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Film Festivals | New Hampshire

New Hampshire Film Expo

1 Sep , 2001  

Written by Meredith Philpott | Posted by:

A new type of film festival -- the New Hampshire Film Expo -- makes its way into the Granite State.

In the itineraries for many vacationers, New Hampshire traditionally serves as a stop on the fall foliage tour around New England. However, this September, film lovers and artisans alike will have a new reason to visit the Granite State — the New Hampshire Film Expo.

Upon screening a version of their independent film "Nowheresville" in Manchester last summer, Double Midnight Productions sold out two 800-seat shows at the Palace Theater. Stunned by the successful turnout, Chris Proulx, a writer/producer with Double Midnight recognized that perhaps "the area was ripe for independent films." Meanwhile, the Greater Derry Arts Council, interested in resurrecting films at the Adams Memorial Opera House, read a rave review of "Nowheresville" and contacted Double Midnight. Together, the two began brainstorming New Hampshire’s newest film festival.

On the weekend of September 14 – 16, the state of New Hampshire will be holding an inaugural Film Expo in Derry. The three official directors are Proulx, who serves as the Expo’s programming coordinator; Dan Hannon, the media director maintaining the exposition’s Web site (; and Judy Krassowski, who is head of public relations and sponsorship. All three boast that the exposition will offer more than the average festival. Packed with films of all types and genres, awards for a number of categories, booths for local directors and production companies to display and discuss their creations, and an array of speakers, the weekend promises something for the cinema sleuth in everyone.

Beyond the wonderful films, which are all rooted in New England, highlights include a Young Filmmaker’s Workshop for high school students, a Perfecting the Pitch workshop by Susan Kougell of Su-City Pictures, and auditions for an upcoming film, "The Color of Water." There is even an extra treat in store for those looking for a taste of small-town New England life. The New Hampshire Film Exposition will coincide with the DerryFest, an annual celebration that offers performances by local theatre groups and bands, arts and crafts booths, and most certainly cotton candy and ice cream.

While this inauguration will surely be an intersection of interests, the great glory of the weekend proves to be (quite obviously) the films. Some titles have already reaped major awards around New England, while others will make their premieres here.

The locally produced "Working Stiff" is filled with intense witticisms and uncannily poignant commentary on the state of the hard-working American. When Gene, who makes training videos for his company, is denied a much-needed raise, he retaliates by making adult films inside his studio. The story satirizes both the beast of corporate America and the mechanical 9-to-5 grind. Directed by Greg Joyce, the comedy claimed the Best Screenwriting Award at this year’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Debuting at the Expo is "Boy George Michael Jackson Brown," a feature length comedy in 24 episodes (14 of which will be shown during the weekend) by Memo Salazar. Made especially for the Internet, the movie is a surreal. accompanied by the filmmaker to discuss the film and their upcoming projects.

Among many other films that are screening, the Expo will feature an updated version of "Nowheresville," the film that ignited this festival. Proulx and Hannon not only produced the film but they also starred in the story, which offers a somewhat non-fictional tale about the plot of three childhood friends to keep their buddy from moving away to Los Angeles. Directed by Christian Gompert, the group has one last wild night to convince him that he’s making a huge mistake and to show him the true possibilities of "Nowheresville."

The three directors, along with a staff, have created a new recipe for a weekend of film. Working from scratch, they have gathered the New England film industry in a setting filled with activities, relaxation, and small-town charm. With all of the details planned, a better title for the weekend may be A Film Fanatic’s Fantasy.

Tickets are $45 for a weekend pass or $15 per day. With a valid student ID, passes are $35 or $12 per day. For ticket or other information, please call the Greater Derry Arts Council at 603-437-0505 or visit

Tickets are $45 for a weekend pass or $15 per day. With a valid student ID, passes are $35 or $12 per day. For ticket or other information, please call the Greater Derry Arts Council at 603-437-0505 or visit