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All Eyes on Muskat: NHFF Presents Lisa Muskat the 2013 Van Mcleod Award

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By: Michael M. Soldati
Please join us tonight at The Music Hall at 7PM as we present Lisa Muskat the 2013 Van Mcleod award. This year’s award will be presented by the Official Comedian of the New Hampshire Film Festival, Juston McKinney. “Prince Avalanche” will be showing shortly thereafter at 8:20pm with a Q&A following.

“With over 20 films in the past 13 years, from documentary to fiction, from comedy to drama, Lisa’s contribution to the world of film is not only impressive in the quantity of films she has produced but more importantly – profound in their quality.  We are excited to present the Van McLeod to Lisa Muskat, and we can’t wait to see “Prince Avalanche” tonight!” – NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg

One day into the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and people were already talking about Lisa Muskat. Sundance included her in their “Sundance: Five Producers to Watch” after “Prince Avalanche” premiered, but this isn’t the first time Manchester, NH native Lisa Muskat has caught the eyes of the industry. Lisa’s first feature “George Washington” (2000) took home NYCFCC’s First Film Award, Newport International Film Festival’s Jury Award and Toronto’s Discovery Award. Back in 2003 Variety Magazine included her in their “Top 10 Producer’s to Watch” after her film “All the Real Girls” met with critical acclaim at numerous festivals. Since then she’s produced 16 films including Undertow (2004) with Kristen Stewart and Dermot Mulroney, “Chop Shop” (2007) a Cannes Official Selection directed by Ramin Bahrani, and “The Sitter” (2011) starring Jonah Hill and Sam Rockwell. While finishing up two films just this year: feature film “Joe” starring Nic Cage and a short called “Sometimes I Lie”; she’s already at work on yet another feature: “Manglehorn” which stars Al Pacino and Holly Hunter, a drama set to debut sometime in 2014.

But for now the talk is all about “Prince Avalanche” a quirky comedy/drama starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, two highway road workers at odds with each other and the women they left behind. “Prince Avalanche” Writer/Director David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”, 2008) is a longtime time collaborator (and former student) of Muskat’s. From their start on “George Washington” through their acclaim in “All the Real Girls” right up to “Prince Avalanche,” he’s written all three films, something Muskat tends to look for in her directors and writers, people with stories of their own to tell.

Her Sundance mentor, Good Machine partner Ted Hope, said of Muskat, “Lisa is a director and driven producer who doesn’t shy away from her own passion for regional voices and stories. She makes choices from her heart and then backs them with her incredible tenacity and dedication. She knows she is in it for the long haul and her approach shows it.”

It is with this in mind that the New Hampshire Film Festival is proud to present Lisa Muskat the Van McLeod award. Named for Van McLeod, the current Commissioner of the NH Department of Cultural Resources, the Van McLeod Award honors an individual who has made a significant career contribution to the film industry, and hails from the state of New Hampshire. An icon in the state’s cultural community, Van’s work to save the NH Film & Television Office has had an enormous impact on NH’s film industry.

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