Arts & Leisure

MNFF screens world premieres beginning Aug. 25

The 7th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is screening the world premieres of 13 films at this year’s festival, which begins on Aug. 25. These premieres include 11 short films and two feature-length films.

The short films having their global debut at MNFF7 are:

“BBQ&A with Billy Day,” directed by Olga Sanchez-Saltveit; “Clearing,” directed by Karen Kaeja; “Dear Dublin,” directed by Evelyn Gustafson; “Election Day,” directed by Nicole Doerges; “Mother’s Day,” directed by Jeanine Frost; “Requiems: El Paso and Beyond,” directed by Robin Behn; “Selfie #VoodooChallenge,” directed by Antwand Pearman; “Some Kinda Love,” directed by Mia Fichman; “Tanagokoro: A Culinary Portrait,” directed by Victoria Fistes and Masashi Nozaki; “The Cho Stories: Mrs. Cho; Myung-Ah & Kyung-Hee; Appa Appa Appa,” directed by Anna Sang Park; and “The Order,” directed by Ryan Zhang.

The feature length films whose world premieres will take place at MNFF7 are “Now Return Us to Normal,” directed by Leslie Koren, and “WE ARE NOT CONTENT!,” directed by Yuki Soga.

There is ample local representation among the films world premiering at MNFF7, including “BBQ&A with Billy Day,” written and directed by a team of Middlebury College theater professors and produced by Melissa Lourie of Middlebury Acting Company, and “Some Kinda Love,” filmed in Norwich, VT by a team of Middlebury College alumni. Yuki Soga, director of “WE ARE NOT CONTENT!,” was born and raised in South Burlington.

MNFF7 is also excited to host the United States premiere for 12 films. The short films nationally premiering are “6FT,” directed by Francesca Pazinokas; “Amuse Bouche,” directed by Jacob Klemmer; “Clown,” directed by Shane O’Neill; “Eating Soil,” directed by Laura Weissenberger; “Fireflies,” directed by Leo Bittencourt; “Machine Age,” directed by Sarah Stirk; “RIP Seni,” directed by Daisy Ifama; “The Exit Plan,” directed by Angus Wilkinson; and “The Last Vaquita,” directed by Ed Harrison.

The feature films nationally premiering at MNFF7 are “No Visible Trauma,” directed by Robinder Uppal and Marc Serpa Francoeur; “Nomad Meets the City,” directed by Anji Clubb, and “Shop,” by Jesper Klevenas. These films hail from all over the world, including Brazil, Mexico, Austria, Sweden, and the UK.

Between these exciting U.S. premieres and the recently announced AICEF cross-cultural exchange with Indonesia’s Bali International Film Festival, MNFF is proud to continue expanding its global focus.

“It gives us special pleasure to know that we are premiering films that have not been seen — or not been seen in the U.S.,” said MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven. “This is really what the festival is all about — first- and second-time filmmakers — many of them also showing their films for the first time. Our jurors look very carefully, as I do, at submitted films, looking for signs of originality, imagination, vision and intelligence. We show a lot of fresh films — precisely to provide these opportunities for emerging filmmakers to find this kind of essential support — so they can continue to develop. For audiences, this also adds to a sense of discovery that is uniquely rewarding.”

“The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival has achieved a distinctive and enduring niche among first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world, reflected in the impressive quality of the work we received and selected for our 7th Annual Fest,” noted Lloyd Komesar, MNFF Producer. “MNFF is proud to be premiering so many fine films at its in-person event starting August 25 and we think our audiences will be delighted by what they experience.”

Follow MNFF @middfilmfest or visit for tickets, passes and more info. Also, check out the MNFF7 special publication inserted into this week’s Addison Independent.

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