The New Jersey Film Festival presents its fall season with two months of new films, films by New Jersey filmmakers, an international film program, and discussions led by filmmakers.
Films started reeling on September 11 and continue this week for the next few months as follows:
Friday, September 18, starts with “Welcome” by Serena Dykman (New York, New York). The short focuses on a young doctor working in New York who is targeted by U.S. immigration after she returns from a humanitarian trip abroad. It is shown with the feature-length documentary “Angel of Nanjing,” by Jordan Horowitz and Frank Ferendo (Providence, Rhode Island), an examination of China’s infamous Yangtze River Bridge, where countless people commit suicide every year.
Sunday, September 20, opens with “Foster Dog,” Brooklyn-based Lisa Alonso Vear’s short about a young, disabled dog that gets a new “leash on life” with the help of an older, wiser friend. It is accompanied by the feature film “All in Time” by Summit filmmakers Chris Fetchko and Marina Donahue. The dramatic comedy follows a young man who moves back home to Pennsylvania to manage his favorite hometown rock band and encounters unexpected personal problems. Directors Vear, Fetchko, and Donahue will be present to discuss the films.
Friday, September 25, includes three films: “Be Now,” London filmmaker Graham Atkins-Hughes’ short of a woman attempting to deal with fragments of the memory of the previous night; “Dawit,” German filmmakers David Jansen and Sophie Biesenbach’s animated short about a boy raised by wolves on a quest to find his own identity; and Georgia filmmakers Jeremy Waltman and Adam Lucas’ feature-length “It Plays Like Love,” a theater-center comedy in which a troupe attempts to prove that love exists by recreating it on the stage. The filmmakers will be present to discuss their work.
Sunday, September 27, includes “Catching Up,” Philadelphian Bill Crossland’s short of a physically disabled high school teacher falling in love with an able-bodied co-worker, and “Right Footed” by Nick Spark (Los Angeles, California), a feature documentary focusing on a woman born with severe birth defects and her fight against limitations and efforts to support the disabled.
Friday, October 2, opens with “Stream: Explore The Unseen,” German Roman De Giuli’s short experimental film that reveals colorful particles that are invisible to the naked eye. Also on the bill are “Matryoshka,” Californian Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu’s short about a young man attempting to explore the mind of his murderer brother, and the feature “The Moment: Bonnaroo,” Australia’s Reuben Meltzer’s documentary on the Bonnaroo music festival. The film’s assistant director and cinematographer, Vincent Torretta, introduces the film.
Saturday, October 3, includes two films by New Jersey directors: “Matterspacetime,” a short by Kiira Benzing (Ridgewood) that explores natural rhythms and filmmaking, and Union-based filmmaker Maria Soccor’s feature-length “Lords of BSV,” focusing on a dance form young Brooklynites use to escape street life and become “lords.” Benzing and Soccor will present.
Sunday, October 4, starts at 4:15 p.m. with Massachusetts filmmaker Gerald Peary’s “Archie’s Betty,” a feature-length documentary on the real-life figures that inspired the characters in the Archie Comics. The showing includes a discussion with Peary and Betty Tokar.
Sunday’s program continues with “Jersey Fresh: Films by New Jersey Filmmakers (Part One),” including Stockholm-based Stephen Kaiser’s short “Weed,” Montclair’s Stephen Bodossian’s comedy “Mommy,” and “75-0 The Documentary,” an examination of the 1966 Verona High School varsity football team, the New Jersey state record holders for losing consecutive games, by Venanzio Cortse of Towaco. Bodossian and Cortese will attend and lead a discussion.
Friday, October 9, is “Jersey Fresh: Films by New Jersey Filmmakers (Part Two),” including “Necropolis,” Lambertville’s Marc Reed’s experimental that “brings the dead back to life”; “Pieces of Belmar,” East Brunswick’s Bel Zack Morrison’s short about a girl on a journey through her Hurricane Sandy-torn town; “The Tip,” Towaco director Daniel Linke’s short of “two guys chatting in a diner”; “Rowen,” by Josh Rubenstein of Morris Plains, a terminally ill novelist’s attempt to find inspiration; and “Casting Couch,” East Brunswick directors Tobi Sigona and Keith St. Lawrence’s story about an aspiring young actress, a wishful writer, and illusive dreams. Morrison, Rubenstein, Sigona, and St. Lawrence will attend to discuss their works.
Sunday, October 11, is billed as “Best of the 2015 New Jersey International Film Festival (Part One),” and includes “U H F,” Massachusetts-based David Ellis’s short visual mediation on analog and digital recording; Australian director David Coyle’s “Enfilade,” where a man awakens in a white room with two doors, a red ball, and a revolver; and “Nocturne,” Canadian Saul Pincus’ feature film of an insomniac who falls in love with a sleepwalker.
Friday, October 16, “Best of the 2015 New Jersey International Film Festival (Part Two)” continues with New York City director David Spaltro’s short “The Cat’s Cradle,” about a couple attempting to conceive a child; “Keeper of the Past,” by Germany’s Marco J. Riedl’s short supernatural thriller; and “When Things Go Wrong: Robin Lane Story,” the Tim Jackson (Somerville, Massachusetts) feature-length documentary of rock musician Robin and her fall from stardom. Jackson will be on hand to discuss the film.
Sunday, October 18, ends the festival with “Best of the 2015 New Jersey International Film Festival (Part Three),” comprising English filmmaker Christopher Brown’s “Soap,” a short about a woman who lures a criminal into her bathtub, and “Forever into Space,” New Yorker Greg Locke’s feature of an over-educated and under-employed 20-something in New York.
All programs begin at 7 p.m. (except the October 4 showing of “Archie’s Betty”) and show at Voorhees Hall #105, 71 Hamilton Street on the College Avenue Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Tickets range from $8 to $10. Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick provides free sandwiches, and free parking is available. 848-932-8482 or www.njfilmfest.com.