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Jonathan Cohrs documentary on the Meadowlands Back Water premieres this Friday, February 12 at the Spring 2016 New Jersey Film Festival

By Al Nigrin

originally published: 02/09/2016

Jonathan Cohrs documentary on the Meadowlands Back Water premieres this Friday, February 12 at the Spring 2016 New Jersey Film Festival

Here is an interview I did with Back Water Director Jonathan Cohrs:

Nigrin: Seven young people paddle through the “swamps of Jersey” -- the New Jersey Meadowlands -- for 10 days  in canoes in your exceptional documentary film Back Water. How did you come decide to make this film? How long did it take you to make it?

Cohrs: The film was inspired from researching at the artificial flavoring industry in Northern New Jersey. At one point, I was planing a kind of Marco Polo canoe trip to visit various spice/flavor factories. The idea eventually morphed into a film about recovering wilderness and spending 10 days canoeing and living in the Meadowlands. There were 3 separate canoe trips taken to research and shoot the film and it’s been about five years since that first trip!

Nigrin: Where the seven people friends of yours? How were they selected?



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Cohrs: The first trip was with a close friend of mine from growing up. The two of us covered a lot of territory pretty fast and made it well into Arthur Kill. The big trip was more complicated to schedule and we were looking for people to fill various roles for the trip, such as a cook, researcher, hunter, sound, etc. So it ended up being a random group of people from all sorts of connections, none of whom I knew well prior to the trip. Everyone played a specific part and by the end of the trip, we knew more about each other than anyone would care to admit.  By the end we were also an efficient team that pitch camp, cooked dinner, and took care of each other very effectively. It was a great crew who made the trip look much easier on film than it really was.

Nigrin: The New Jersey Film Festival jury found your film to be quite beautiful and tranquil. Have audiences felt the same way about your film?

Cohrs: For the most part people seem to enjoy the film. The QA’s always raising interesting conversations and questions.

Nigrin: Were there any memorable stories in getting the film finished or any other info about your film you can pass on to us?

Cohrs: Over the course of the film if you look closely you might notice that my left hand is getting paler and paler to point that my index finger turned purple once we finished the trip. I went to the hospital and they thought I had a blood clot in my heart and so they immediately checked me into the emergency room. I was put on all kinds of blood thinners, CAT scans, and blood tests. They never found the clot and over the course of a week the color in my finger returned. Did something toxic end up in an open sore on my hand or did a blood vessel collapse? The doctors could never figure out what happened, but whenever I go kayaking or swimming in the cold my finger turns white and subtly reminder of time spent in the Meadowlands.

More info on Back Water including the trailer can be seen here: http://backwatermovie.com

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Two terrific films will be screened before Back Water. Here is more info on this screening:

Tiny Town - Howard Cook (Denver, Colorado)
 As an ice-cream man runs his rounds, in a place called Tiny Town, he narrowly escapes a disastrous train collision. When a giant doll emerges from the wreckage, bent on destroying his tiny town, he realizes that he alone can save the day. A wonderful short animation.  2015; 9 min.


The Shadow Forest - Andrzej Cichocki (Dolna Grupa, Poland) 

In this suspenseful and intriguing short film, a man, while hunting a wolf in a forest, is startled by the sound of guns firing. Suddenly, in an explosion of movement there are people running... and even the wolves are overwhelmed by a sense of impending danger. 2015; 14 min.

Back Water – Jonathan Cohrs (Brooklyn, New York) 
A strange landscape exists in the middle of New Jersey, made up of wetlands and wildlife migrations, garbage dumps and the ruins of industry, toxic waste sites and a river that tells the story of a civilization’s new frontier. That is what seven young people have chosen to paddle through for 10 days, in canoes... Their singular expedition, as romantic as it is political, is relayed in this exceptional documentary film. 2015; 74 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Jonathan Cohrs! Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers) and the Rutgers University American Studies Department!

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Free Food courtesy of Jimmy Johns of New Brunswick will be given out prior to this screening of the New Jersey Film Festival!

