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"Don't Be Nice" Wins the Best Documentary Feature VTeddy
Middlebury NEW FILMMAKERS Festival

Middlebury NEW FILMMAKERS Festival

Don't Be Nice has won the Best Documentary Feature VTeddy Award at the 5th Annual Middlebury NEW FILMMAKERS Festival in Middlebury, VT.

Custom-made by Festival sponsor Vermont Teddy Bear Company, the VTeddies represent the creativity and joy that are at the heart of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. The festival hopes that all their winning filmmakers will find a lovely spot for their bear in their hearts and their homes.

The 2019 Festival introduced another new VTeddy Award, with a $1,000 cash prize attached: the Shouldice Family Prize for Best Vermont-Made Film. Returning for a second year: the Gaia Prize for Environmental Filmmaking [$1,000], endowed by a generous anonymous local donor. The Hernandez/Bayliss Prize [$1,000] was awarded for a third year to the feature film director whose work best captures the triumph of the human spirit as was the Clio Visualizing History Prize for the Advancement of Women in Film [$1,000], to a woman feature filmmaker who boldly explores a person or event of historical significance.

And back for a fourth year at MNFF5, the significant and singular Vermont Symphony Orchestra Award for best integration of music into film, selected by the VSO and presented to a short film director. The VSO will again pair the winning filmmaker with a selected rising composer to co-create a new short film with original music. Everyone hopes that the project will be ready for MNFF6 next August so that it can be screened alongside a live VSO performance of the original score. As this year’s screening of winner Jeremy Lee Mackenzie’s film, The Greatest Night with a simultaneous performance of an original score by Matthew Evan Taylor by the VSO demonstrates, this marvelous collaboration continues to evolve in exciting and highly original ways.

MNFF was also pleased to present special guest and legendary writer/director Paul Schrader with a VTeddy for “Sustained Excellence in Cutting Edge Filmmaking.” Notable also was the presentation of a VTeddy to Bruce Greenwood for “Sustained Excellence in Acting.” Awards were presented at the MNFF Closing Ceremonies on Sunday evening, August 25, 2019 at Town Hall Theater.

List of Award Winners



"Don't Be Nice" Wins Best Documentary at Vail Film Festival
Vail Film Festival

Vail Film Festival

Don't Be Nice has won the Best Documentary Award at the 16th Annual Vail Film Festival in Vail, CO.

Organizers of the 16th annual Vail Film Festival, which celebrated women in film Aug. 15-18, have announced the official award recipients for this year’s festival.

“We are incredibly proud to shine a light on female filmmakers. The films being screened are interesting not only for the themes that are explored but how women specifically address these themes,” Vail Film Festival director Corinne Hara said in a news release. “We are thankful to the many innovative and groundbreaking artists who joined us for this year’s festival. We also want to thank our signature partners, the town of Vail, CineBistro and All Points North Lodge, as well as our patrons, volunteers, staff and sponsors for their generous support.”

This year’s Vail Film Festival honored actor, writer and director Hannah Marks with its Rising Star award for her work in both film and television. Marks was the female lead opposite Elijah Wood in the hit TV series “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” wrote and directed the acclaimed independent film “After Everything” and wrote and starred in “Banana Split,” winner of the festival’s Best Film Award.


Best Film: Banana Split

Audience Award: Being Frank

Best Documentary: Don’t Be Nice

Best Short Film: Cannonball

Best Student Film: Variables

Best Screenplay: James Stewart

Vail Daily Article List of Award Winners



"Don't Be Nice" Wins the Audience Favorite Award at RoxFilm!
Roxbury International Film Festival

Roxbury International Film Festival

Don't Be Nice has won the Audience Favorite Award at the 21st Annual Roxbury International Film Festival in Boston, MA.

The Roxbury International Film Festival is the largest festival in New England that celebrates people of color. Over the course of 10 days the festival screens all genres of films, holds workshops and panel discussions and offers filmmakers the opportunity to network with each other as well as audience members. Screenings take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Haley House Bakery Café and other sites in and around Roxbury.

This year’s winners include:

Audience Favorite


Best Documentary Feature


Special Jury Award Documentary Feature


Best Documentary Short


Honorable Mention Documentary Short


Best Narrative Feature


Honorable Mention Narrative Feature


Best Narrative Short


List of Award Winners



"Don't Be Nice" Nominated for Best Doc. at BronzeLens
BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta

BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta

Don't Be Nice has been Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2018 BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, along with Dan Harris' Show Me Democracy and Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown's United Skates

The BronzeLens Awards Show Awards Show honors the best of the festival’s filmmakers as well as other noteworthy industry leaders, and will take place at 8pm Saturday, August 25th at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, NW, Atlanta, GA. Categories include the best in Features, Documentaries and International films, Shorts, Student Films, Web Series, Actress and Actor. The highest award presented is for Best Overall.

Watch the Announcement     Buy Screening Tickets



"Don't Be Nice" Selected for AFI DOCS 2018 Impact Lab
© Raben_Impact

© Raben_Impact

Five films have been selected for the fourth annual AFI DOCS Impact Lab in partnership with RABEN_IMPACT. The selections for this distinguished fellowship and training program are four feature documentary films — CHARM CITY, DON’T BE NICE, THE PROVIDERS, and PERSONAL STATEMENT, which will have its world premiere and open AFI DOCS this year — and the short documentary film, BROTHER.

Led by impact strategists Heidi Nel and Charlie Crocker, the Impact Lab is designed for filmmakers with issue-driven films who aim to create broader social impact and political change through the power of story and film. The two and a half day Lab, which will take place June 11 through 13 in the lead-up to the festival, provides fellows with unique training opportunities with some of the most sought-after tacticians in the areas of advocacy, grassroots communications and grasstops engagement. Lab fellows are also connected with policymakers and Congressional aides working on legislation relevant to their films. The 16th edition of AFI DOCS will run June 13–17 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.

Full story from AFI DOCS here.



"Don't Be Nice" Is a Guardian Top 10 Pick
Don’t Be Nice. Hot Docs 2018

Don’t Be Nice. Hot Docs 2018

Sonya Davidson of the Toronto Guardian chose DON’T BE NICE as one of her Top 10 Picks for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival!

"Hot Docs announces their 2018 line up of films with a whopping 246 documentaries from 56 countries scheduled to screen at this year’s Festival. This 25th edition of Hot Docs Film Festival will take place April 26 to May 6 at various theatres across Toronto…

So, while we digest what documentaries are coming, here are our top line picks at first glance as presented at the press conference:

DON’T BE NICE: Directed by Max Powers (USA). World Premiere. About an upstart slam poetry team from NYC preparing for national championships.  Made up of five African-American, Afro Hispanic and queer poets in their 20s the team is mentored by a demanding coach who encourages them to push past their personal boundaries. Part of the Artscapes program."

Read the full article here: