next scam, only to have their entire world turned upside down. Starring Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins, Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez, Kajillionaire is a bold narrative accomplishment from a daring and singular filmmaker.
Director: Joachim Hedén
An intense and utterly suspenseful adventure thriller, Breaking Surface tells the story of half-sisters Ida and Tuva who set out on a winter dive in a remote part of the Norwegian coastline a few days after Christmas. When a rockslide traps Tuva under water, Ida surfaces to call for help and discovers that the slide has struck above water as well, burying their equipment, phones and car keys. Completely cut off from any chance of outside rescue, a frantic race for survival unfolds and Ida is put to the ultimate test of character and forcefulness. During the struggle to save Tuva, a fractured and troubled sisterhood is exposed, and when all seems lost, the stakes rise beyond simple survival.
VTIFF will present the next Split/Screen film program from February 19-28 with specific films to be announced soon – so watch this page. You can also subscribe to all VTIIF updates and get information about their various programming.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
PASSES & TICKETS
Split/Screen Monthly Passes are $40 [watch all the films for that month] and individual tickets cost $12.50. Just click on the buttons next to each film to get either a pass or a ticket to a particular film through the MNFF website. Here are some important additional notes:
- When you buy a Monthly Pass on Elevent, the ticketing platform that MNFF uses, we recommend that you purchase the Pass before you register or sign in. Following your purchase, you’ll receive an email confirmation of the transaction and then a second email right after that from Elevent inviting you to join the Split/Screen viewing opportunity at our portal, watch.middfilmfest.org
- You can go to the portal right away, if you’d like, and enter your password or establish a new password if you don’t previously have one. Then go inside the portal to browse the Split/Screen offerings for that month and watch trailers. Once the films become available on the first day of streaming [January 22 @ 10a EST], you can watch any or all of them.
- When you purchase an Individual Ticket, you will receive immediate confirmation of that purchase but your next email from Elevent will not arrive until an hour before the film you purchased becomes available on the morning of the first day of streaming. Then you’ll proceed to our portal, enter the voucher code contained in that email and go right through to the film.
- Please note that once you actually start viewing a film, you have 48 hours to complete the viewing.
- Also be aware that you can download the MNFF app, called MNFF6, to view the films on your big screen television. The app is available on Apple TV 4k and Roku.
HOW TO WATCH
Whether MNFF or VTIFF is curating a monthly program, Split/Screen will be hosted by the secure online platform CineSend and will be viewable on a wide array of devices including mobile, tablet, laptop and big screen televisions. All the films will be available on demand 24/7 for the entire 10 day run either at the MNFF online portal, watch.middfilmfest.org, for November, January, March and May, or at the VTIFF portal, watch.vtiff.org, for December, February, April and June. If you bought a Pass to MNFF6: ONLINE back in August and created a password to access the MNFF portal, that password can be reused when you buy a Pass for Split/Screen. You can also reset your password if you have forgotten that earlier one. Also, if you previously downloaded the MNFF6 app for Apple TV 4K or Roku, it will still be active for watching the Split/Screen movies on your big screen television using the same password. If you didn’t download the app, it is still available through the App Store on Apple TV 4K or Roku at no cost. Just search for MNFF6, download the app and follow the prompts to get everything synced up. If you encounter difficulties, contact us at email@example.com.
MNFF thanks our leading-edge local companies IPJ Real Estate and Silver Maple Construction for their sponsorship of the Split/Screen monthly movie series. We truly appreciate their support.