Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Hampshire Film Office Launches High School Short Film Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2007

Matthew Newton, NH Film & Television Office
(603) 271-2220

(Concord, NH) – High school filmmakers from around the state will showcase their works on the silver screen this May when the New Hampshire Film and Television Office launches the first-of-its-kind, statewide high school short film festival. New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Sweeney Hall Auditorium in Concord will set the stage for the inaugural fest on Saturday, May 17, 2008 beginning at noon.

“One of the missions of the film office is to support and promote the efforts of our New Hampshire filmmakers, and student filmmakers are no exception,” says Matthew Newton, Film Specialist managing the New Hampshire Film and Television Office. “Student filmmaking is an exciting and essential part of our industry here in the Granite State, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide this venue for young talent.”

Newton is a graduate of the film studies program at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival is the first part of a broader film education initiative from the film office to roll out in the coming year. A web-based resource for students and their teachers will provide filmmaking tips, articles, suggested exercises and other documents that will introduce students to the fundamental and aesthetic principles of motion picture production, foster the educational benefits of cinematic storytelling and help ensure that student efforts in film will be approached creatively and professionally.

“We want to provide a resource that will not only supplement existing high school media arts programs, but hopefully create a springboard for schools that are looking to start them,” says Christian Gompert, co-founder of the festival and a teacher at Nute High School in Milton. “It is also important to encourage students to learn the steppingstones of conventional filmmaking while also letting their creative spirit thrive through creative risk-taking. This festival will be a great opportunity for that.”

“It’s great to be able to add a statewide high school film festival to a growing list of New Hampshire-based festivals where independent film can be seen,” says Van McLeod, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Resources. “This will be a nice companion event along with the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth and the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival in Concord. Everywhere you look now there’s film.”

The festival is open to students currently enrolled in a New Hampshire public or private high school (grades 9-12). Submissions will be accepted for festival consideration until March 14, 2008. Films will be selected by a panel of judges to screen at the festival. Five winning films will be packaged onto a DVD, which will include brief interviews with the films’ respective directors, and distributed to every community access television station in the state for future broadcast.

Rules and guidelines, film submission forms and other festival information can be found online at

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