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