Vermont International Film Festival

Saturday, Oct 31, 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.


A Thousand Cuts:

Director: Ramona S Diaz

Sponsored by John Douglas

Director: Ramona S Diaz

In the time since Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in 2016, Maria Ressa has found herself locked in a good-and-evil struggle of Campbellian proportions. As the co-founder and CEO of the Filipino news outlet Rappler, she’s been one of the major bulwarks against his brutal regime, reporting on the extrajudicial killings and aggressive misinformation campaigns in spite of state-sponsored intimidation to the point of open threats. Ramona S Diaz’s new documentary A Thousand Cuts captures this unfolding conflict as Duterte ramps up his opposition and files cyber-libel charges against Ressa, one in a handful of lawsuits that could place her in prison for up to an entire century. Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.

WBCN and the American Revolution:

Director: Bill Lichtenstein

Sponsored by Greg Guma; Tom McGrath

The untold story of the radical underground radio station WBCN-FM, set against the dazzling and profound social, political, and cultural changes that took place in Boston and nationally during the late-1960s and early-70s.  Told through the actual sights, sounds, and stories of a compelling cast of characters who connected through the radio station, exploding music and countercultural scenes, militant anti-war activism, civil rights struggles, and the emerging women’s and LGBTQ-liberation movements.

Ace in the Hole (aka The Big Carnival):

Writer/Director: Billy Wilder

A frustrated former big-city journalist (Kirk Douglas), now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper, exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career. Ace in the Hole is an uncompromising, dark and harsh noirish commentary about the unscrupulous and self-serving actions of compromised tabloid-media journalists. Following on the heels of the merciless Sunset Boulevard, Wilder once again serves up a sharp, biting satire.

The Sun Never Sets:

Director: Ben Daitz

Sponsored by Nat Winthrop

About the Rio Grande Sun, published in Espanola, NM, considered one of the best weekly newspapers in the country. Bob Trapp, the founder, publisher and editor, is the quintessential newspaper man, the last of a vanishing breed. Narrated by Bob Edwards.


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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