The Nassau Film Festival marks its third year by expanding its now annual screenings of new short narrative, animation, and documentary films at the Princeton Garden Theater to two days — Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.

Festival coordinator, filmmaker, and Princeton Public Schools administrator Lew Goldstein says the expanded festival reflects festival attendees’ request as well as the interest by filmmakers.

“We will be screening 40 films from the 336 submissions received from countries in each of the six continents,” notes Goldstein.

Among the highlights are “The Story of 90 Coins,” the 10-minute love story from China by independent film maker and former agency art director Michael Wong; German-born actor and director Branko Tomovic’s “Red,” a 20-minute thriller set in the brutal underground world of illegal organ harvesting; and British TV, stage, and short film director James Hughes’s 10-minute “The Inuring,” where a bullied young woman confronts her aloof sister and their past; and Tennessee-based actor and director Wendy Keeling’s “The Unconventional Gourmet,” a 13-minute dark comedy about a woman stuck in the 1950s searching for the perfect ingredients for the ultimate family recipe.

Works by regional filmmakers include two created through Princeton TV’s Community Partners Project (CPP), an organization that teaches documentary video and media skills to non-profit organizations in the greater Princeton area.

One of the regional films is “A Wonderfully Difficult Journey,” a 13-minute work that follows a group of disabled actors participating in the ARC Mercer’s 12-week drama course where the team navigates the often arduous process of creating, producing, and performing a live theatrical production. Kirk Ponton, ARC Mercer’s drama coordinator, calls the film a “powerful tool for future actors with disabilities who might be hesitant to journey out of their comfort zones because of preconceived notions of fright and failure.”

The other is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mercer’s “Passage to Hope,” an 11-minute film that NAMI board member and producer Tom Pyle says gives an “authentic voice to the family experience with mental illness, so the public can better understand our challenges and support our loved ones as they engage, pursue, and achieve recovery.”

Also on the schedule are the Princeton-based Syth DeVoe’s video on the Arts Council of Princeton’s Communiversity ArtsFest and several student shorts, including the winners of the Walnut Lane Student Film Festival.

Both days also include panel discussions including filmmakers from as close the Delaware Valley and as far as California and Brazil.

Nassau Film Festival, Princeton Garden Theater, 160 Nassau Street, Princeton. Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 21, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free. For complete schedule visit www.nassaufilmfestival.org.

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