Next Stage to host weekend film festival

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project and the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival present a special, pop-up weekend festival featuring films from the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Vermont Tour on Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is completely dedicated to the work of first- and second-time filmmakers, and Next Stage is proud to be part of the festival's Vermont Tour which brings two films selected for the Next Stage “Framed” independent film series.

Friday features The Return of Richard III on the 9:24 Train, a comedic French film that was selected as best narrative drama. The film is actually a comedy/drama. The drama: a dying man decides to hire professional actors to impersonate his loved ones at a final “family” get together. The comedy: the group of actors he has hired turns out to be even more neurotic than he is.

Saturday's film is Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops, an intimate portrait of two San Antonio, Texas, police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together the officers' experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis.

In taking this different path, Ernie and Joe's success is engendering change in police departments around the country. This special screening will be attended by director Jenifer McShane, who will present the film and facilitate a question-and-answer session immediately following the film.

“Next Stage is honored to present these two films with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Vermont Tour as part of our 'Framed' independent film series,” Next Stage Arts Project Executive Director Keith Marks said in a news release. “Next Stage offers an ideal, intimate setting and we are excited to host director Jenifer McShane for her film's screening.”

For more information, contact Billy Straus at 802-451-0053 or [email protected].

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