There’s actually a lot to see in Portsmouth besides all the stellar movies playing this weekend. It’s practically idyllic in its autumnal glory, just stupidly beautiful. One of the main venues is on Chestnut street, and I can’t believe that something so quaint actually exists outside of a TV set. How lucky are we? The Asshole in me is actually itching to find fault with this place!
Now for a few more of the New Hampshire Film Festival’s bountiful offerings:
A Light Beneath Their Feet: A high school senior must choose between enrolling at the college of her dreams (across the country, natch) and remaining at home to take care of her bipolar mother. This movie is proudly packed with strong women – the mother is played by Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black, Hustle & Flow); the fabulous SNL alum Nora Dunn appears as a good doctor; director Valerie Weiss started her film career while completing her PhD in Biophysics from Harvard Medical School, you know, in her spare time; and screenwriter Moira McMahon has shown herself a fan of working with strong females as production staff on Grey’s Anatomy, and as a writer and researcher on Private Practice. It’ll be nice to see these ladies hard at work, and kudos to NHFF for highlighting so many female directors this year!
The Witch: Robert Eggers, first time film writer and director brought home the prize for Best Director at Sundance this year, and this is why. The Witch is set in New England, circa 1630. William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, isolated on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another, unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil…or, you know, it’s just their overactive imaginations. You know the kind of shit that went down in New England back in the good old days (*cough*Salem*cough*). This one sounds super duper creepy!
Founded in 2001, NHFF began as a small, grassroots organization to support local, regional and student filmmakers. It now attracts over 10,000 festivalgoers to Portsmouth each year, and holds a place as a viable and recognized festival that showcases the brightest talent on the international film festival scene.