MIDDLEBURY NEW FILMMAKERS FESTIVAL: BEST OF THE FEST
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
3 programs - Noon, 3pm, 5:30pm - $12 each
The Vermont-based Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival took place in August 2016, and the various category winners of the festival are going on the road! MNFF is strongly committed to raising the profile of its winning filmmakers after the annual August event concludes. The New England Tour is the direct fulfillment of this commitment. The six VTeddy Award winning films from 2016 will tour together throughout New England, appearing at great venues across the region - including our very own Prez Hall!
Here's the lineup:
12 Noon Program - Short film followed by feature
SHORT FILM: "The Best and Worst Days of George Morales' Unnaturally Long Life"
*Followed by a Q & A with the director
(Comedy | USA | 24M, Director: Seth Cuddeback & Benjamin Dohrmann)
George and Susie Morales own a restaurant in East Los Angeles and have been happily married for nearly forty years. They are also immortal. Their secret lies in his mother’s recipe for chicken mole. But when Susie decides that she would like to finally end her life, George is forced to make a difficult decision: join her in death or face eternity alone. A lovely, allegorical film written and shot in a style that is a throwback to a gentler version of storytelling.
FEATURE: "Broke" (Drama | Australia | 95M, Director: Heath Davis)
A compelling redemption story of a disgraced Australian rugby star whose bottomed-out life haltingly turns around when he is “adopted” by a widower and his daughter. A powerful portrayal of working class Sydney not typically seen by American audiences.
3pm - Short film followed by feature
SHORT FILM: "Pony" (Comedy | USA | 31M, Director: Candice Carella)
Hard working single mom Claudia must go out of town on an important last minute business trip, forcing her to leave her 5 year old daughter Miko with Uncle Jeff, a dissolute rock musician in his 50’s who is still running on the fumes of his glory days. Spending the weekend looking after his spirited niece, Jeff must suspend his delusions of grandeur and face reality. Both humorous and poignant, Pony brings the generations together.
FEATURE: "The Guys Next Door" (Documentary | USA | 74M, Director: Amy Geller & Allie Humenuk)
Meet Erik and Sandro, a gay couple whose friend Rachel is a surrogate for their two daughters. Rachel, who is in her mid-40s, is married to Tony and they have three children of their own. Together, they all form a unique extended family. Elegantly shot and edited, told with candor and humor, ”The Guys Next Door” is an engaging documentary about family, friendship and gay rights.
5:30pm - Short film followed by feature
SHORT FILM: "Phil's Camino" (Documentary | USA | 27M, Director: Annie O/Neil & Jessica Lewis)
Free spirit Phil is a man living with Stage 4 cancer and dreaming of walking the 500 mile spiritual pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago across Spain. Unable to make the trip, he does the next best thing – builds a camino in the forest behind his house, starts to walk, and traces his progress on a map. Phil receives a clean scan and his doctors grant him a ‘chemo holiday.’ He now has 28 days to go walk the ancient route in Spain. Along the way, he realizes his true pilgrimage is the one he travels within. A moving film certain to inspire anyone who has ever dreamed of doing something that sounded impossible.
FEATURE: "Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith" (Documentary | USA | 103M, Director: Jesse Nesser)
*Followed by a Q & A with the director
Damon J. Keith was an “ordinary colored man” from Detroit. He became a controversial federal judge who would shape civil rights law and challenge a sitting president. Decades later, Judge Keith’s rulings resonate in a nation still arguing about which lives matter. Now 94 years old and still a sitting U.S. Circuit Court judge, Judge Keith is a fascinating figure and his life may be the greatest story you’ve never heard. A stirring and timely documentary.