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Monadnock Film Fest to expand

The Sharon Arts Center hosted the announcement of expansion plans into Peterborough and Jaffrey for the 2014 Monadnock International Film Festival Film.

Already underway is an educational component at Conval Regional High School. Beginning Oct. 29, MONiff Program Director Aaron Wiederspahn began working with 22 students to teach the art of screenwriting. Twice a week through April 2014, students will benefit from the award-winning screenwriter and director’s experience while learning how to formulate and write a screenplay. Selected scripts will be read as part of the Peterborough festival weekend, which will be held on April 4 and 5, 2014. Participating students spoke about their experience Thursday evening

Wiederspahn is an accomplished filmmaker and owner of either/or films. On Oct. 17 at the N.H. Film Festival in Portsmouth, Wiederspahn won N.H. Filmmaker of the Year and Best N.H. Film for “Only Daughter.” Several days later on Oct. 20, at the Orlando International Film Festival in Orlando, Fla., “Only Daughter” was one of 220 films screened and took two awards. Wiederspahn won for Best Screenplay and Emily Seymour, originally from Keene and now attending Atlantic Acting School in New York City, won for Best Performance. Wiederspahn was also nominated for Best Supporting Performance and Best Director, as well as Best Picture.

Both Wiederspahn and Laina Barakat, MONiff executive director, were instrumental in creating the inaugural 2013 Monadnock International Film Festival, where over 1,500 people attended the three-day film festival that included 14 films and brought almost $130,000 to the city in direct spending. The 2014 festival weekend will be held in Keene from April 10 to 12.

MONiff’s audience and guest artists are able to interact with one another throughout the weekend during film screenings, industry panels and after-hours parties. The Monadnock International Film Festival is a nonprofit organization, started in June 2011, whose mission is to bring world-class film and filmmakers to New England’s Monadnock region.

Visit www.moniff.org, call Laina Barakat at 757-3929, or email monadnockiff@gmail.com for more information.

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