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Celebrating Our 2015 Closing Ceremonies and Awards

Another year of the New Hampshire Film Festival is in the books! And not just any year—our 15th year! It’s always a difficult thing to come to the close of festival weekend. With over 100 films and more than 10,000 festivalgoers, this truly was a year to remember. 

To close out the weekend, attendees went to the Closing Night Ceremonies and Awards, where we celebrated the weekend that was and awarded some of the festival’s top films.

The night was opened with a presentation by our Young Filmmakers Workshop. The group of 17 high-school-aged participants worked hard to script and shoot their own original short films over the course of the festival weekend. An amazing job to all who participated, and a special thank you to John Harman for leading the workshop.

Chicken awards ceremonyThe ceremony included a presentation of the awards of the international film competition. From crowds wrapped around Chestnut, Congress and Porter streets for a packed screening of The Witch at The Music Hall, to a rousing standing ovation for the US Premiere of Chicken. Both films won big at the festival — The Witch taking home the Best Narrative Feature and Chicken winning the Grand Jury Narrative award.

The following awards were presented:

  • Best Student Film — Basilisk directed by Nikolai Hamel
  • Best Short Comedy – In the Clouds Directed by Marcelo Mitnik
  • Best Short Drama – Delia directed by Thomas Scott Stanton
  • Best Short Documentary – Body Team 12 directed by David Darg
  • Best Animation – Hands of Flame directed by Steven Markowitz (in attendance)
  • Audience Choice Documentary — Harry and Snowman Directed by Ron Davis
  • Audience Choice Feature – Oliver’s Deal directed by Barney Elliott (in attendance)
  • Best Documentary – Cartel Land directed by Matthew Heineman
  • Best Feature – The Witch directed by Roberts Eggers
  • Documentary Grand Jury Award: Frame by Frame directed by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli
  • Narrative Grand Jury Award: Chicken directed by Joe Stephenson (in attendance, with lead actor Scott Chambers)

The Narrative Grand Jury was: Justin DiPietro from IFC Films, Rebecca Sosa from A24 Productions and actor John Michael Higgins. Higgins presented the award to Chicken director Joe Stephenson and lead actor Scott Chambers. “It was a very special experience for me to watch,” Higgins said while presenting the award. “This film had an incredibly delicate tone, sustained over each event, which is very hard to do.”

The Witch director Robert Eggers was in attendance for Saturday night’s screening of the film, and participated in a Q&A with the packed crowd at The Music Hall. Crowds were lined up around the block to get a seat to the screening, which was the last screening before its theatrical release in February 2016.

The Documentary Grand Jury included IndieFilms’ Molly Thompson, Academy Award-winning director Ross Kaufmann and Oscilloscope Laboratories’ Kate McEdwards.

Thompson released the following statement along with their selection of Frame by Frame: “We thoroughly enjoyed watching all the films – they were each excellent in their own ways and of course it’s a cliché but very true that it was hard to choose a winner. All the films took us into fascinating worlds we didn’t know before which is the great gift of from the documentary filmmaker to his or her audience. All of these were beautifully made, emotional stories. At the end of the day, we felt Frame by Frame was the best of the best. Thank you for the privilege of judging your work. Sorry to not be there to congratulate you in person. We look forward to connecting in the future. Congratulations!”

“It truly was the most amazing combination of filmmakers and festival goers to date,” said Nicole Gregg, NHFF Executive Director. “The appreciation and love from everyone involved was overwhelming and the energy all weekend long was infectious and inescapable. I truly can’t wait to start on 2016!”

To commemorate the weekend, we closed with our official wrap video, produced by Anchor Line. Catch it again here:

Thank you to all who attended this year’s festival, and an even bigger thank you to all of our volunteers that helped to make it happen!

Cheers to 2015—see you all again for next year’s festival!

NHFF volunteers