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The 2019 NH Film Festival program content is diverse yet there are a few themes present within several films throughout the festival.  Here are the special interest categories that we have programmed.


In these films you will discover and explore the changing landscape of the fishing industry and recent conservation efforts.

ARTIFISHAL (Friday, October 18th, 3:50pm @ The Music Hall & Saturday, October 19th, 5:55pm @ 3S Artspace) is a film about the high cost—environmental, financial and cultural—of hatcheries and fish farms, and our mistaken reliance on human-engineered solutions. It explores our loss of faith in nature, and the impact on communities and ecosystems as wild salmon slide toward extinction.

FISH & MEN (Thursday, October 17th, 3:30pm @ The Music Hall & Sunday, October 20th, 3:45pm @ 3S Artspace) explores forces threatening commercial fishing communities and public health by revealing how consumer choices drive the global seafood economy. Gloucester, MA, America’s oldest fishing port struggles to survive. The American seafood appetite yearns for cod and is satiated by 90% imported fish. Lesser known, abundant species have little market appeal. FISH & MEN reveals a movement with innovators working together to promote a new way of flipping the model from demand to supply based.

LAST MAN FISHING (Thursday, October 17th, 12:30pm @ The Music Hall Loft & Saturday, October 19th, 3:45pm @ The Music Hall) is a cinematic look at the vastly changing seafood system through the lens of small-scale fishermen across the United States. Narrated by best-selling author Mark Bittman, the film explores the dichotomy between the industrial model and sustainable fishing methods that focus on conservation and quality.


This year we have an incredible selection of films, documentaries, and shorts exploring the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people through varied age groups, nationalities, and the problems that they face.

PIER KIDS (Saturday, October 19th, 7:35pm @ The Loft) follows Desean, Casper and Krystal, three homeless queer black youth as they navigate the streets, welfare, and their biological families in order to find stable housing. Along the way, the film brings light to an underground community of Pier Kids. 

QUEEN OF LAPA (Friday, October 18th, 5:40pm @ The Loft & Saturday, October 19th, 6:00pm @ The Loft) explores larger-than-life actress, cabaret performer, activist, and proud sex professional since the age of eleven, Luana Muniz – arguably one of Brazil’s most recognizable transgender personalities, shapes a new reality for a new generation of transgender sex workers in her hostel by providing a safe working environment in the dangerous neighborhood of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

CHANGING THE GAME (Friday, October 18th, 12:15pm @ The Loft & Saturday, October 19th,0 4:05pm @ Moffatt-Ladd House)  follows transgender high school athletes from across the country as they compete at the top of their fields, while also challenging the boundaries and perceptions of fairness and discrimination 

In SAINT FRANCES  (Saturday, October 19th, 2:15pm @ The Loft) after an accidental pregnancy turned abortion, a deadbeat nanny finds an unlikely friendship with the six-year old she’s charged with protecting. With no time to recover, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’ moms.

AFTER YOU LEFT (Saturday, October 19th, 10:35am @ 3S Artspace & Sunday, October 20th, 12:25pm @ Moffatt-Ladd House) deals with Andrea as her memories come flooding back when her ex-girlfriend returns the last few items from their prior life together. 

ENGAGED  (Friday, October 18th, 3:55pm @ The Loft & Saturday, October 19th, 5:55pm @ Moffatt-Ladd House) is a short LGBTQ romantic comedy that follows Darren, who keeps trying – and failing – to propose to his boyfriend Elliot. When their relationship is put into an uncomfortable spotlight during a friend’s outrageous engagement party, Darren realizes he actually might be self–sabotaging himself due to unresolved insecurities about his sexuality.

LADY LIBERTY (Thursday, October 17th, 5:30pm @ The Loft) is a coming-of-age and coming out comedy-drama following Shea Miller, an aspiring comedian and assistant to a much more famous comedian as she learns to claim her queerness and redefine herself.


Who doesn’t love a feel good film about some of our favorite furry friends? Oh and Rhinos too! 

