The Hippo


Jul 5, 2020








 New Hampshire Film Festival 

When: Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14
Where: Film screenings and events take place at Portsmouth locations: The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St.), The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.), 3S Artspace (319 Vaughan St.), Moffatt-Ladd House (154 Market St.), and Discover Portsmouth Center (10 Middle St.) 
Tickets: Day passes cost $25 for Thursday and $40 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and include entry to every screening for that day, plus admission to all panels and workshops. Weekend passes, which include entry for all four days, cost $100. VIP passes, which include premium and advanced seating at every screening and priority entrance to all ceremonies and parties, cost $225. 
More info:

Four days of film
New Hampshire Film Festival returns to Portsmouth


 By Angie Sykeny
Thousands of film lovers and filmmakers will gather in Portsmouth for the 18th annual New Hampshire Film Festival, happening Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14. Screenings of around 100 films as well as filmmaker panels, filmmaking workshops, parties and other activities will be held at various locations throughout the city during the four-day event. 
“It started as a small, grassroots festival. Now, we’re a big, international festival, and the oldest, largest and longest-running [in New Hampshire],” Festival Executive Director Nicole Gregg said.
Selected by a screening committee, the film lineup includes short and feature-length films in a variety of genres, including documentary, drama and comedy. 
“People submit their films, and we watch them all and choose the ones that we think are the most outstanding and will be the most appealing to our audience,” Gregg said. 
The filmmakers come from all over the world, but there will be a separate New Hampshire series featuring films that are created by local filmmakers or affiliated with the state. 
Alfred Thomas Catalfo of Dover is one of the filmmakers. He’ll be showing his film Incandescent, a 15-minute science fiction drama about a young teacher and survivor of a school shooting who tries to hold on to her humanity after an alien race begins building a megastructure that will cut off the sun from Earth. 
“She’s forced to confront her fears and where she’s at in life and whether she wants to survive,” Catalfo said. “I think it confronts us all with the question of, despite how low humanity can sink, what gives us the motivation to keep on living?” 
Incandescent is Catalfo’s ninth short film to be featured at the New Hampshire Film Festival. 
Scott Millette of Portsmouth has been attending the festival for 12 years and has volunteered as a presenter, someone who introduces the films, for the last four years, but this year will be his first participating as a filmmaker. 
He’ll be showing two short films: Man Gets Revenge on Khloe Kardashian, a documentary about his own weight-loss journey, and Teddy #Scarebear, a horror about a killer bear mascot, which he shot during last year’s Portsmouth Halloween parade. 
“Anytime you get your film on the big screen, it’s exciting, but I’m especially excited to be sharing it with the community here in Portsmouth, where I shot it,” Millette said. 
One of the most anticipated films, Gregg said, is ESPN Films’ new documentary Crossroads, which tells the story of a group at-risk African-American teenagers who form a lacrosse team and defy the odds to become state finalists. Special guests involved with the film will be at the screening. 
New this year, the festival will showcase 360-degree films, for which the audience will wear virtual reality headsets. Those screenings will be very intimate due to the limited number of headsets. 
“We think that will be a really neat thing for people to experience,” Gregg said. 
Many film screenings will include Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. People will also have a chance to meet filmmakers at various panels, parties and special events. 
“That’s what really sets a festival apart from any other movie-going experience,” Gregg said. “It provides a whole other level of interaction between the audience and the filmmakers and really lets the audience engage and ask questions.” 
Catalfo participates in dozens of film festivals, but the New Hampshire Film Festival, he said, is always a highlight, not only because it is close to home, but because of how it is structured. 
“It’s really well-organized compared to other festivals, and the organizers truly know and care about film,” he said. “The other thing is the setting; Portsmouth is an almost perfect setting, because all the venues are in walking distance of each other. You don’t find that at many festivals.” 
Millette said part of the reason he moved to Portsmouth was to be more involved in the New Hampshire Film Festival and to be able to work on his creative projects in a community that is “always supporting the arts.” 
“Usually, when you tell someone you’re a filmmaker or an actor or a screenwriter, they ask you, ‘But, what do you do for a real job?’” he said. “In Portsmouth, they just say, ‘Cool. What are you working on?’” 

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