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Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival

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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 exceptionally well. The event takes place in scenic Middlebury, Vermont in late August each year. Our 7th Annual festival will roll out August 26-29, 2021.

Over its first six 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 brilliant 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 partnerships with prestigious organizations like the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Jacob Burns Film Center and now the Bali International Film Festival that give our filmmakers truly distinctive opportunities to advance their craft and careers. And, at the heart of it all, MNFF offers a festival environment that is genuinely and deeply supportive of the emerging new voices in independent filmmaking. Check out our many reviews on FilmFreeway from filmmakers and you'll know why Middlebury is such an essential and enjoyable destination on the festival circuit.

After successfully concluding our innovative MNFF6: ONLINE festival this past August, a move necessitated by the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now planning MNFF7 with an eye to being back "on the ground" in Middlebury. It is our fervent hope that by late August of 2021, we'll be able to welcome our filmmakers back to the safe environment of Middlebury. As with so many other festivals, the pandemic has scrambled our planning and created many uncertainties. But, we are proceeding with optimism and truly looking forward to presenting another exciting event that celebrates new filmmakers.

We will book four great venues to screen our 2021 selections: the historic Town Hall Theater, the recently renovated Marquis Theater, the beautiful Dana Auditorium and the inviting Twilight Hall, the latter two both at Middlebury College. We anticipate having as many as 85 slots available for accepted entries and selections will be made by a panel of judges led by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Jay Craven, noted Vermont filmmaker, impresario and educator.

If conditions permit, we will encourage our selected filmmakers to come to the Festival, engage in Q&A sessions with audiences following their screenings, network with peers in the peaceful surroundings and immerse themselves in the pleasures of small town Vermont. And, hopefully, we'll once again be housing our filmmakers in the wonderful homes of area residents, an unforgettable experience that distinguishes MNFF from so many other festivals. If we can offer stimulating Craft Panels and Distribution Sessions at MNFF7, we will do that, along with welcoming celebrated directors, producers, actors and writers to our stages. And we hope to find ways for our attendees to safely gather and share stories at vibrant venues around the Middlebury area. And, of course, we'll anticipate wrapping up MNFF7 with the wonderful VTeddy Awards at the Closing Ceremonies, where our winners take home the coveted VTeddy in recognition of their outstanding work. Keep up with all the developments for the 2021 Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival at middfilmfest.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We are staying optimistic and we hope you will too!

Prize summary: 
Multiple $1000 cash prizes awarded
Prizes Details: 

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival offers the following Awards and Prizes:
- The VTeddy Award, our coveted and iconic custom made tuxedo-clad Teddy, in the following categories: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Audience Award-Feature, Audience Award-Short
- The Hernandez/Bayliss Prize for the feature film that best captures the triumph of the human spirit and honors the inspirational power of independent filmmaking. Value: $1000.
- The Clio Visualizing History Prize for the Advancement of Women in Film, honoring a woman filmmaker whose feature film boldly portrays the story of a person or events of historical significance. Value: $1000.
- The Gaia Prize for Environmental Filmmaking, honoring a feature film with exceptional insights into environmental issues. In recognition of Gaia, Mother Earth in Greek mythology, this award seeks to encourage new filmmakers from around the world to bring widespread attention to global sustainability concerns. Value: $1000.
- The Shouldice Family Prize for Best Vermont-Made Film, honoring a Vermont-based filmmaker whose short or feature length film is of exceptional quality. Value: $1000.
- The Thaddeus Stevens Prize for Social Engagement by a Vermont Filmmaker, in tribute to the heroic Vermonter, Thaddeus Stevens, who played a decisive role in the abolition of slavery and the establishment of free public schooling in America. Value: $500.
- The AICEF Prize for Cross-Cultural Filmmaking, honoring an American filmmaker whose work deftly explores and embraces cross cultural themes, awarding an all-expenses paid round trip to screen their film at the 15th Annual Bali International Film Festival in Indonesia in May 2022 and a showcase screening at MNFF7. Value: $2000.
- The Vermont Symphony Orchestra Award for the Best Integration of Music Into Film, given exclusively to a short film director. The award includes multiple live performances of the winning film’s score by the VSO alongside a simultaneous screening of the film as part of the VSO’s statewide winter tour in early 2022. This dynamic performance/exhibition combination will also take place at MNFF8 in August 2022. Travel arrangements will be made and underwritten by the VSO and MNFF to bring the filmmaker to a select VSO performance. A remarkable and clearly distinctive award, by any standard.

Deadline: 
05/28/2021

Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
$40 - short film [3-40 minutes] $55 feature film [41-120minutes]
Contact & Links: 

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