Midd film fest to host first-ever Kids & Family Day

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival has announced that the August festival will include a new component dedicated exclusively to families. The inaugural Kids & Family Day will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 22 — the day before the 4th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival begins on Thursday, Aug. 23.
MNFF officials said they were delighted to partner with the Marquis Theater in Middlebury for this special day of films and fun.
“We are so thrilled to be bringing this wonderful new component of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival to the local community,” noted Lloyd Komesar, festival producer.
“Our goal is to convey the excitement and the spirit of the festival to families with children in a more concentrated way — a day devoted just to them. We really appreciate the partnership we have formed with Ben Wells and his team at the Marquis for this new event at MNFF.”
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival screens the work of first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world and offers panel discussions with seasoned professionals to help young filmmakers and the general public learn more about their craft.
On Kids & Family Day, MNFF will offer three engaging family-friendly films, with screenings at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Marquis on Main Street. Along with the films, families can enjoy a host of fun activities throughout the day in the Marquis Cafe, including a variety of games donated by the Game Store. The Marquis Cafe will also present a special kids menu in addition to its usual Southwestern fare.
Minibury is sponsoring a flipbook activity for kids from 9-10 a.m. at the Marquis. Kids will draw stick figures (or whatever) on a pad of paper and flip through the drawings to see their own animation. Daniel Houghton, an instructor in the animation studio at Middlebury College, will help lead the event.
Tickets to any individual screening at Kids & Family Day are $10 for adults and $5 for youngsters age 8-18. Children under 8 can attend for free, and the flipbook event before the films is free. Seating will be on a first come, first seated basis and seats are not reserved so get there early. All tickets will be sold at the Marquis Theater, along with hot popcorn, cookies and drinks.
The lineup for that day is as follows:
“The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales” / 10 a.m. / 83 minutes / Ages 6+
What happens when a fox thinks it’s a chicken, a rabbit acts like a stork and a duck has dreams of becoming Santa Claus? Welcome to the zany world of “The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales,” a delightful animated feature that will have the whole family laughing out loud. In the spirit of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Brothers, “The Big Bad Fox” combines slapstick humor with loving insights about family life in the barnyard.
The film is French so there will be English subtitles. Never fear, the action is swift and the plot is easy to follow. French filmmaker Benjamin Renner, and his co-director, Patrick Imbert, previously made the luminous “Ernest & Celestine,” which was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award in 2014.
“Through The Windmill” / 1 p.m. / 80 minutes / Ages 8+
Lovers of mini-golf, rejoice! MNFF is excited to offer “Through the Windmill,” a feature documentary that tells the story of miniature golf in America. When did mini-golf start and how has it evolved over the last 50 years? We all recognize the hallmarks of the mini-golf course — the mounds, bumps, tunnels, water features and windmills. But who came up with the idea in the first place? And who designs the courses? (Disclaimer: If you’ve never played mini-golf before seeing this movie, you’ll want to run to the nearest course soon after.) Lovingly directed by Amanda Kulikoski, “Through The Windmill” is an endearing movie about the families that have created these beautiful labors of love for all to enjoy. Director Kulikoski is scheduled to join everyone for the screening on Aug. 22.
“Science Fair” / 4 p.m. / 90 minutes / Ages 12+
The Vermont premiere of “Science Fair” will offer a delightful and thrilling insight into the world of highly competitive science fairs. The film follows nine extraordinary students as they compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against more than 1,700 other students from 78 countries. Only one can be named Best in Fair and take home the prize of a $75,000 scholarship. As Peter Debruge described the film in Variety, “Science Fair” is “an affectionate and supremely entertaining celebration of the all-American nerd, a thoroughly researched crowd-pleaser, and winner of Sundance 2018’s inaugural Audience Award.” Witness the joy, excitement and the fascinating behind the scenes stories of the kids who aspire to be the future generation of top thinkers and inventors.

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