Our submission window for MNFF4 has closed. Thank you to the hundreds of filmmakers who made this a record setting season! MNFF5 submissions are welcome beginning January 3, 2019.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is all about exhibiting and promoting the dynamic and imaginative work of first or second time filmmakers. Our goal is to create a peer festival, a level playing field, a place to be discovered and talked about. We want you to feel at home here in Middlebury as we celebrate the work of emerging new voices in independent cinema.

Sydney Indie Film Festival 100_best_reviewed_festivals

Submission Criteria

1. The work must be either your first or second film, whether it’s a feature or a short. For example, if you have already made three short films, but you would like to submit either your first or second feature, then go right ahead. Or, if you have made a feature, but recently completed your first or second short film and it is really good, then by all means submit the short. We are open to any genre, be it narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and VR.

2. Feature films should be at least 50 minutes long.  Shorts can range in length from 3 minutes to 40 minutes.  Extended shorts from 40 to 50 minutes will also be considered, although, if accepted, possibly classified as a feature.

3.  The work must have been completed after February 1, 2016, i.e., within the past 24 months.

4.  We would love for your film to premiere at MNFF, but it is fine with us if you have exhibited your work elsewhere, i.e., at another festival or for a short theatrical run, as long as the film is not already out commercially as a DVD/Blu-Ray, up on a transactional platform like iTunes or Amazon or on an SVOD platform like Netflix or a VOD platform like Comcast Xfinity.

5.  We are not accepting works-in-progress at the MNFF.

Additional Screenings

A selection of MNFF4’s winning features and winning shorts will receive valuable additional screenings in various venues around Vermont in the months following the Festival, under the auspices of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. The MNFF asks that our winning filmmakers allow us to screen their work at these selected venues as we create greater visibility for their films. Compensation for these screenings will be paid by the Festival to the filmmakers.


In addition to awards for Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Feature Narrative, Best Short Narrative, Audience Award Feature and Audience Award Short, three cash prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded to feature films at the 4th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

The first is the Hernandez/Bayliss Prize for the feature film that best captures the triumph of the human spirit. The second is the Clio Visualizing History Prize for the Advancement of Women in Film, presented to a woman filmmaker whose feature film boldly portrays the story of a person or events of historical significance. And third, we offer the Gaia Prize for Environmental Filmmaking, honoring a feature film with exceptional insights into environmental and sustainability issues. All three of these prizes represent an ongoing effort by MNFF to expand its core mission of financially supporting the work of distinguished first and second time filmmakers.

Submission Windows & Fees

  • Early Bird: Opens January 3, 2018; closes January 16, 2018. Submission fees – $50/feature and $35/short. WINDOW IS CLOSED.
  • Regular: Opens January 17, 2018; closes April 3, 2018. Submission fees – $60/feature and $45/short. WINDOW IS CLOSED.
  • Late: Opens April 4, 2018; closes May 1, 2018. Submission fees – $65/feature and $50/short. WINDOW IS CLOSED.
  • Withoutabox and FilmFreeway Extended: Opens May 2, 2018; closes May 15, 2018. Submission fees – $70/feature and $55/short. WINDOW IS CLOSED.

How to Submit

The Festival is working with Withoutabox and FilmFreeway on film submission. Secure online screening as well as a DVD mailing opportunity will be available on Withoutabox and FilmFreeway for MNFF submissions.

The 4th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival rolls out August 23-26, 2018. We hope your film will be among the titles that we present to our enthusiastic audiences. Thanks for considering us and good luck!

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