Middlebury film festival announces its first scheduled events

It’s time to start thinking about this year’s 2nd Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF). Even though the event doesn’t kick off until August 25, movements and murmurings are getting us excited to welcome this festival back to Middlebury. 
The end of May closed the window for film submissions; with a whopping 370 films submitted, it’s going to be difficult to whittle it down to 85-90. MNFF says that all filmmakers will be notified by July 1. 
Another announcement came last week about the first of the festival’s planned special guests this year. MNFF plans to welcome two-time Pulitzer Prize fiction finalist Russell Banks on Friday, August 26 at 4 p.m. at Edgewater Gallery at Middlebury Falls. 
Banks will explore the subject of “Book to Film” in an on-stage dialogue with Jay Parini, noted writer, poet, screenwriter and Middlebury College professor. The author of a dozen novels and six story collections, Banks has had two of his books, “Affliction” and “The Sweet Hereafter,” made into feature films that have collected multiple honors at Cannes, the Academy Awards, and elsewhere. 
“We are delighted to have Russell Banks joining us for this lead event at MNFF,” said Jay Craven, the Festival’s Artistic Director. “Russell’s richly detailed and emotionally potent stories make stories make indelible impressions on readers ? and the films made from them rank among the most successful literary adaptations in contemporary cinema. Jay Parini has also had work adapted into award-winning films. Their discussion will surely offer fresh insight that is relevant and highly entertaining.” 
Passes for this year’s event are now on sale at www.middfilmfest.org or by calling the Town Hall Theater box office at 802-382-9222. 

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