HOOKSETT — More than 20 teams of filmmakers from across New Hampshire and Massachusetts got to see their short films screened in front of a packed theater at Cinemagic Thursday night during the fifth New Hampshire 48 Hour Film Project.
Filmmakers had 48 hours to write, produce, edit and score their films for the right to go on to the national competition and a shot at having their film screened at the Cannes Film Festival. While the festival’s three judges won’t announce their choice for best picture until July, for many of the film teams, just having their movie on the big screen was enough.
“All of these were made under duress, they are just raw creativity,” said John Herman, film festival producer.
While most were comedies, Herman said that some filmmakers took the risk of creating dramas, like the filmmaking team behind “No Regrets,” a thriller-type movie that culminates in a murder.
Many of the movies were comedies, such as “Troubleshooting,” which was about a James Bond type character and a evil villain both being forced to rely on the same disinterested technical assistance phone operator to outwit each other.
Jessica Mack of Derry, who served as part of the 10-person team behind making “Troubleshooting,” said it was a lot of fun to make.
“This is so awesome, we had so much fun making it, but I am so nervous about so many people watching it,” she said.
Festival Editor Ryan Vanalinda said Mack and her fellow crew members had high production values for “Troubleshooting,” going so far as to use the same camera that Peter Jackson used to film “The Hobbit.”
Brett Parker helped make a film called “Modus Operandi,” a comedy about a police interrogation that goes wrong.
“This festival is something I look forward to every year, I have done this all five years,” he said.
Jason Oquendo of Manchester and 10 of his friends made a science fiction movie called “New U,” an experience he said was worth the effort.
“It was a challenge but it was always fun, and it is great they have something like this for people who love making and watching movies,” he said.
Many in the audience weren’t friends or family of the filmmakers, but just people out for a good time.
“It is cool, it is quirky, it is fun,” Ruth Beland of Manchester said about the festival.
Her friend Debbie Tsouprakakis agreed, and added, “it blows my mind how creative the filmmaking teams are, and all the different ways they approach everything.”
Herman said the event wouldn’t be possible without sponsors, including the New Hampshire Union Leader.
“Without the support of businesses like MacEdge in Portsmouth, Cinemagic and the Union Leader, we wouldn’t be able to give all these talented filmmakers an outlet for their craft.”