The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








One of the flicks at the Concord festival is Split Ticket. Courtesy image.

SNOB presents New England Indie Fest

Where: Red River Theatres, 11 S. Main St., Concord, 224-4600,
Thursday, Nov. 10: Beer tasting and screenings starting at 5 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 11: Screenings start at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12: Screenings from 10 a.m. until the end of the day
Sunday, Nov. 13: Screenings start at 1:30 p.m., encore and awards at 3 p.m.
Admission: Thursday $15, Friday $25, Saturday $50, Sunday $10, full festival pass $75
Other Indie Fest events
Open Mike: At Great North Aleworks, 1050 Holt Ave., Manchester, Thursday, Nov. 3, 6 to 8 p.m.; and at True Brew Barista, 3 Bicentennial Square, Concord, with Dusty Gray, Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 to 10 p.m.
Rockingham Brewery Tasting: Friday Nov. 4, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Bert’s Better Beers, 1100 Hooksett Road, Hooksett. Try Final Cut and other brews.
Live Music, The Van Burens: Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 p.m., at Penuche’s Ale House, 16 Bicentennial Square, Concord
Movies by Hammer & Saw Films: At Area 23, 254 N. State St., Concord, on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. 
Release of SNOB Burger: Monday, Nov. 7, The Barley House, 132 Main St., Concord
Release of SNOB Burrito: Tuesday, Nov. 8, Dos Amigos Burritos, 26 N. Main St., Concord
Granite State of Mind with Rob Azevedo, live, plus live music: Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., at New England College, 62 N. Main St., Concord

Introducing the New England Indie Fest
SNOB Film Festival undergoes rebranding, expansion

By Kelly Sennott

 The annual November film festival at Red River Theatres is getting rebranded.

For the past 15 years, it’s been known as the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival, but starting in 2016, organizers are calling it New England Indie Fest.
The change, said Jay Doherty, festival executive director, has to do with the event’s evolution; it’s moved beyond film and into the realms of other indie forms — beer, music, radio, food.
“This year, we’re trying to keep both names so people don’t lose us,” Doherty said via phone. “But next year we’ll be the New England Indie Fest. If you look at the geographic center of New England, it’s pretty close to the I-93 split, which is where Concord’s at. … We also thought it was time to broaden our horizons a little bit, and open it up with a different name.”
Film screenings will be in Concord Nov. 10 through Nov. 13, but celebrations go beyond screening days — they began Nov. 1 with a craft beer hunt throughout the city (nine bars, 12 days, one raffle prize) — and even beyond Concord. On Nov. 2, the Rockingham Brewery in Derry held a screening of short films paired with beer that complemented their themes. (A creepy flick went with a quad called Silence of the Hams, while a funny one went with a light American wheat, Curly’s Gold.)
Rockingham brewers Rob Leleszi and Ali Buinicky also came up with the official festival beer, Final Cut, a chocolate raisin porter — i.e., liquid Raisinets — that features subtle chocolate and raisin tones with a roasty, smooth finish. Attendees can try it out Friday, Nov. 4, during a tasting at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, or at various downtown Concord bars and restaurants until it runs out. 
SNOB has invited local brewers to create festival beers the past four years, and it’s something people like Buinicky and Leleszi really appreciate. It helps indie film gurus become craft beer drinkers, or vice versa. 
“It’s promoting the craft beer scene in a whole new way,” Buinicky said via phone. “When you pair these things together, you’re raising awareness about what local people are making.”
In Concord on Nov. 5, there’s live music by The Van Burens at Penuche’s Ale House, and on Nov. 6, there’s a screening with Hammer & Saw Films at Area 23. The next two days, the Barley House releases its festival burger, and Dos Amigos Burritos starts selling its festival burrito.
The event’s expansion has a lot to do with the Concord community — Doherty said people kept pitching him festival events or specials — but the movies still come first. Even with the name change, Doherty was happy to see filmmakers reaching out to make sure it was still happening.
“We got lots of feedback before we even opened up the deadline. People were seeking us out,” Doherty said. “We received several hundred films again this year, which is great. … Normally, we screen around 70 films, but this year we were a little more selective and chose 45.”
All are grassroots indie flicks, the kind you’re not typically going to see at the cinema. Eleven are New Hampshire-based, featuring local filmmakers or a local setting, and a quarter are independent international movies. The other half come from the rest of the country.
Doherty said the film scene has encountered an “explosion” of high-quality documentaries, and the 2016 schedule reflects that, strategically put together so festival-goers can choose from fiction or nonfiction at each time slot. He mentioned The Hollywood Shorties, a feature-length documentary directed by Ryan Steven Green about the birth of organized sports in the American dwarf community, and Running the 184, directed by Greg Lassik, about two men who ran the across the state of New Jersey in 2015.
Dover filmmaker and attorney Alfred Thomas Catalfo comes back to Concord to show his eighth short film, Split Ticket, a 20-minute supernatural drama that takes place in 1947 and follows newly minted congressmen and future presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The two travel to Pennsylvania together and share hamburgers in a diner and bunk beds on a train and must make a fateful decision. Catalfo said it has a “Twilight Zone” kind of flair and was inspired by a historical incident recounted in Kennedy and Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America by Chris Matthews.
Split Ticket was shot in six different Seacoast locations and has been making the festival circuit rounds, having screened in places like Orlando, Los Angeles, D.C., Rhode Island, Atlanta, etc. Catalfo always makes sure Concord is on the list.
“I really like the atmosphere Jay has put together with SNOB, now the New England Indie Fest,” Catalfo said via phone. “It’s compact, and the filmmakers and audience members really have a chance to interact and have in-depth discussions.” 

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