Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NH High School Short Film Festival showcases up-and-coming filmmakers


Young filmmakers and other film enthusiasts from around the state gathered for the inaugural New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival on Saturday, May 17 at the Sweeney Hall Auditorium at New Hampshire Technical Institute–Concord’s Community College.

Twenty films—which varied from documentaries about World War II veterans to music videos with soundtracks composed by the filmmakers to comedies and film noir—were shown. While the films themselves did not have to be part of a school project, in order to be eligible to compete, the filmmakers needed to currently be enrolled at a New Hampshire public or private high school.

“The talent exhibited by these student directors was absolutely inspiring,” said Matthew Newton, director of the New Hampshire Film and Television Office. “We couldn’t have asked for a better slate of films for the first year of the Festival and we’re already receiving inquiries from interested participants looking forward to next year.”

“Aden,” an experimental film about a young adult living on the streets, directed by Michael Basta from Nashua North High School, was selected as Jury Prize winner by a committee of New Hampshire film and video production professionals. Jury award finalists were “Cute Things Falling Asleep” (Daniel Castrillon, Nashua North), “Erased” (Chris Thompson, Londonderry), “Hometown Heroes” (Maree Magliocchetti, Timberlane Regional) and “With or Without” (Dennis Fraser, Hopkinton).

“With or Without,” a funny and heartwarming film about friendship, also took home the Audience Award.

More than 100 people attended the Festival.

The top five films will be packaged onto a DVD, which will also include brief interviews with the films’ directors. Copies of the 2008 New Hampshire High School Film Festival Winners DVD will be distributed to every community access television station in the state for broadcast and shown at both the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth and the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival in Concord, expanding the audience for these up-and-coming filmmakers.

“Student filmmakers are a key part of the film industry here in New Hampshire and are a vital part of its growth,” says Department of Cultural Resources Commissioner Van McLeod. “The Department of Cultural Resources, through the New Hampshire Film and Television Office, is proud to be able to provide a public audience for this next generation of New Hampshire filmmakers.”

The New Hampshire High School Film Festival, presented by the New Hampshire Film and Television Office, is designed to foster and reward interest in film for future members of the industry by offering a venue for them to show their films to a live audience. Sponsors for the 2008 Festival included New Hampshire Technical Institute–Concord’s Community College, Concord TV, the New Hampshire Union Leader and the Jaw.

The 2009 New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2009. For details, visit www.nhstudentfilm.com.

The New Hampshire Film and Television Office, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, works to expand business activity and employment throughout the state by acting as a liaison between the film industry and an established network of government agencies, the state’s film industry workforce and local property owners. The office is responsible for location assistance, public relations and general production support in an effort to broaden the cultural and economic impact of film and television production in the state. For more information about film and television production in New Hampshire, call (603) 271-2220 or visit www.nh.gov/film.

New Hampshire’s Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Council on the Arts, the Film and Television Office, the Division of Historical Resources, the State Library and the American Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission. The Department strives to nurture the cultural well-being of our state. From the covered bridges and traditional music of our past to the avant-garde performances and technological resources of today and tomorrow, New Hampshire’s culture is as varied as its geography and its people. This strong cultural base—which truly has something for everyone—attracts businesses looking for engaged workforces, provides outstanding educational opportunities and creates communities worth living in. Learn more at www.nh.gov/nhculture/.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: An electronic image of all winning directors, taken at the 2008 New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival, is available for reprint. Electronic images from all films submitted to the 2008 New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival are also available for reprint. Please contact Shelly Angers, 603-271-3136, shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov.