The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is all about the work of first and second time filmmakers. It's our single minded focus. The event takes place in scenic Middlebury, Vermont in late August each year. Our 3rd Annual festival will roll out August 24-27, 2017.

MNFF2 was a huge success with filmmakers and audiences alike. More than 45 filmmakers from around the world joined us in Middlebury for the Festival and nearly 3,000 people attended the films, special events, panels and parties. We were joined by the great documentarian and two time Academy Award winner, Barbara Kopple, who screened three of her films, including her first, the monumental 1976 release "Harlan County, USA." The actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard joined us for a lively "Coffee With. . " session on the essence of acting. Renowned American author Russell Banks appeared to discuss "Book To Film." The New York Times and The Nation were well represented in panels on "Film As Journalism" and "The Changing Face of Journalism in the Age of New Media." And we proudly awarded our new Vermont Symphony Orchestra award for Best Integration of Music Into Film as part of our long term alliance with this wonderful organization.

We are already planning MNFF3 and look forward to presenting another innovative and exciting event. We have booked three great venues to screen our 2017 selections: the historic Town Hall Theater, the recently renovated Marquis Theater and the beautiful Dana Auditorium at Middlebury College. We anticipate having as many as 80 slots available for accepted entries and selections will be made by a panel of judges led by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Jay Craven, noted Vermont filmmaker, impresario and educator.

We encourage our filmmakers to come to the festival, engage in Q&A sessions with audiences following the screening of their work and immerse themselves in the pleasure of small town Vermont. And we house our filmmakers in the wonderful homes of area residents, an unforgettable experience that distinguishes MNFF from so many other festivals. We anticipate offering craft workshops this coming year and welcoming other celebrated writers and directors to our stages. To round out the Festival experience, multiple parties will be scheduled during the event at lovely venues around the Middlebury area. And, of course, we cap it all off with the wonderful VTeddy Awards at the Closing Ceremonies, where our winners take home the coveted VTeddy in recognition of their outstanding work. Keep up with all the developments for the 2017 MNFF at and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

What further sets the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival apart is what comes after the event. The MNFF has created the The New England Tour that will give our top filmmakers valuable additional exposure. Our six winning films - Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Audience Award -Feature, Audience Award - Short - will be booked together into great venues in each of the six New England states following the Festival. We offer screening fees to our winning filmmakers and encourage them to personally go on the Tour and present their work all over New England. Getting out there and getting recognized is a big boost to new filmmakers and the MNFF is completely supportive of this process.

Awards & Prizes

In addition to the VTeddy Awards, the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival offers screening fees to our winning filmmakers for allowing us to present their work as part of The New England Tour. The Festival also underwrites all the costs of booking the venues and marketing the events.

Rules & Terms


The 3rd Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival – August 24-27, 2017

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is entirely about new filmmakers and their dynamic work. We are only accepting first or second features OR first or second short films. If you have already completed three short films, for instance, but you want to submit your first or second feature, we welcome that. You must have completed your submitted film after February 1, 2015.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is not accepting works-in-progress.

All submitted films must comply with the Submissions Guidelines including deadlines, exhibition format, entry material, etc., as detailed in our listing. Please check our website for further details (

We are offering secure online screening of submitted films through and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this fine service. Submission fees vary by deadline so make sure to upload your film prior to a particular deadline to qualify for that fee level. In no case will your film be considered if you upload it after the final deadline of the Extended Window.

If you opt to send us a DVD or BluRay copy of your entry, your film must be postmarked by the final deadline of the Extended Window for it to be considered for acceptance into the Festival. If you are submitting with a secured online screener, you do not have to mail us a DVD/BluRay unless later requested by the Festival.

If you choose to submit a DVD/BluRay, the material must be labeled with:

Film Title
Running Time
Contact information clearly displayed on the face of the DVD.

Please only mail DVDs/BluRays in paper or plastic jewel cases (no standard DVD cases). We want to avoid breakage, if possible. And kindly put the FilmFreeway Tracking # of your film on the package so we can quickly identify it.

More than one entry may be submitted. However, each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form and entry fee.

Any films submitted without a paid entry fee by the given deadline will be disqualified from the submission screening process.

Because of the heavy volume of submissions, we will not email you when we receive your submission. Once it is securely up on FilmFreeway, you can safely assume we have been notified by the platform.

Films submitted must be available in English or in the original language with English subtitles.

Submit your film as early as possible, please. This gives us more time to consider your work.

Entry fees are payable by credit card, check or money order to the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and are non-refundable. Fees for foreign entries should be paid by credit card or international money orders in U.S. dollars, again payable to the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

Entrants are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances and permits necessary to present their work. The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits or royalty infringement related to the work. If your work is accepted into the Festival, we must be able to screen it without any encumbrances.

