The 16th Annual Vermont International Film Festival

The Vermont Film Foundation held its 16th annual international film festival, which ran from Thursday to Sunday at various theaters in the Burlington area. Approximately 100 films were screened throughout the weekend, many of which were produced by Vermont filmmakers like Rob Koier and Michael Fisher. The Vermont International Film Festival is the worlds oldest and longest running Environmental and Human Right’s film festival in the world, however entries are not limited to the aforementioned topics. The student showcase section of the film festival was held on Thursday at Higher Ground and featured movies from colleges across Vermont, including three from UVM. “HomeGrown: The Farm-Chef Connection” by UVM students Zack Minot, Lindsay Tully and Alex McGuinness focused on the relationship between local Vermont farmers and the restaurant business and brought home the prize for best non-fiction. The film was a product of UVM Summer Integrated Media Studies Institute, a month long film production course offered last summer. Two other student produced films, “Asleep at the Wheel” and “Adderall: A Growing Dependency”, which centered on UVM’s large population of study drug users and abusers (UVM is in the top five schools for perscription drug use), were also shown. Honorable mention went to “Flea Diaries” by St. Michaels student Nicki Manchisi, an interesting expos?? of a New York sub-culture based around flea markets. The movies driving point – the special relationship between flea merchants and their gathered treasures – was best expressed by one slightly eccentric collector when he said about a particularly valued item: “I don’t own this. I’m just tending it while I’m here, and before I die I’ll pass it on.” The film “The Patient of Dr. Rice” by Middlebury student Perry Blackshear took the award for best general student production at the awards ceremony, which took place at 10 pm at Higher Ground. In a special ceremony Vanessa Redgrave was awarded the Socially Conscious Achievement award for “challenging the political and social status quo” with her incredible array of socially conscious films including “A Man for all Seasons” and her latest film “Russia/Chechnya: Voices of Dissent,” which was screened on October 15th, at the Contois Auditorium. Mrs. Redgrave accepted the award via a pre-recorded video acceptance speech by Redgrave herself.