NJ Film Festival

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This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the April 2, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

At the Movies: Oscar in Trenton

Trenton Film Festival makes its debut this week with

"A Night at the Oscars," featuring New Jersey premiere screenings

of two Oscar selections for documentary short subject at the Marriott

Hotel. "Why Can’t We Be a Family Again," a 2003 nominee, produced

and directed by Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel is featured. Following

this, producer Lynn Appelle will introduce her film "Thoth,"

the 2002 Oscar winner about street performer S.K. Thoth, directed

by Sarah Kernochan. Admission to both screenings is $10, and ties

into the theme of this month’s First Friday celebrations in the downtown

business district, Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m.

One of the movers and shakers behind the emerging Trenton Film Festival,

a project of the newly created Trenton Film Society, is independent

filmmaker Kevin Williams. Jamie Griswald is president of the Trenton

Film Society; Williams is artistic director of the festival. Also

active in the group is Princeton filmmaker Sam Wells.

"This premiere event is to introduce the Trenton Film Society

to the community," says Williams. "Many people saw the Oscars

awarded last week, but most people never get to see any of the Oscar

nominated short films."

"We want to present films that area filmgoers are not able to

see at the cineplexes, and also to bring filmmakers and audiences

together. This can offer filmmakers an opportunity to learn and grow,

filmgoers can expand their knowledge of cinema, and also enhance their

appreciation of the filmmaking process," he says.

Williams stresses that central New Jersey has a clear need to serve

audiences, but also to help area residents break into the business.

The society will offer workshops and seminars by and for professionals

and the interested public with programs to help them decide whether

they want to work in the profession.

The debut evening begins with a screening of "Why Can’t We Be

a Family Again?," a film narrated by Ossie Davis, about two brothers

trying to maintain their relationship with their crack-addicted mother.

Next producer Appelle (with whom Williams worked on "Jersey Girls")

introduces "Thoth," last year’s Oscar winner that features

Thoth’s eccentric Central Park performances of his "Solo-operas."

— Nicole Plett

A Night at the Oscars, Trenton Film Festival, Mercer

Room, Marriott Hotel, Trenton, 609-396-6966. New Jersey premieres

of two Oscar selections for documentary short subject. Lynn Appelle,

producer, is guest speaker. $10. Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.

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NJ Film Festival

New Jersey Film Festival screenings are Fridays through

Sunday in Scott Hall, Room 123, Rutgers College Avenue campus; Thursday

screenings are in Loree Hall 024, Douglass College campus. Admission

$6; all programs begin at 7 p.m. Information 732-932-8482 or www.njfilmfest.com

Divine Horsemen. Maya Deren’s rarely-seen 1985 documentary

about the Voodoun religion of Haiti, Thursday, April 3. Morvern

Callar , a black comedy directed by Lynne Ramsay (2002), Friday

to Sunday, April 4 to 6. Hail Mary, Jean-Luc Godard’s controversial

1985 feature that transposes the story of the virgin birth to modern-day

France, Thursday, April 1

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