THE DOG DOC (Saturday, October 19th, 12:15pm @ The Music Hall Loft & Sunday October 20th, 10:30am @ The Music Hall Loft)  A founding father of integrative veterinary medicine, Dr. Marty Goldstein and his colleagues in South Salem, NY have created a mecca for holistic care, offering hope to scores of previously hopeless animals (and their owners). Combining conventional medical training with cutting edge alternative therapies, Dr. Marty’s deeply empathetic philosophy offers a vital example of how improving overall health rather than merely treating disease is transformative for all living things.

WELL GROOMED (Friday, October 18th, 2:05pm @ 3S Artspace & Sunday, October 20th, 5:30pm @ The Music Hall Loft) is a revealing look at pets, friendships and creativity through a bright prism of color. Traveling a year in the humorous and visually stunning world of competitive creative dog grooming alongside the women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures, WELL GROOMED follows champion groomers on the technicolor competition circuit. From South Carolina to California, New York to Arkansas, these women are revolutionizing the age-old question – what is art?

KIFARU (Friday, October 18th, 10:30am @ The Music Hall & Sunday, October 20th, 12:30pm @ The Music Hall Loft) is a feature documentary that journeys beyond the global headlines that have accumulated around ‘Sudan,’ the last male northern white rhino in existence, and explores the painful emptiness of extinction through the eyes of Sudan’s three primary caregivers. Teetering on borrowed time and with his health in decline, Sudan’s looming death and the uncertainty of employment that it will bring hangs over the heads of our three dynamic characters. Their only hope to save the species that they love – and perhaps their livelihood – rests fully in the success of a last resort IVF experiment.

Festival Highlights

The New Hampshire Film Festival will be host to over 100 independent films, lively Q&A’s with cast and crew, exciting panels and workshops, and buzzworthy parties and networking events across 4 days in historic downtown Portsmouth, NH.

The festival kicks off with NH Day and will feature a special screening of The Cave and the Van Mcleod Award presentation to executive producer Matt Renner (Free Solo) Thursday October 17th at 7:15pm at The Music Hall. 

The Cave (Thursday night, October 17th) is a new documentary from director Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo) that follows Dr. Amani Ballor as she leads a team of medical practitioners in an underground hospital in Syria. 

Uncut Gems (Friday night, October 18th) starring Adam Sandler and directed by Josh and Benny Safdie comes to NHFF straight from the Telluride Film Festival. In this film Sandler stars as a New York City jewelry store owner who must find a way to pay his debts after his merchandise is stolen. The brothers’ previous film, Good Time, blew audiences away in 2017, so expectations are high for this follow up. 

The Lighthouse (Saturday night, October 19th) starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, is the highly anticipated sophomore feature from director Robert Eggers, and tells a hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

In addition to our over 100+ amazing independent films and documentaries, here are some other exciting things that you can do during the festival: 

Friday Opening Night The Provident Bank Red Carpet at The Music Hall – Begins at 6:45pm. Attendees can walk the red carpet, get their photo’s taken by the paparazzi, and feel like a celebrity! 

There’s no better way to start the busiest day of the festival than with coffee, cider donuts and filmmakers on a crisp fall morning! Join us for the Saturday morning Coffee Block at The Press Room along with special guests for an intimate and casual conversation about some of our program’s featured films. This signature event offers attendees a highly interactive opportunity to get to know some of our featured artists and hear the stories behind their films.

Travel beyond the boundaries of traditional movie watching and experience stories in a whole new way – visit the NHFF Virtual Reality Lounge at Discover Portsmouth. Filmmakers and film festivals around the world are showcasing this new frontier of storytelling, and NHFF is honored to bring our audiences this new technology.

The NHFF Comedy Panel at 3S Artspace is back in 2019. With a format that is one-part Inside the Actor’s Studio and one part talk show, come prepared to listen, laugh and pose questions to our entertaining special guests as they share stories and anecdotes from their experiences about any and all things comedy. 

Relax, refuel and enjoy cocktails by the water at the Saturday Hospitality Party at 1 Harbour Place. This event features musical vibes by Mike Marchand and hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants such as The Wilder, Cava, Row 34, Tuscan Kitchen, Ohana, Shane’s BBQ, Rudi’s and Mr. Kim’s. Complimentary sampling of select beers, wines and spirits provided by KEEL Vodka and Amoskeag Distributors, Horizon Beverages and Kendall Jackson Wines.  

Below is a link to purchase passes to the festival, use code: NHFF10 to get 10% off:


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