Thursday, October 23, 2008

2008 New Hampshire Film Festival announces winners

[Received this press release from the New Hampshire Film Festival.]

More than 6,000 attend weekend movie festival in Portsmouth.

PORTSMOUTH, NH – The eighth annual New Hampshire Film Festival drew an estimated 6,000 attendants to downtown Portsmouth, making the four-day fest the most successful in the event’s history.

“In this economy, we’re definitely encouraged at the attendance,” said NHFF Executive Director, Nicole Gregg. “We had far more people purchasing weekend passes and enjoying the entire event from Thursday to Sunday.”

With a lineup of films coming from Sundance, Berliner and the Cannes film festivals, the NHFF program is now comparable to major film festivals, according to Gregg. The NHFF ran Oct. 16 - 19.

This year's NHFF winners included Best Short Comedy Award: "Cutlass," director Kate Hudson; Best Short Drama: "Centigrade," directors Colin Cunningham, Madison Graie; Best Animation Award: "The Magistical," directors John Cernak, Danny Oakley, writer John Cernak; Best Student Award: "The Abattoir," director/writer, T.J. Volgare; Best Documentary Award: "I.O.U.S.A.," director Patrick Creadon; Grand Jury Award: "The Life Before Her Eyes," director Vadim Perelman, writer Emil Stern; Best Feature Award, "The Unknown Woman," director/writer Giuseppe Tornatore; Best Screenplay Award: "The Stunning Box," by David Bertoni, Yarmouth, Maine; and Audience Choice Award: "Between the Folds," feature-length documentary, by Vanessa Gould.

Winners of New Hampshire awards included New Hampshire Documentary Film Award: "Communities and Consequences," director/writer Jay Childs; and the New Hampshire Film of the Year Award: "Sick Sex," by Justin Nowell, director and co-writer with Thomas Nowell. The Van McLeod Award went to Chase Bailey of Left Bank Films in Portsmouth. The NHFF 2008 marked the debut of the new Van McLeod Award, which honors someone who makes a significant contribution to the film or television industry and is named in honor of the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources.

Event highlights included visits by Austin Chick, director of "August;" Patrick Creadon, director of "I.O.U.S.A." (also "Word Play," and producer of "Super Size Me"); and event artists-in-residence Emmy-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. Artist Michael Fosse, featured in "Between the Folds," followed that screening by creating a giant origami sculpture on the spot.

The "I.O.U.S.A." panel discussion with Creadon, Writer Addison Wiggin and Sen. Judd Gregg, a subject in the film, was the highlight of the festival, according to Gregg.

NHFF receives major sponsorship from Irving Oil and Override. Created in July 2007, Override is a network of respected retail brands that gives consumers an opportunity to lower their individual price of gas at the pump. Consumers can earn gas savings at participating Shaw’s Supermarkets and Dunkin’ Donuts. The opportunity to save is also available to more than 9,000 L.L. Bean employees through Override’s employee program. Gas savings are redeemable at 200 Irving fuel locations in New England. Please see more information at Override.com. Further information is available at www.nhfilmfestival.com.

Media Contact: Nicole Gregg | nicole@nhfilmfestival.com | 603.647.6439.