MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The third annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) will run from August 24-27, featuring more than 90 films from 15 countries. This year’s offerings will include four films by Middlebury College alumni.
Festival producer Lloyd Komesar, who founded the event in 2015 as a way to showcase up-and-coming talent, says the festival received more than 350 submissions this year. “The buzz around this year’s lineup continues to build,” said Komesar. “Our exceptional contributions from women filmmakers are clearly one of the main reasons that people are excited. Beginning with Joan Kron’s wonderful opening night film, we have stocked our lineup with thoroughly entertaining films.”
The festival will mark the Vermont premiere of Good Funk, a film by Adam Kritzer ’11, a part-time Burlington resident, at a screening in the Town Hall Theater, Friday, August 25, at 10:30 a.m. He served as writer, director, and producer of the feature narrative that follows three generations of Brooklyn neighbors as their lives intersect. Kritzer’s work has screened at SXSW and Toronto International Film Festival, and Good Funk won last year’s Spotlight Award at the Harlem International Film Festival.
Recent Middlebury graduate Sasha Whittle ’17 will present a moving short documentary, The “F” Word, that explores failure in traditional academic institutions, and the pressures students face when grades often seem to be conflated with character. The screening will take place in Dana Auditorium, Saturday, August 26, at 10:30 a.m.
The festival will also screen 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide produced by Beth Levison ’91 on Saturday, August 26, at 1:30 p.m. in the Marquis Theater. This powerful feature documentary illustrates the immense impact of a sister’s suicide on the surviving sibling.
With the exception of Lennon, the Middlebury College alumni filmmakers are planning to attend the festival and be on hand after the screenings to take questions from the audience.
The festival’s opening night film, Take My Nose, Please, will help kick off the event on Thursday, August 24, at 7 p.m. at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. The hilarious film looks at the role of comedy in examining the pressures on women to be attractive, and society’s complicated relationship with plastic surgery. Director Joan Kron will speak with MNFF artistic director Jay Craven following the screening. The event is sold out but filmgoers may request to be on the wait list.
Following the conclusion of the festival, the top films–winners of the VTeddy award–will be sent on a screening tour to theaters throughout the region. The “New England Tour” is one of the distinguishing features of the young festival, says Komesar, and a way for the filmmakers to get added exposure for their work beyond their four days in Middlebury.
For more information, tickets, and descriptions of all the films to be screened at the festival, visit the MNFF website.