New Hampshire Film Festival Concludes After Four Riveting Days of Film
Diverse and inspiring program delighted audiences in downtown Portsmouth
Portsmouth, NH – The New Hampshire Film Festival (NHFF) came to a close on Sunday, October 20, after four days of film screenings, panels, afterparties, and special events. The festival welcomes upwards of 10,000 people each year to the Seacoast, however, attendance this year hit unprecedented levels at around 12,000 festivalgoers.
The Press Room, one of downtown Portsmouth’s staple venues, joined the event’s robust lineup of screening venues this year, which provided additional capacity.
The 19th annual event saw 90% film representation, an impressive statistic that exemplifies the ever growing popularity of the festival and the passion behind the filmmakers and their respective crews. The Virtual Reality Experience, a festival favorite which debuted last year and was relocated this year to the Discover Portsmouth Center, returned to educate, empower, and inspire participants.
New Hampshire Day, which showcased films with ties to the Granite State, concluded Thursday with the presentation of the 2019 Van McLeod Award, which recognizes New Hampshire natives and residents who have made significant contributions in film and television. This year’s recipient was Matt Renner, a native of Durham and Vice President, Production, for National Geographic Partners. Immediately following the award presentation, the audience experienced a screening of Renner’s most recent project, The Cave.
The winners of this year’s New Hampshire Night Awards were:
- NH Film of the Year: North Country (directed by Nick Martini)
- Best NH Feature Narrative: Love in Kilnerry (directed by Daniel Keith & Snorri Sturluson)
- Best NH Feature Documentary: Last Man Fishing (directed by JD Schuyler)
- Best NH Short Narrative: Water Horse (directed by Sarah Wisner & Sean Temple)
- Best NH Short Documentary: The North Woods (directed by Adam Bartley)
- NH Filmmaker of the Year: Michael Barnett (director of Changing the Game & Stuck)
- Best NH Performance: Juston McKinney, Suck It Up (directed by Marc Dole)
- Van McLeod Award: Matt Renner (executive producer of The Cave)
Two of the festival’s most highly anticipated films, Uncut Gems and The Lighthouse, bookended Friday and Saturday night’s program respectively. The annual comedy panel, hosted at 3S Art Space on Saturday evening, extended a full house of attendees the opportuntity to get up-close and personal with comedic actor/writers Hayes MacArthur and Josh Meyers, and Emmy Award-winning host Tom Bergeron.
The bulk of the awards honoring excellence in filmmaking and screenwriting were presented on Sunday. The following films were recognized:
- Best Narrative Feature: Mickey and the Bear
- Best Documentary Feature: All I Can Say
- Best Short Drama: Milkshake
- Best Short Comedy: Engaged
- Best Student Film: Above the Influence
- Grand Jury Award, Narrative: South Mountain
- Grand Jury Award, Documentary: Kifaru
- Shorts Jury Award, Live Action: Fit Model
- Shorts Jury Award, Animation: The Coin
- Shorts Jury Award, Documentary: On the Bit
- Best Screenplay: Pickled Beets
- Audience Choice, Documentary: Fish & Men
- Audience Choice, Narrative: Ham on Rye
Following the awards ceremony, the festival officially concluded with a screening of the feature narrative Little Joe at The Music Hall.
To stay up to date on all things New Hampshire Film Festival, visit nhfilmfestival.com.