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EJ Argenio and Tesia Walker’s timely and important short film In The Field premieres at the New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 2, 2018. 


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 06/01/2018

EJ Argenio and Tesia Walker’s timely and important short film In The Field premieres at the New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 2, 2018. 

EJ Argenio and Tesia Walker’s timely and important short film In The Field premieres at the New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Here is my interview with In The Field Producer EJ Argenio:  

Nigrin:  Your timely short film In The Field deals with the aftermath of a police-related shooting of an African-American girl. Please tell us more about your film and why you decided to make it? 

Argenio:  In The Field is a film not only about police-related shootings involving African-Americans, but how the media decides to report on that story. The film is told from the point-of-view of local news reporter John Landon who is tasked with covering the release of the Christmas season’s hottest toy, Robo-Wan 3. However, after a melee that results in the death of a local African-American girl, John is suddenly in the middle of a much bigger story that could garner him national attention.I was intrigued with making this film because I felt it would make audiences question whether the media helps or hinders a community when reporting on tragedies involving the police and minorities. The media is tasked with reporting facts on a given situation, but unfortunately today’s media, in my opinion, is more focused on headline-based journalism, as opposed to fact-based. This is not to say I believe all members of the media are irresponsible journalists. It just shows that the media has their own agenda as well and sometimes getting all the facts before reporting a story is not always part of that.

Nigrin:  It looks like the film is set in New Jersey. Is that were you filmed it? 

Argenio:  We did shoot in New Jersey. We shot three days in East Orange New Jersey and one in West Orange. Aside from having the most ideal locations for production, we felt New Jersey provided the best authenticity for the look our film was aiming for.



 
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Nigrin:  The acting ensemble you chose as the leads really do a great job. Tell us more about them and how they were selected?

Argenio:  Bobby Kruger, who plays reporter John Landon, originally came to me with the idea for this film in the winter of 2016. We had been friends since we met as students at Syracuse University in 2004. Bobby also wrote the script with director Tesia Walker. Bobby was always the clear choice for the role of John having had previous roles in House of Cards, Billions and Money Monster. Our biggest task in casting came with finding the right actors for the Williams family, especially the roles of Marjorie and Uncle Mike. We not only wanted actors who could bring passion to the roles, but who were also believable to be family members with one another. After a reaching out to a number of agents, we came across Sally Stewart (Law and Order: SVU) and Tyson Hall (The Wire). They were not only outstanding actors, but great people as well. It was an instant fit. We had multiple, dual auditions with actors looking to play Marjorie and Uncle Mike. Our goal was to find the best chemistry on screen since they were playing brother and sister. We feel we did just that.

Nigrin:  Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to our readers?

Argenio:  I am just proud of the outstanding members of the film community I had the fortunate opportunity of working with on this film. The professionalism of everyone involved was overwhelming and it was an honor to be a part of a project where we all shared the same goal of making the best film possible. We hope audiences enjoy this film. 

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In The Field along with another short You Are Here will precede the feature documentary film Vianey. Here is more info on this screening:

In The Field - EJ Argenio/Tesia Walker(New York, New York) An ambitious local reporter witnesses a police-related shooting of an African-American girl outside a toy store on Christmas Eve.  Tasked with interviewing the girl’s family, to get the scoop that will bring him national fame, the reporter suddenly finds that getting the story involves more than just being there first.  2017; 14 min. With a Q+A Session by Producers EJ Argenio and Ryan Davenport and Writer/Lead Actor Bobby Kruger! 



 
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You Are Here – Nicholas Jones (London, England) A tender portrait of Tony Rogers, a former rock star who was a member of one of the most successful British bands of the last 20 years, The Charlatans.  Giving up on the glitz and glamour of fame, Tony has found a calling in working on his family farm in Ireland.  As the documentary tracks Tony through a year on the farm, it makes clear why he has chosen to honor and to perpetuate the traditions of life of his Irish forebears. 2018; 16 min. 

Vianey  - Marko Vuorinen  (Helsinki, Finland)  A raw, lyrical documentary about the life and hardships of the female hip hop artist Vianey Otero, also known by the stage name So Icey Trap. This intensely personal coming-of-age story reveals the reality behind growing up on the streets, time  in jail, and the fate of a female artist in the music industry. Vianey tells her story with unapologetic strength, humanity, and striking honesty. 2018; 55 min. With a Q+A Session by Director Marko Vuorinen and Vianey Otero!

Saturday, June 2, 2018 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

Al Nigrin is a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University.  In addition, he is the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc., which presents the Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival, the New Jersey International Film Festival and the United States Super 8mm Film + Digital Video Festival.

 




Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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