Hello, new filmmakers! The submission window for the 9th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival has now closed. We thank the more than 500 filmmakers who have given us the opportunity to consider their films. And we look forward to a seeing a diverse new array of submissions when our window for MNFF10 opens on January 2, 2024!
Celebrating remarkable 1st and 2nd time filmmakers from around the world.
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is all about showcasing the outstanding work of first and second time filmmakers from around the world. It’s our sole focus and it’s what we do exceptionally well. Our goal is to create a peer festival, a level playing field, a place to be discovered and talked about in a joyous environment. The event takes place in scenic Middlebury, Vermont in late August each year, with our in-person 9th Annual Fest scheduled for August 23-27, 2023. We want you to feel at home here in Middlebury as we celebrate the dynamic and emerging new voices in independent cinema.
- 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 couple of features, but recently completed your first or second short film, then by all means submit the short. We are open to any genre, be it narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and VR.
- Feature films should be at least 40 minutes long. Shorts can range in length from 3 minutes to 40 minutes, although, if a 40 minute short is accepted, it may possibly be classified as a feature. MNFF will also consider a short film trilogy with a unified theme that spans no more than 40 minutes. And, we will consider a web series if the entire series does not exceed 60 minutes.
- The work must have been completed after March 1, 2021, i.e., roughly within the past two years. We would like your work to be current.
- In the event that your film is selected, we would love for your film to premiere at MNFF, but it is fine with us if you have shown your work elsewhere, i.e., at another festival or for a short theatrical run. If the film is already out commercially as a DVD/Blu-Ray, up on a transactional platform like iTunes or Vudu, on an SVOD platform like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, a VOD platform like Comcast Xfinity or on a broadcast or cable network, e.g., PBS or HBO or Showtime, we may still consider the work, but it does complicate the selection process.
- MNFF typically does not pay screening fees to filmmakers whose work is accepted from the submission pool.
- We are not accepting works-in-progress at MNFF.
- We are not accepting multi-part long form episodic series at MNFF.
MNFF Vermont Tour
A selection of MNFF’s best feature films will receive valuable additional screenings in various venues around Vermont in late March/early April of 2024, following the Festival, as part of our MNFF Vermont Tour. The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival asks that our selected filmmakers allow us to screen their work at these venues as we create greater visibility for their films in the state of Vermont. Compensation for these screenings will be paid by the Festival directly to the filmmakers or their distributors, and travel and lodging arrangements are covered as well should the participating filmmaker wish to attend particular screenings.
Awards & Prizes
In addition to Awards for Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Feature Narrative, Best Short Narrative, Audience Award Feature and Audience Award Short, MNFF offers an exceptional array of prizes for both feature film and short film creators.
MNFF supports feature film creators with seven cash prizes of $1,000 each and two valued at $500, all to be awarded at the 9th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.
All of these cash prizes represent an ongoing effort by MNFF to expand its core mission by financially supporting the work of distinguished first and second time filmmakers.
MNFF also provides a remarkable opportunity for a feature filmmaker to participate in a cross-cultural exchange:
MNFF additionally offers a highly coveted award exclusively for short film creators:
Submission Windows & Fees*
- Early Bird:
January 3 – January 20, 2023. Submission Fees: $45/Feature, $30/ShortCLOSED
January 21 – April 7, 2023. Submission Fees: $55/Feature, $40/ShortCLOSED
April 8 – May 7, 2023. Submission Fees: $60/Feature, $45/ShortCLOSED
May 8 – May 30, 2023. Submission Fees: $65/Feature, $50/ShortCLOSED
Notification of Acceptance
We anticipate that all submitting filmmakers will be informed of their MNFF9 acceptance status on or before July 7, 2023.
How to Submit
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is working exclusively with FilmFreeway for film submissions. Secure uploading and online screening will be available on FilmFreeway for all submissions to MNFF. Please note that we will NOT be accepting physical copies of films for screening and review.