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The Derry and Puffin D’Oench Film Award

Enter today!

Coronavirus Update

Given the unprecedented crisis facing our country, we have extended the deadline for submissions to The Derry and Puffin D’Oench Film Award to September 4, 2020.

We also have broadened the theme of the award to include experiences with the COVID-19 world, as well as the general topic of health and wellness.

Background, Sponsor and Eligibility

The Derry and Puffin D’Oench Film Award honors long-time advocates for the arts, culture, and non-profits in Middlesex County. Russell “Derry” D’Oench was Editor-in-Chief of the Middletown Press from 1959-1991. Ellen “Puffin” Gates D’Oench (Wesleyan ’73) was Curator of the Davison Art Center, adjunct Professor of Art History and former Trustee of Wesleyan University. Derry and Puffin were instrumental in countless organizations, including the Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex Hospital, Community Health Center, and the NAACP.

Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC), based in Middletown, Connecticut, is sponsoring this annual award for new filmmakers.

Current students and graduates of Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University are eligible to enter.

Film Requirements

Films must be no longer than 15 minutes in length (including credits). Filmmakers must be new to the field, meaning this is their first or second festival-ready film. Only one film per filmmaker will be accepted.

Films must address health and wellness, as interpreted by the filmmaker. The category is broad by design – imagination is expected of the award winners. The film is not to focus on the work of Community Health Center, Inc.

Entry Fee

There is a $25.00 fee to enter. Click this link to pay the entry fee.

Award Selection

A judging panel will select first, second and third place winners, awarding prizes of $5,000, 3,500, and 1,500 respectively. The judges will include, but not be limited to, independent filmmakers, as well as representatives of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and Community Health Center, Inc.

How to Submit Your Film for Consideration

Please submit the entry form, including all requested information. Filmmakers must upload their films to Vimeo with password protection and include the link on their entry form.

The Derry and Puffin D’Oench Film Award Entry Form


Films will be accepted from November 1, 2019 – September 4, 2020.

The award winners will be announced October 1, 2020.

The winning films will be showcased at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival August 2021 and at the Community Health Center Summer Film Festival during the month of August 2021.

Any Questions?

Submit questions to: Leslie Gianelli, [email protected].

About Community Health Center, Inc.

CHC is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative primary healthcare organizations providing care for the underserved. Founded in Middletown, CT in 1972, now with more than 1,300 employees and offices in Connecticut, Colorado and California, it abides by its original mission that health care is a right, not a privilege.

About Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival was formed to support, promote and exhibit the dynamic and imaginative work of new filmmakers. The emphasis at MNFF is entirely on filmmakers who have completed within the 24 months prior to the Festival either their first or second feature film or first or second short film. All genres are welcome including narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and virtual reality. MNFF offers a level playing field to new and emerging voices in independent filmmaking, gives its audiences an opportunity to discover fresh and engaging talent and provides filmmakers a chance to be discovered in a setting that is all about their work, from start to finish. MNFF is a 501[c][3] non-profit organization based in Middlebury, Vermont.

Video Camera Lens

Extended Deadline September 4, 2020

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