MANCHESTER, NH – If the devil is in the details, as they say, then that would explain why Warren O’Reilly is doing a hell of a job organizing and fine-tuning the city’s first-ever international film festival, taking place August 12-14 at The Rexx .

There are many details!

“Returning The Rex Theater to its roots as a live cinema venue in Manchester is central to this festival and as it hopefully evolves over the years it will include more partners across the city,” says O’ Reilly, who predicts it will be so popular that for years to come it will exceed capacity at The Rex, which local history buffs know first opened as a cinema in 1940.

The origin story of the Rex is embedded in the Manchester International Film Festival’s mission, which is simple: to celebrate the return of films to Manchester and celebrate the history of the Rex Theater while spotlighting local filmmakers. The festival, which opened a call for submissions months ago, will feature films by Southern New Hampshire University students and award-winning short films from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. There will also be interactive Q&As and classic films including Slap Shot and An American Werewolf in London.

But wait; there is more

The three-day festival offers plenty of options for viewers of all ages and genres (see the full schedule below). A day pass is $20 ($10 for students). But for those who want it all, there’s really a lot waiting, says O’Reilly.

Buy a ticket for An Evening with John Lithgow at the Palace Theater at 7:30pm and get a Gold Ticket as well – entry for all three days. Tickets range from $50 to $100.

“And with every ticket you get a three-day pass to the festival, but with the $100 ticket you also get a VIP meet-and-greet with John Lithgow,” says O’Reilly.

Another highlight, especially for fans of our local cinema hero Adam Sandler, is the New Hampshire premiere of Finding Sandler, a documentary produced by New York based filmmaker David Seth Cohen. The film’s premise is Cohen’s search for a missed opportunity that he missed more than 20 years ago while working on the set of The Water Boy. An unexpected mission to deliver a suit to Sandler resulted in an invitation to have a drink with him. Cohen gave it up for reasons he’s still trying to work out.

The film features many well-known Manchester landmarks, including the Red Arrow Diner and several former and current Central High School staff who were interviewed on site when the film crew came to the city as part of their search for Sandler.

Time schedule:


5pm Opening Ceremony and Silent Film accompanied by Jeff Rapsis

6 p.m. Selection of “Best of New England Short Films”


  • 6:15 p.m. “The Egg” by Terrence Hayes
  • 6:45 pm “Four Pens” by Matthew Beltz
  • 7:30pm “Slap Shot” (1977) starring comedian Jimmy Dunn, Greg and the Morning Buzz’s Scott Roadkill McMullen and former NHL umpire Mark Riley, followed by Manchester Monarchs Hockey Highlights Reel


  • 12:00 Children’s Film Presentation / 2022 Kids Shorts
  • 2 p.m. International short film program
  • 15:00 Documentary program
  • 16:00 Best Of Southern New Hampshire University


  • 18:00 New England Premiere “Finding Sandler”
  • 6 p.m. Red Carpet
  • 7 p.m. film start
  • Post Movie: Questions and Answers with Filmmakers
  • 9 p.m. [email protected] The Rex & A Dark Impression Podcast pResent: “An American Werewolf in London”


  • 12 noon Documentary presentation
  • 2 p.m. Jewish Film Festival in New Hampshire
  • International film presentation
  • 15:00 LGBTQ International Short Films /Domestic LGBTQ Short Film Series
  • 4 p.m. LGBTQ Feature Presentation
  • 5 p.m. Graduation Ceremony
  • awards
  • Film presentation at the end

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