Vermont International Film Festival

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

Burlington, VT 05401

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The Vermont International Film Festival is VTIFF’s flagship event. It takes place during the last 10 days in October on Burlington, Vermont’s waterfront.

The festival is curated by a programming committee and the Executive Director and does not accept submissions. The purpose of the festival is to present a wide panorama of international and national independent cinema.

In 2020 the festival is virtual only.


The festival program this year will represent a few of the essential issues that have always, and still do, concern committed journalism and its impact on the public. It will also focus on how news media has changed over the past 50 years – radio, print, Cable, new media in its various forms. The films will be a combination of fiction and documentaries, both classical and contemporary.

An essential component of the festival is the dialog surrounding the films. A selection of filmmakers and journalists will attend and participate in discussions and live Q&As. The 12 films will be offered in pairs with a single discussion for each pairs. Fran Stoddard, Van Dora Williams and Traci Griffith will be moderating.


Good Night, And Good Luck.:

Directed by: George Clooney

Sponsored by Todd Lockwood

Burnishing the legend of Edward R. Murrow, the CBS newsman who in the 1940’s and 50’s established a standard of journalistic integrity his profession has scrambled to live up to ever since, Good Night, and Good Luck. is a passionate, thoughtful essay on power, truth-telling and responsibility. Though it is a meticulously detailed reconstruction of an era, the film is concerned with more than nostalgia. It unfolds, cinema-verité style, in the fast, sometimes frantic present tense, following Murrow and his colleagues and flashes back from a famous, cautionary speech that Murrow gave at an industry convention in 1958 to one of the most notable episodes in his career – his war of words and images with Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.

The World is Watching:

Directed by: Peter Raymont

Co-sponsored by Burlington-Puerto Cabezas Sister City Program; Peter and Betsy Clavelle;

The World is Watching is a political film about the moral issues surrounding news gathering and newsmaking in the electronic age. Who decides what constitutes the news? How do they decide? And what about the men and women who report from the field. Are foreign correspondents allowed to tell all that they see? Or is their first loyalty to their employers? Do they merely serve as mouth-pieces for an invisible editorial line? The film examines these complex issues by focusing on several international journalists in Nicaragua as they cover the negotiations surrounding the Arias Peace Plan in November 1987. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of ABC News, what follows is a unique portrait of a news crew in the field, as it interacts with the editorial process in the newsroom in New York City.

The Corporate Coup D’État:

Directed by: Fred Peabody

Sponsored by Greg Epler Wood

Journalist Naomi Klein recently described Trump’s administration as a “corporate coup d’etat.” Chris Hedges and John Saul argue in the film that the real coup took place long before. This film tells the story of how the coup happened and aims to show its disastrous effects on society’s most vulnerable citizens. The corporate coup d’état has been devastating for people in “sacrifice zones” like the U.S. Rust Belt and Camden, New Jersey, where the film captures heart-breaking stories of citizens suffering from the effects of corporatist, globalist, and neo-liberal ideologies and policies. This investigative documentary blends the insights of philosophers, authors and journalists with the experiences of citizens of the Rust Belt in the U.S. Midwest, where the steel industry once flourished, but where closures and outsourcing have left urban areas desolate and hopeless. Featuring: Chris Hedges, John Ralston Saul, Cornel West, Sarah Jaffe, Lee Fang, Maude Barlow, Phillip Martin.


Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Sponsored by Holly Cluse

Howard Beale, a veteran newscaster, is informed by his ratings-driven network executives that he is about to be dumped because he “skews old” – in turn, he uses his next broadcast to announce that he is going to commit suicide on his final program. Screenwriter Paddy Chayevski received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay.


Festival Pass includes all films and discussions

Free Pass to VTIFF All Access and Patron members
$48 Pass for VTIFF Friend members (20% discount)
$60 Pass general admission
$12 for an individual film

Click Here for Ticket Pass

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