Corrections or additions?

This article by Euna Kwon Brossman was prepared for the September

8, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Behind the Lens at the Trenton Film Fest

Martin Scorcese. Steven Spielberg. M. Night Shyamalan. Francis Ford

Coppola. John Sayles. These are just some of the giants of filmmaking,

but the next great American filmmaker could be just around the corner

waiting to be discovered, and why not here in our own backyard?

That’s the thinking of Kevin Williams, spokesman for the Trenton Film

Society, which also produces the Trenton Film Festival. He has a

"Field Of Dreams" belief that Trenton and central New Jersey could

become a mecca of film production. "Producers would much rather use a

real set than create a fabricated setting in New York, for example, or

work on a backlot," he says. "We have so much to offer in our area. It

used to be that if you wanted to get into filmmaking you would have to

go to New York or Hollywood. We believe that we can draw filmmakers


The Trenton Film Society has teamed up with Barnes & Noble at

MarketFair to produce an evening called the Trenton Film Festival:

Behind the Lens on Tuesday, September 14, at 7 p.m. Nancy Nicholson,

community relations manager for Barnes & Noble at MarketFair, says she

attended the Trenton Film Festival last May and was very impressed by

the caliber of work that was shown.

"I moved here from New York nine years ago and was happy to find high

quality entertainment and art just 15 minutes from my home instead of

two hours away," she says. "People who are interested in the best

alternative movies. Those who have a taste for art outside the

mainstream will enjoy a truly fascinating evening."

Also attending the event will be members of the New Jersey Filmmakers

Group, headquartered in Edison. They make independent films in New

Jersey and will be available to answer questions and network.

Nicholson says Barnes & Noble is already planning to host another

event early next year to promote the next Trenton Film Festival,

scheduled for April 29 through May 1, 2005. There will be three

venues: the New Jersey State Museum, the Trenton Marriott, and the

Mill Hill Playhouse.

Williams is delighted with the community support for local filmmaking.

The 36-year-old Trenton native grew up in the Wilburtha section of the

city and went to McCorristin Catholic High School in Hamilton. After

attending LaSalle University, then earning an MBA at Tulane

University, he worked in marketing for a while, but then decided that

film was his true passion. So he enrolled in film school at NYU,

earned his certificate, then lucked into his first film job. He was


"They were filming the movie "I.Q." in Princeton in 1994 with Tim

Robbins, Walter Matthau, and Meg Ryan. I dropped my resume off at the

production office and they gave me two offers. I ended up working in

extras casting, got to meet Matthau, saw Robbins and Ryan at work, and

decided this is where I needed to be."

Williams’ next big break in the industry came when he got a job in the

on-set production office for the movie "Signs" in 2001, starring Mel

Gibson and shot on location in Doylestown. That year he also worked in

production for "A Beautiful Mind," filmed on the Princeton campus.

He and the other founding members of the Trenton Film Society decided

that there was plenty of local demand for good movie-making and lots

of talent and picturesque locales. One of Williams’ goals is to get a

movie theater back in Trenton, a city that has not had its own theater

since the late 1970s, when the Brunswick Theatre at the Brunswick

Circle closed.

This past May marked the Film Society’s first production of the

Trenton Film Festival, featuring the best independent films produced

by local filmmakers. Williams says there was a tremendous amount of

originality and edge in the documentaries, fiction, and narratives

that the judges saw. "We have a huge appetite in our area for

sophisticated viewing," he says. "We have 3 million people who live

within a 30-minute drive of Trenton. We believe we can create

something new and refreshing for our audience to enjoy."

The Trenton Film Festival: Behind the Lens, Barnes &

Noble, Tuesday, September 14, at 7 p.m. 609-716-1570. Free.

For more information about the Trenton Film Society, call

609-396-6966, or go to www.trentonfilmsociety.org. You can also find

information about upcoming events and buy tickets. Filmmakers who want

to enter works in the Trenton Film Festival will find submission

details there as well.

Top Of Page

Stage Auditions

Omicron Theater Productions has open auditions for speaking and

non-speaking parts for males and females ages 20s to 50s. Call

609-443-5598 for an appointment Friday, September 10 to Sunday,

October 10. The group also seeks backstage help and will train

backstage hands.

Voice Auditions

Philomusica Choir seeks singers for 35th season. Performances include

Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s Cantata. Rehearsals are Monday evenings

in New Brunswick. Auditions are Mondays, September 13 and 20. For more

information call 888-744-5668 or visit www.philomusica.org.

The group also offers sight-singing class on Tuesday evenings in

Somerset. $170.95 includes text and free ticket to Philomusica concert

series. Deadline is Monday, September 20.

Dance Auditions

Suburban Dance Force of Central New Jersey holds auditions for its

12th annual Children’s Nutcracker on Saturday, September 11, at 12:30

p.m. Audition fee is $15. Dancers must be at least 8 years old and

have ballet training. Call 609-530-0979 or visit


Call for Artists

Focus on Sculpture 2005 is a juried photography exhibition of images

with the common theme of sculpture. Open to serious amateur

photographers 18 years and older. Limited to two per person. No entry

fees. Photojournalist Bryan Grigsby is the jurer. All photographs must

include sculpture, must be suitably framed with glass or plexiglass

and ready to hang. Entry labels must be affixed to the back of works.

Hand delivery is expected on Saturday December 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve offers a volunteer docent naturalist

training program. It is a hands-on group training that prepares

participants to guide tours and to assist in other ways with the

preserve’s educational programs. Training sessions begin on Thursday,

September 23. Contact Hildy Ellis at 215-862-2924 or by E-mail at

ellis@bhwp.org. Website: www.bhwp.org.

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