Arts & Leisure

MNFF Selects concludes film series with ‘The Rider’

MNFF Selects, the monthly screening series presented by the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, will wrap up its season with the acclaimed drama “The Rider,” from Oscar winning director Chloé Zhao, on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m., at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Selects series, “Humans and Animals: Shared Experiences, Intersecting Worlds,” this beautiful second feature from Zhao tells the poignant and powerful story of a young rodeo cowboy who, after suffering a near fatal head injury, must undertake a search for a new identity, and come to terms with what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

Focusing on life in the indigenous community of the Pine Ridge reservation, Zhao offers a penetrating vision of masculinity and humility set in a world where humans and animals are so completely bound together. Winner of numerous festival and critics awards, including Cannes, Deauville, Reykjavik, Palm Springs and Sarasota, “The Rider” is a bold and compassionate film that plumbs the depths of its characters in a profound way. “The Rider” is rated R.

“MNFF Selects is delighted to present this marvelous film to close out its 2021-22 series,” said Lloyd Komesar, MNFF Producer. “When you watch ‘The Rider,’ you clearly witness the growing confidence of director Chloé Zhao in this naturalistic style of filmmaking. The evolution of her vision, creativity and wisdom continued with her heralded success with Nomadland, winner of two Academy Awards, Best Picture and Best Director, in 2021. And, at this point, she has definitely taken her place as one of our most brilliant and innovative independent filmmakers.”

Individual adult tickets are $16. Tickets for youth (ages 12-17) are $11, and tickets for children under 12 are $7. Tickets can be purchased at or, by phone at 802-382-9222 or in person at the THT box office, Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. The film’s trailer can also be seen at

The MNFF Selects Series will be adhering to the revised COVID-19 protocol implemented by Town Hall Theater as of April 6: Following state and CDC recommendations, Town Hall Theater has updated its COVID policy. This policy will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and is subject to change in accordance with new public health guidelines:


Masks are optional for all indoor and outdoor events. THT offer masks and hand sanitizer for patrons’ convenience. Proof of Vaccination In response to state and CDC guidelines, THT will not be checking for proof of vaccination or PCR tests.


Please do not come to THT if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID- 19, even if you have been vaccinated.

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