The 34th annual Vermont International Film Festival (VITFF) ran Oct.16-27 in downtown Burlington and featured films produced by Champlain faculty and alumni. The festival featured almost 70 independent films shown at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Burlington City Arts, and Echo Lakeside Hall. 

Champlain College broadcast media professor Keith Oppenheim and Broadcast Media Production graduate Danielle Hazelton both directed films that were screened together at the Made Here Showcase: Noyana – Singing at the End of Life and The Silence Between, respectively.

Noyana – Singing at the End of Life follows Noyana Singers, a Burlington-based volunteer chorus, as they sing to terminally-ill patients in hospice and home settings. The film includes interviews with singers and patients who talk about the healing power of music.

The Silence Between is about Pat, a young trombonist with a scattered mind who struggles to balance auditioning for touring ensembles and living with his long-term girlfriend. Pat meets a mentoring conductor who helps him understand the struggle artists go through in order to make art. The film explores the complicated relationships between artist and their mentors, their partners, and themselves.

In addition to Vermont, VTIFF screens films from all around the world. As stated on their website, VTIFF presents films “in a theatrical setting that brings people together to share the cinematic experience and encourages inquiry, openness and exchange of ideas.” The films span across genres and many focus on social and environmental issues. Paula Willoquet-Maricondi, the Dean of the Division for Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College, is on the VTIFF Board of Directors and served as President from 2017-2019.

Erika Skorstad ’21—Contributor