The New Hampshire Film Festival (NHFF) drew a record 12,000 attendees during its film screenings, panels, afterparties, and special events that ended Oct. 20. The festival usually welcomes upwards of 10,000 annually.
The Press Room, one of downtown Portsmouth’s staple venues, joined the event’s lineup of screening venues this year, which provided additional capacity.
The 19th annual event saw 90% of films represented by filmmakers and their respective crews.
New Hampshire Day, which showcased films with ties to the Granite State, concluded with the presentation of the 2019 Van McLeod Award, which recognizes NH natives and residents who have made contributions in film and television. This year’s recipient was Matt Renner, a native of Durham and vice president of production for National Geographic Partners. Immediately following the award presentation, the audience watched Renner’s most recent project, The Cave.
The winners of this year’s NH Night Awards were:
- NH Film of the Year: North Country (directed by Nick Martini)
- Best NH Feature Narrative: Love in Kilnerry (directed by Daniel Keith & Snorri Sturluson)
- Best NH Feature Documentary: Last Man Fishing (directed by JD Schuyler)
- Best NH Short Narrative: Water Horse (directed by Sarah Wisner & Sean Temple)
- Best NH Short Documentary: The North Woods (directed by Adam Bartley)
- NH Filmmaker of the Year: Michael Barnett (director of Changing the Game & Stuck)
- Best NH Performance: Juston McKinney, Suck It Up (directed by Marc Dole)
- Van McLeod Award: Matt Renner (executive producer of The Cave)
Films receiving awards honoring excellence in filmmaking and screenwriting are:
- Best Narrative Feature: Mickey and the Bear
- Best Documentary Feature: All I Can Say
- Best Short Drama: Milkshake
- Best Short Comedy: Engaged
- Best Student Film: Above the Influence
- Grand Jury Award, Narrative: South Mountain
- Grand Jury Award, Documentary: Kifaru
- Shorts Jury Award, Live Action: Fit Model
- Shorts Jury Award, Animation: The Coin
- Shorts Jury Award, Documentary: On the Bit
- Best Screenplay: Pickled Beets
- Audience Choice, Documentary: Fish & Men