 





2018 International Film Festival Brings 4 Award Winning Foreign Films To Vineland
(VINELAND, NJ) -- Enjoy four highly-acclaimed award-winning recent foreign films representing diverse cultures at the 2018 International Film Festival, starting Monday, November 26, at the Levoy Theatre, 126-130 N. High St., Millville, NJ. The four films—A Fantastic Woman, The Interpreter, 1945, and Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me—will introduce the theatergoer to the universality of themes that are common to Jewish and other international themes. They are representative of the finest of today’s international cinematographic art.
John T. LaBarbera Presents Charlie Chaplin's “The Immigrant” with New Original Score
(TEANECK, NJ) -- Performer, composer, and author John T. LaBarbera performs his original score for Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck on October 28 at 4:00pm. LaBarbera’s score creates an emotional atmosphere through the melodic themes that are reminiscent of the Italian immigrant music published during the early 20th century. Chaplin’s 1917 comedy about his own experiences as an immigrant draws on parallels of the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley which inform LaBarbera’s composition, highlighting the comedic and romantic aspects of the film through ragtime style, slapstick references, and melodic leitmotif that adorn the film’s narrative.
NJSO presents Star Wars: A New Hope in concert on Thanksgiving weekend
(NEWARK, NJ) --The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents screenings of the complete film Star Wars: A New Hope with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ musical scores performed live on Thanksgiving weekend, November 23–25. Performances take place in Red Bank, Newark, and New Brunswick.
East Lynne Theater Company presents "Poe" and "Dr. Jekyll"
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company presents two events in time for Halloween: "Poe by Candlelight" on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00pm and the classic silent thriller, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," accompanied by Wayne Zimmerman on the organ, on Sunday, October 21 at 7:30pm, both at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street in Cape May, where the theater is in residence.
Basie Center Celebrates Dia De Los Muertos With "Coco" Benefit Screening And Community Ofrenda
(RED BANK, NJ) -- The nonprofit Count Basie Center for the Arts will present a big-screen showing of Disney’s Coco as part of its annual celebration of Dia de los Muertos, sponsored by Basie’s partner program Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. The screening, which takes place on Saturday, November 3 at 11:00am, will also serve as a fundraiser for the Red Bank Borough School District, which will receive half of all tickets sold.


REVIEW: "Cold War"
Back in 2006, German cinema scored something of a breakout global hit with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others, which followed the travails of a group of disgruntled, pro-western artists in communist era East Germany. At the time I couldn’t help viewing the protagonists of Von Donnersmarck’s drama as the sort of people who would be just as discontented with their lot if they found themselves living in the capitalist west. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Baba Babee Skazala
Among the many intriguing films being screened at New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2018, one title immediately caught our eye — Baba Babee Skazala: Grandmother Told Grandmother.  
NJ Film Fest Preview: October 2018
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2018 runs from September 14 to October 26 on the Rutgers University Campus in New Brunswick, NJ. Showcasing new international films, American independent features, animation, experimental and short subjects, and cutting-edge documentaries, the New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2018 will feature over 30 film screenings.  
REVIEW: "Black 47"
In a year that has offered cinemagoers culturally distinctive takes on the western genre from countries as disparate as Australia (Sweet Country), Indonesia (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts) and South Africa (Five Fingers for Marseille), it’s no surprise to find Irish cinema adopting the tropes of that most traditionally American of genres.
Michael Gallagher’s terrific comedy Funny Story Premiere’s at the Fall 2018 New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, September 14!
Michael Gallagher’s terrific feature Funny Story Premiere’s at the Fall 2018 New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, September 14!






Event calendar
Friday, Oct 19, 2018


MUSIC

COVEY @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

PIMPS OF JOYTIME WITH WAITING ON MONGO @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE DAMNED WITH RADKEY AND THE DARTS @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

The Early November @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Kid Rock @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Real Diamond- Tribute to Neil Diamond @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Abbie Gardner at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

SHA NA NA @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

DALA @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 8:00pm

The Psychedelic Furs @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm







THEATRE

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

CDC Theatre presents A Few Good Men @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 8:00pm

Wait Until Dark @ Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough - 8:00pm

Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Bow Tie Cinemas (Hoboken), Hoboken - 11:30pm

Roxey Ballet's Dracula @ Roxey Ballet Canal Studio Theater, Lambertville - 7:00pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 8:00pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 8:00pm

Dracula @ The Baird Theatre on Three, South Orange - 7:30pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 8:00pm

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm


DANCE

Coppélia @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

New Jersey Film Festival @ Voorhees Hall #105, New Brunswick - 7:00pm


POETRY

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am


MISC

THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

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