Accepted films must be available in the designated exhibition formats: BluRay or DCP.

Accepted films may screen in limited engagement theatrically prior to Festival exhibition, but cannot already be involved in distribution deals, e.g., Redbox, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, VOD, broadcast or cable television, prior to August 24, 2017.

Notification of acceptance will be emailed. We ask you not to call the Festival office. All correspondence will be done through email only with the original submitter.

If your film is selected, you will be asked to provide a digital press kit which includes: headshot and brief bio of director, color and/or B&W stills from the film, brief description of the film (75 words max) and a video trailer (downloadable and cleared for use on the Festival website).

The date, time and location of the screenings of films are solely at the discretion of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

The Festival will award six additional screenings to each of the top three features and top three short films in the Narrative, Documentary and Audience Favorite categories. These screenings will take place in each of the six New England states in the months following the conclusion of the Festival. The booking and marketing costs of this important additional exposure will be borne by the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and includes the payment of an exhibition fee to the winning filmmakers. The Festival requires that, as a condition of acceptance into the Festival, the filmmaker allow these additional screenings of his/her work.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival will take great care in the handling of your entry but will not pay additional charges for originals, masters, or special prints.

DVD/BluRay screeners will not be returned unless the filmmaker is willing to accept the cost of doing this. Please do not send originals or masters.

If an accepted film provides a DCP exhibition copy, the Festival will return that copy provided the filmmaker furnishes the Festival with a UPS or FedEx account number to facilitate that return.

All film entries selected for the festival grant the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival the rights to use footage, stills, titles and information from the film for promotional purposes.

All filmmakers will be notified by July 10, 2017 via email regarding their acceptance into the Festival.


You hereby affirm that you are the authorized representative for the above mentioned film [as noted on the entry form]. You grant the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film, if selected, at the 2017 Festival, August 24-27. You represent that such exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity. You further represent that you are authorized to submit the above-referenced film and, if selected, will deliver the screening print to the Festival office no later than August 1, 2017. You also affirm that the film will not be in commercial distribution and will not have aired on broadcast or cable television in the United States prior to August 24, 2017. Further, per the specific description in the General Rules, you grant permission for additional limited public exhibition of the film to the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival should this film be selected as one of the top three features or top three short films of the Festival. You also grant the Festival the right to utilize an excerpt from this film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. Additionally, you will indemnify and hold harmless the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening material entered. All decisions of the Festival regarding the designation of the top three feature films and top three short films selected for additional exhibition around New England will be final and binding on all participants. You have read, understood, and hereby agree to the terms written in the General Festival Rules submissions to the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival 2016.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Candice Carella

    MNFF is a fantastic Festival and experience for new filmmakers. Lloyd Komesar the festival producer, the programming team and festival staff of MNFF were incredibly hospitable, available for questions prior to festival, and threw an absolutely fantastic film festival with top notch films, fantastic sponsors, incredibly organized and well thought out program and fun events with numerous networking opportunities for filmmakers. I highly recommend this festival. They spend time, energy, and resources promoting their festival winners and getting their filmmakers exposure and big audiences. Couldn't recommend this festival more!

    January 2017
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    Sharon Lesser Maguire

    It's the little festival that could! In just two years, this festival is showcasing an impressive array of extremely high-caliber films - and attracting major talent as guest speakers as well. After seeing some of the other films (particularly the documentaries), I considered myself honored to have been included in the mix. The staff is so friendly and down-to-earth, and you just can't beat the scenery. I can't wait to see where it's headed in the future.

    October 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your generous review, Sharon. We were delighted to have you in attendance at MNFF and we hope you will grace us again with your next film or just come as a treasured alum. Please stay in touch!

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    Beatrice Alda

    We had a wonderful time at the festival. Loved meeting other filmmakers and the festival was well run and impressive for its second year! Thanks for the great hospitality!!

    September 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Appreciate your good review, Beatrice. Very helpful to a new festival like ours. We hope to see you folks back here with your next film. Have you begun something new?

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    shane hall

    Brilliant festival in a pretty town. Punching way above their weight. It's was very weighted towards docs but hey maybe they got a lot this year. You also get billeted with locals which was simply great.

    September 2016
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    Jo Lewis

    I screened here with my film Lady Luck last year, and even though I was not able to attend in person I found them to be a brilliant festival to screen with. They promoted my film really well and I found them to be genuinely supportive of new and first time filmmakers- I would really recommend this festival to Independent film makers.

    June 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your support, Jo. We genuinely appreciate your comments and hope you will share them on our MNFF Facebook page.. And thank you for bringing Whisper to us this year. You are doing such great work!