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New Hampshire Day Shorts Help to Kick Off Festival

The 2018 New Hampshire Film Festival began on Thursday morning in The Loft with six short films directed by New Hampshire natives as part of New Hampshire Day, the homegrown category consisting of thirty-seven short films.

These films, though obviously different in production and plot line, all focused on the idea of relationships. Whether it be observing a loving relationship, a couple of best friends, or a simple interaction between unassuming strangers, these six films idealized the notion of highs and lows that come with establishing and keeping bonds with other people.

The first film slated into the kickoff block was Friends Laterdirected by DJ Marcum. This film followed two young adult men (played by Jimi Stanton and Justin Nelson) as they come to terms with their lack of answers regarding their friend Cody’s untimely death. Naturally, the two men wonder where exactly they went wrong and seem stuck on the grief-stricken idea of “what if”.

The second film presented was Voxgirl, created and directed by David Bashford as part of his collegiate major requirements. In it, a former child media sensation named Caroline Miller (played by Jesse Biggio, who was in attendance of the screening), attempts to recreate her musical success by trying to establish her own sound. She oftentimes finds that, despite her unwillingness to be viewed as her old “Vox Girl” musical persona, it’s hard for her to move away from the unwanted attention her old career has brought her.

Third on the list was Monkey, directed by Troy Lustick and starring his brother Dakota Lustick as the protagonist named Vin. In the short, Vin is a backup high school quarterback who has dreamed of taking over the starting role for his town and his team. Feeling slighted due to the success of newcomer Don Bartley (the starting quarterback), Vin becomes enamored with the idea finding a way to take over the team he feels he deserves to lead. Compelled by desire, it becomes apparent that he will do whatever is necessary to take over the role.

In the fourth spot was Things Would be Differentdirected by Kerri Fernsworth Feazell, who was in attendance of her film’s screening. This short followed a married woman named Rebecca (played by Amy Bury), who is beginning to independently navigate her true identity in the city of Los Angeles, despite the lack of attention and support from her husband, Rubin. She dreams of becoming a writer, and after meeting a man named Harry, Rebecca finds herself stuck in the metaphorical mud. This puddle, however, consists entirely of her inability to be honest with herself and others.

The fifth film was entitled The Letter, which was directed and starred Kenny DePew. This film follows the the struggling Kenny who can’t quite grasp reality after losing his best friend Nick, who is played by Nick Hurman. In addition, Kenny finds that life without the guy he’s made so many memories with just isn’t replaceable.

Lastly, the sixth short presented in the block was The Waiter, directed by Bridhid Lamprey. The audience followed a fresh-faced, recently hired waiter named Chip (played by Nate Magoon) in a diner called “Artie’s Heart Breakfast”. Time seems to stand still in this old joint, and its locals have clearly never moved on from life within it, serving as a metaphor to the natural human emotion of feeling uneasy with change in life.

To conclude the festival’s opening block, Voxgirl‘s Jesse Biggio and Things Would Be Different‘s Kerri Fernsworth Feazell took center stage to answer questions from audience members. While many praised the two for their inspiring works and reasoned with them on the deeper meanings of their respective shorts, one gentleman questioned the most challenging aspect of the whole production process for both of them.

“Most challenging for me was to understand the vision that David had as both a director and as the screenwriter,” Biggio stated. “I wanted to get it just right for him, and fortunately enough we did.”

“Editing was the real challenge,” said Feazell, in regards to Things Would Be Different. “It’s hard to really figure out how to make something work well from start to finish, but it was a lot of fun fun doing so.”

Couldn’t make it to Thursday’s blocks of short films? Check out the NHFF schedule on the website’s home page to figure out where to check out these locally-tied shorts over the course of the weekend!


By Ian Lenahan


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