MONIFF set for 10-day, hybrid festival

  • The Monadnock International Film Festival will use a mixture of online viewing, in-person events for 8th annual festival, from Nov. 5-14. Courtesy photo—

  • The Monadnock International Film Festival will use a mixture of online viewing, in-person events for 8th annual festival, from Nov. 5-14. Courtesy photo—

  • The Monadnock International Film Festival will use a mixture of online viewing, in-person events for 8th annual festival, from Nov. 5-14. Courtesy photo—FANCYFREEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

  • The Monadnock International Film Festival will use a mixture of online viewing, in-person events for 8th annual festival, from Nov. 5-14. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/5/2020 12:04:01 PM

It may be more than six months after the Monadnock International Film Festival was originally scheduled to take place, but the wait is over for film lovers of the region.

Like most everything else in 2020, the organizers of the 8th annual festival had to get creative with how the traditional three-day festival would be held. But after seeing the success that others, like the Toronto and Camden film festivals had with a hybrid model, MONIFF Chair Dee Fitzgerald saw a path forward.

“Once it became clear it was a viable way to get programming out there, we dove right in,” Fitzgerald said.

What resulted is a new 10-day festival that begins Thursday, Nov. 5 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 14 that will include four in-person events paired with films being shown through an online platform.

The goal was to always hold the festival, it was just determining the best – and safest – way to proceed. Fitzgerald said canceling MONIFF would be the last resort because people really need as much entertainment as they can get these days.

There will be two in-person events at the new NOVA Arts space at Brewbakers in Keene, starting with “Vinyl Nation” on Friday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m., followed by “Five Elizabeths” on Friday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m, which features a live stream Q&A with filmmaker and musician, Jasmine Dreame Wagner. Due to social distancing guidelines, seating will be limited to table reservations for both screenings.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, Machina Kitchen & ArtBar will serve a four-course prix fixe dinner in honor of “Kiss The Ground”, but the event will purely be a dinner and the film will not be shown.

“The dinner is a way to bring the movie to life – through food,” Fitzgerald said.

The final event, which Fitzgerald said they are still working on securing a venue for will be for the film “Best Summer Ever”.

There will be two online workshops this weekend, “Did You Hear That?” The Art of Sound with three industry veterans Josh Berger, Marlena Grzaslewicz, and Ira Spiegel sharing their insights and expertise on sound effects, dialogue editing, music editing and sound mixing on Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. Finishing the Film with Liz Niles, Jeff Cornell, and Jack Lewars is set for Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. Both will be available in recording form after the live program, which will allow for attendees to ask questions.

Two filmmaker panels, Just Do It! The Do’s & Don’ts of Making Your First Movie with first-time directors from New England and beyond, and Likes are My Self-Esteem, a live online talk show hosted by Toni Nagy and Seth Chatfield as they deep dive into their experiences of independent content creation. The panels will be held Nov. 8 and 9. There will also be a number of filmmaker Q&A’s throughout the festival.

And of course there are the actual films, 57 in all, which is 20 more than the traditional three-day festival would include, Fitzgerald said. Having the ability to use the online platform gives ticket buyers the chance to access the films on or after their debut date for an extended amount of time, allowing for people to immerse themselves in a larger amount of the content.

“This has really pushed it up, giving people a lot to take in over 10 days,” Fitzgerald said. “This really caters to them getting as much as they can out of the film festival.”

It also allows for more people to take part, given the state of the world since March.

“Because of COVID restrictions, a lot of folks are still nervous about getting together,” Fitzgerald said.

And she hopes it alleviates some of most common feedback they receive each year.

“One thing we heard consistently is that people couldn’t get to everything,” she said. “So this really presented itself as a win-win.”

An all-access virtual pass, costing $95, allows for access to every film in the lineup, plus Q&As, panels, workshops, and special presentations.  The film pass ($65) includes access to a select number of films (up to 30), plus Q&As, panels and special presentations. The in-person events are an additional cost.

For more information, including the complete schedule and list of films, visit https://www.moniff.org/.


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