The Hippo


Jul 4, 2020








New Hampshire Film Festival 

When: Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15, all day 
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:

Now showing
NH Film Festival returns with more than 100 films

By Angie Sykeny

 A short documentary about a taxidermist and her peacock and a feature-length drama starring Willem Dafoe are among the more than 100 films that will be shown at the New Hampshire Film Festival, happening Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15. Film screenings as well as filmmaker panels, filmmaking workshops, parties and other activities will be held at various locations throughout Portsmouth during the four-day event. 

Festival Executive Director Nicole Gregg said the New Hampshire Film Festival attracts around 10,000 attendees and is the “largest, longest-running and most prestigious film festival in the state.” 
“These are experienced filmmakers, many [of whom] are making the circuit to festivals all over the world and have New Hampshire on their list,” Gregg said. “People come from all over for this festival, some internationally. We’ll be hosting a lot of out-of-town guests, for sure.” 
The film lineup includes short films and feature films in a variety of genres, including animation, documentary, comedy, drama, horror, mystery, thriller and others. More than 30 of the films were produced in New Hampshire or are affiliated with New Hampshire in some way. 
One of those films is It’s Criminal, a feature documentary about a group of Dartmouth College students who worked with a group of incarcerated women in Unity, New Hampshire, to write and perform a play based on the women’s lives and experiences. 
“It’s about what happens when you bring together people with and without privilege. … It’s a difficult story, but a hopeful one. They were able to overcome those differences and bonded in this beautiful way,” the filmmaker Signe Taylor said. “I think that when you dig deep into a local story like that, you find one that’s universal. This is a story that’s happening around the U.S, that’s relevant and resonates with people.” 
Other New Hampshire documentaries at the festival look at the issue of homelessness (404 Not Found), the life of a local veteran (An American Solo), the Monadnock region’s response to climate change (From Hurricane to Climate Change), a community rallying around a high school principal with ALS (Mr. Connolly Has ALS), stories of people affected by opiate addiction (The Heroin Effect), the collapse of the historic cod population (Sacred Cod: The Fight for a New England Tradition) and more. 
Gregg said this year’s festival will have many interactive opportunities for attendees. 
“It’s not just the typical viewing experience; it’s a whole other level,” she said. “There are so many layers: the films, the panels, the special guests, the networking opportunities, the afterparties, the friendships that are made and the reunions that are had. People will really get to mingle with the filmmakers and ask questions and learn more about the films that goes beyond just seeing it.” 
At the It’s Criminal screening, for example, there will be a Q&A panel with some of the women in the film who are no longer incarcerated, Dartmouth College professors and one of the students. 
“You’ve just witnessed this really long story about personal change with these characters, and then they step off screen and you get to actually talk to them,” Taylor said. “It’s quite powerful.”

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