The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival [MNFF] brings a selection of its award winning films to the beautiful Frontier Cinema on May 6. The screenings are part of MNFF’s distinctive New England Circuit that provides its top filmmakers with valuable post-Festival exposure in great venues across the six New England states.
The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival was created to support, promote and exhibit the dynamic and imaginative efforts of new filmmakers. At MNFF, the focus is entirely on first and second time filmmakers who have completed either their feature or short film in the last two years. All genres are welcome at MNFF including narrative, documentary, animation and experimental. The Festival offers its audiences an opportunity to discover new and emerging voices in filmmaking and provides filmmakers a chance to be celebrated in a setting that is all about their work.
12pm - Omo Child: The River and the Bush [Documentary]
Directed by John Rowe
For many generations, the Kara people of the Omo Valley (southwest Ethiopia) believed some “cursed” children bring disease, drought and death to the tribe. The curse is called “mingi.” The tribal response is to kill the Mingi. One young, educated Kara man, Lale Labuko, decided he would challenge this horrific tradition. This is his story. Omo Child is the result of five years of filming. It follows Lale and the Kara tribe’s journey as they attempt to change an ancient practice. Immensely powerful and an utterly redemptive story, Omo Child represents the dedication of its director, John Rowe, to bring an important issue to light.
2:30pm - Romeo Is Bleeding [Documentary]
Directed by Jason Zeldes
A fatal turf war between neighborhoods haunts the city of Richmond, CA. Donté Clark transcends the violence in his hometown by writing poetry about his experiences. Using his voice to inspire those around him, he and the like-minded youth of the city mount an urban adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with the hope of starting a real dialogue about violence in the city. Will Richmond force Donté to compromise his idealistic ambitions? Or will Donté end Richmond’s cycle of trauma? Marvelously directed and edited by Jason Zeldes, Romeo Is Bleeding deals forcefully with the reality of finding a better way to live.
5pm - Figurine [Narrative Drama]
Directed by Hans Olson
Karin leads a quiet life working at a truck wash and ushering part-time at the hockey arena. Her solitary routine is broken when she meets James, a truck driver seeking work in the city. As autumn approaches winter, Karin opens herself to the possibility of romance. As directed by Hans Olson, Figurine’s sensitive and exquisite portrait of loneliness doesn’t need to rely on dramatic fireworks. Its quiet power speaks for itself.
7:30pm - The Sound and The Shadow [Narrative Drama]
Directed by Justin Paul Miller
When the 6-year-old girl next door goes missing, Harold realizes that his secret audio recordings of the neighborhood may provide clues to the case. But when his overzealous new roommate Ally pushes him into a dangerous investigation, Harold’s world is turned upside down. Against the backdrop of an urban community's mystery, The Sound and the Shadow examines the perceptions and stories we create from the sounds of our neighbors -- and the secrets we hide behind our own walls. Both a tense, compelling drama and a tale of human insecurity, The Sound and the Shadow showcases the craft of a promising new voice, Justin Paul Miller.