Film Festival Announces NH Night Winners

"Only Daughter" took home three awards on Thursday night.

"Only Daughter" won three awards on NH Night on Thursday.
"Only Daughter" won three awards on NH Night on Thursday.
The first day of the New Hampshire Film Festival was packed with filmmakers, press, industry insiders and attendees from around the region and country. 

Thursday was New Hampshire Day, featuring all New Hampshire-affiliated films. New Hampshire Day kicked off with a sold out screening of De Rochemont: The Language of the News at the Music Hall Loft's Access Sports Medicine Screening Room, and continued through the New Hampshire Night screening at the Music Hall Main Stage of Prince Avalanche, directed by David Gordon Green, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, and produced by Lisa Muskat.

Muskat, a native of Manchester, was presented with the Van McLeod Award for her outstanding contribution in film. Comedian Juston McKinney presented the award prior to the screening of Prince Avalanche. Muskat took the stage again following the film for a Q&A session with the crowd.

New Hampshire Night continued with the awards for the best New Hampshire films, performances and filmmakers. The recipients of the awards were as follows:

New Hampshire Short Film of the Year: Empyrean, an 18-minute short drama by New Hampshire native Sophia Savage, who was present to accept the award.

New Hampshire Feature Film of the Year: Prince Avalanche, about two highway road workers who spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives.

New Hampshire Performance of the Year: Morganna Ekkens, Only Daughter. Ekkens is a native of Keene and was present to accept her award.

New Hampshire Filmmaker of the Year: Aaron Weiderspahn, Only Daughter. Wiederspahn, who lives in Keene, previously attended NHFF in 2007 with his film The Sensation of Sight, which won Best Feature Film. He was present to receive his award.

New Hampshire Documentary Film of the Year: Tom Rush: No Regrets. Tom Rush was not present to receive his award, but will be performing an intimate musical set on Sunday at 12:40 P.M. at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s KBW Financial Screening Room.

New Hampshire Film of the Year: Only Daughter. A gripping film about an 18-year-old girl and her journey to find her father, Only Daughter was filmed in 10 days, at 25 locations around Clairemont. The film was made for $20,000, and was entirely crowd funded. Only Daughter was written and directed by Aaron Wiederspahn, who also starred in the film. The film was produced by Aaron Wiederspahn, Laina Barakat, Sarah Steinberg Heller and Karlina Lyons. Starring in the film alongside Wiederspahn were Emily Seymour, Dakota Benedetto and Morganna Ekkens.

Submitted by the New Hampshire Film Festival.


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