THE VERMONT TOUR

Friday, February 7 – Sunday, February 9

1 WEEKEND | 4 OUTSTANDING FILMS | 8 LOCATIONS

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) rolls out the third edition of its successful statewide Vermont Tour on February 7-9, 2020. Expanding from seven to eight vibrant cities and towns this year, the Tour features three top documentaries and one outstanding narrative drama from this past August’s 5th Annual Fest: The Dog Doc, from director Cindy Meehl, MNFF5’s Opening Night Film; Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops, from director Jenifer McShane, MNFF5’s Closing Night Film; Don’t Be Nice, from director Max Powers, MNFF5’s winner of the Best Documentary Feature award; and, and The Return of Richard III on the 9:24am Train, from director Eric Bu, MNFF5’s winner of the Best Narrative Feature award.

Appearing on Tour this February will be Jenifer McShane, Director of Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops, Nikhil Melnechuk, Producer of Don’t Be Nice and Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin, lead veterinarian in The Dog Doc.

THE FILMS

The Dog Doc

[Documentary | 101 min]  Directed by Cindy Meehl, The Dog Doc profiles a maverick veterinarian and his dedicated team of doctors who create a mecca for pets and their owners looking for hope and a last chance for animal healing. The film poses deep questions about effective treatment, pushing humans to consider the difference between medication and integrative, holistic care. This sharply observed documentary offers an immersive view into a seldom seen world, painting a picture of pure dedication, empathy and joy. Ms. Meehl also directed the highly successful documentary Buck, released in 2011. The Dog Doc was the Opening Night film at MNFF5 this past August. More about the film.

Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops

[Documentary | 96 min]  Directed by Jenifer McShane, Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops is an intimate portrait of two San Antonio, Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls involving vulnerable individuals. The documentary takes audiences on both a professional and personal journey, weaving together the officers’ challenging experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. In taking this different path to policing, Ernie and Joe’s success is stimulating change in police departments around the country. Ms. McShane also directed the impactful documentary Mothers of Bedford, released in 2011. Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops was the Closing Night film at MNFF5. More about the film.

Don’t Be Nice

[Documentary | 95 min]  Directed by Max Powers, Don’t Be Nice tells the compelling story of a team of young New York City Slam Poets that finds its voice as it prepares and competes for the National Championship during the summer of 2016. An emotional and inspiring film that gives insightful commentary on race, gender, identity and sexual politics in America today, Don’t Be Nice is both an absorbing competition doc and a vital writer’s workshop that movingly proves that winning hearts and minds is the ultimate prize. Don’t Be Nice was selected as Best Feature Documentary at the 5th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival this past August. More about the film.

The Return of Richard III on the 9:24am Train

[Drama/Comedy | 85 min] Directed by Eric Bu, The Return of Richard III on the 9:24am Train is a savory blend of drama and comedy. The drama: a dying man decides to hire professional actors to impersonate his mostly estranged loved ones at a final “family” get together. The comedy: the group of actors he has hired turns out to be even more neurotic than he is and a little too eager to play their roles to the hilt. Unexpected twists, often hilariously portrayed, propel this most engaging film. The Return of Richard III on the 9:24am Train was selected as Best Feature Narrative at MNFF5 this past August. In French w/ English subtitles. More about the film.

TOUR SCHEDULE

The MNFF Vermont Tour will play a diverse array of venues around the state on the weekend of February 7-9, 2020.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7

BURLINGTON
Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center

This Tour stop is co-produced with and presented by the Vermont International Film Festival, one of Vermont’s leading cultural organizations and the state’s pioneering film festival.

Don_t-Be-Nice

5:00 pm | Don’t Be Nice
Nikhil Melnechuk, Producer, will appear

Ernie-and-Joe

7:30 pm | Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops
Jenifer McShane, Director, will appear

PUTNEY
Next Stage Arts

Return-of-Richard-III-on-the-9_24am-Train-The

7:00 pm | The Return of Richard III on the 9:24am Train
[French w/ English subtitles]

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8

WOODSTOCK
Billings Farm and Museum

Dog-Doc-The

3:00 pm | The Dog Doc
Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin, principal DVM, will appear

5:30 pm | The Dog Doc
Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin, principal DVM, will appear

GREENSBORO
Highland Center for the Arts

Return-of-Richard-III-on-the-9_24am-Train-The

3:00 pm | The Return of Richard III on the 924am Train
French w/ English subtitles

Dog-Doc-The

5:30 pm | The Dog Doc

Noted Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien will lead Q&As following each screening.

PUTNEY
Next Stage Arts

Ernie-and-Joe

7:00 pm | Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops
Jenifer McShane, Director, will appear

FAIRLEE
Fairlee Town Hall

Dog-Doc-The

3:00 pm | The Dog Doc

Don_t-Be-Nice

7:00 pm  |  Don’t Be Nice
Nikhil Melnechuk, Producer, will appear

WESTON
Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm

Dog-Doc-The

7:30 pm | The Dog Doc
Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin, principal DVM, will appear

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9

VERGENNES
Vergennes Opera House

Ernie-and-Joe

1:00 pm  |  Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops
Jenifer McShane, Director, to appear at noon reception and 12:45 pm film introduction

Dog-Doc-The

3:30 pm | The Dog Doc

RUTLAND
Paramount Theatre

Dog-Doc-The

1:00 pm  |  The Dog Doc

Don_t-Be-Nice

3:30 pm  |  Don’t Be Nice
Nikhil Melnechuk, Producer, will appear

ABOUT THE MNFF VERMONT TOUR

By presenting these four remarkable films across our home state of Vermont, MNFF actively broadens its unwavering commitment to promoting the work of talented first and second time directors, the emerging voices of independent filmmaking. As the popularity of the Vermont Tour increases, our latest version of the event expands its reach yet again to eight vibrant towns and communities around Vermont. We look forward to renewing our connections with appreciative audiences in Burlington and other returning venues and to making new connections in places like Weston and Fairlee.

THANK YOU, SPONSORS!

We thank our great filmmakers for participating.  Heartfelt thanks also to our excellent participating Tour venues and our outstanding sponsors – VPR, VPBS, Milne Travel, Shelburne Vineyard and Lake Morey Resort – for supporting the Tour. In particular, we wish to acknowledge and thank the Vermont International Film Festival for co-producing and presenting our high profile Burlington tour stop.

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