NHFF Friday: Short Films, Big Ideas
The New Hampshire Film Festival welcomed eight short films Friday early afternoon at The Music Hall Loft for an hour and a half of unique cinematic experiences.
The relay of films was started by Paula Bernstein’s documentary Sole Doctor. The film centers around George’s Shoe Repair, a small familial business in Portland, Oregon and deals with the relationship between the owner George and his son Joshua.
The following film was The Likes and Dislikes of Marj Bagley. This film, directed by Taylor Stanton, is an absolutely beautiful stop-motion documentary that gives viewers a look into the life of Marj Bagley, a wife, mother, and grandmother to her unique family.
The third film shown was Mariama Diallo’s horror/comedy Hair Wolf. This short is one of a kind in its voice and humor. The audience was consistently laughing throughout the screening and was one of the highlights of the block. Following the showing of all of the shorts, the costume designer for Hair Wolf joined to briefly express how he became a part of the film and how excited he was to be a part of this uniquely original film.
Changing the pace after Hair Wolf was the drama film Cole. This short was directed by and starred David Call playing the role of a soldier recovering from a traumatic brain injury as he interviews for a job. The film was a brief but effective way to express the difficulties that veterans experience as they enter the workforce.
The second half of the block of short films was started by I Was In Your Blood, a film about a young boy falling in love with his babysitter, directed by Joseph Sackett. This film was a nostalgic trip to childhood for many members of the audience that connected to the young admirer.
Another highlight film from all of the shorts shown was the heartfelt documentary Tomnoddy. Directed by Charles Poekel, this short was a look into the life of world-renknown bubble magician Tom Noddy. This film was an audience favorite as it featured quite the character in Tom Noddy and montages of his breathtaking bubble tricks.
The second to last film screened was Séamus, a brief drama about a man who is followed by a young boy in the eerie fog of Belfast. The film was directed and written by Gursimran Sandhu and despite its short runtime, will certainly stay with audiences after leaving the theater.
The final film of the short block was Great Light. A dark drama about a rural Kentucky family at a family gathering for the solar eclipse that takes umbrage with a certain character. This film starts out harmless but enters some sinister territory as the eclipse nears. The writer and director Tony Oswald, along with his mother and the star of the film, Kimberly Glass were present for the screening and stayed after the showing for a quick Q&A.
When asked about how the film was made considering it takes place during the solar eclipse, Oswald answered that the film was literally shot in the days surrounding last years solar eclipse and the climactic scene of the film was actually shot in the 45 second period where the real solar eclipse took place. This precision was evident in the film and it was clear that Oswald and Glass were proud of how their film was received.