Credits Roll for NHFF2018 with Young Filmmakers Workshop and Closing Ceremonies
The 18th Annual New Hampshire Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening with the annual Young Filmmakers Workshop and Closing Ceremonies which preceded the Closing Night Feature Shoplifters. Every year at the festival, the Young Filmmakers Workshop allows aspiring filmmakers ages 14 through 18 to take a three day crash course in film with the ultimate goal of screening their own films on the big screen in Portsmouth’s historic Music Hall. To kick off the event, workshop leaders John Herman and Claire Garand took the stage to introduce the young filmmakers. With some words of thanks to the many sponsors of the workshop, including Mac Edge for the computers and editing equipment used by the students, Herman remarked at how inspired and thoughtful this year’s group of young filmmakers were. Like the audience, he was excited to see the films the students had created and informed the attendees that he has often seen participants of the program go on to film school and return to give back to the festival. Garand herself is a former alumnus of the Young Filmmakers Workshop. Without further ado, the four short films were premiered.
The first film, titled Horse Mafia, saw the protagonist desperately trying to escape the titular Horse Mafia after they send him a threatening letter. As the the characters’ attempts to escape became more and more absurd, audience members found themselves in greater and greater fits of laughter. Next was Boo, a horror film about two young girls who encounter a ghost outside a coffee shop. After one of the characters tries to make her friend see the ghost, the two have a fateful encounter with the malevolent spirit. Despite the lack of dialogue, the eerie tone is set completely by the score and the young actors’ actions. Following Boo was Legs, a comedic love story about a young man who wants to talk to his crush, sitting across the park from him. As he explains to his friend, when he becomes nervous his body freezes up and the biggest roadblock to his declaration of love becomes his own two legs. The final film to debut was Something Evil is Brewing a horror/comedy about a sinister cup of joe that stalks the main character after he states he’s given up coffee. With several convincing effects shots, the man is pursued by the mug all around town, and must finally confront his personal caffeinated demon.
Each film was met with raucous applause from the audience. As Herman noted, many of the workshop participants return to the festival so this likely will not be the last we see of these young filmmakers and their work. Festival co-founder and industry director, Dan Hannon, was next to present. Hannon first thanked the young filmmakers for their films and commended them for the excellent pieces they created. Hannon then thanked the rest of the artists, sponsors, volunteers and attendees who make the festival a phenomenal event year after year. He also added an update to the festival’s silent auction which has been extended due to popular demand. The final piece of business was to present the Audience Choice Awards. Two beautifully cut granite trophies are presented each year to a feature narrative and a feature documentary that won the heart’s the festival audience. The year’s feature documentary winner was Crossroads, a film about the lacrosse team Charlotte Secondary School in North Carolina and their incredible journey and relationship with Coach Bobby Selkin. The feature narrative winner was the critically acclaimed Leave No Trace, a story of a father and daughter trying to find their home in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. A big congratulations were in order for these films and were met with a hearty rounds of applause from the audience. And with those final awards and the Closing Night Feature on the screen, it was a wrap on the 18th Annual New Hampshire Film Festival. Thanks to everyone who made the festival such a success and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!