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43rd Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival to Take Place September 6 through October 18

originally published: 07/03/2024

43rd Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival to Take Place September 6 through October 18


(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The 43rd Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival will be taking place on select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between September 6 to October 18, 2024. Twenty-one films will have their New Jersey or Area Premieres at the festival, which will be a hybrid of in-person screenings at Rutgers University and titles available via video on demand. All the films will be available virtually via Video on Demand for 24 hours on their show date. VOD start times are at 12 Midnight Eastern USA. In addition to the screenings, electronic music artist Jim Haynes will be doing an audio-visual concert on Friday, October 18 at 7:00pm.

The in-person screenings and the Jim Haynes Concert will be held in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ beginning at 5:00pm or 7:00pm on their show date.  General Admission Ticket=$15 Per Program; Festival All Access Pass=$120; In-Person Only Student Ticket=$10 Per Program; General Admission Jim Haynes Concert Ticket=$25. Each General Admission Ticket or Festival Pass purchased is good for both the virtual and the in-person screenings.

All the works that we are screening are part of the New Jersey Film Festival were selected by a panel of judges including media professionals, journalists, students, and academics. These judges selected the 21 finalists which will be publicly screened at our Festival. The finalists were selected from over 402 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world. In addition, the judges will choose the Prize Winners in conjunction with the Festival Director. Prize winners will be announced via their social media sites after the screenings on September 29, 2024.

Film Premieres: 21 films will have their New Jersey or Area Premiere screenings as part of the New Jersey Film Festival. Some of these include:  Shaun Seneviratne’s horny romance feature Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts. Ben Santhanaraj journeys to Sri Lanka to rekindle his relationship with Suzanne Hopper, an American NGO worker, after a long separation. But when Suzanne's boss demands she work during their vacation, their love is tested by a dilemma: desire versus duty. As Suzanne struggles with the responsibilities of her job, Ben tries everything to revive their intimacy, leading to candid conversations and chaotic twists as New Year’s Eve - and Ben’s departure - looms ahead. A Horny Romance.

Ravinol Chambers re-examination of traditional gender roles in the documentary A Girl Can Touch the Sky; the amazing documentary A. P. Giannini -- the true story of Amadeo Peter Giannini who was the man behind the American Dream; Christopher Wiersema’s Rough Blazing Star -- an experimental documentary film which examines anarchism, local history and memory, Emma Goldman’s writing, and a shared love of flowers.

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Cooper Roberts’s funny feature All You Need is Blood; Taylor Olsen’s autobiographical feature Love is Me;  Marieli Fröhlich’s wonderful documentary WHAT IS HAPPENING? ART IN THE LIFE OF GERTIE FRÖHLICH which focuses on her talented mother; Magnus Sjostrom’s documentary Go to Izzy which is about folk music legend Izzy Young.

Nadia Zoe’s hilarious comedy feature A Little Family Drama about a Mexican American family, whose lives revolve around their legendary restaurant, prepares for their annual family reunion dinner oblivious to the fact that a shattered taco truck dream is about to change everything.

 Sonia Zawitkowski and Jenna Kathleen Taylor’s film Thank you for sharing which is about mental health; Justyna Łuczaj’s The Horse Tail -- a junk version of the myth of Oedipus; plus an amazing array of short, animated, and experimental films by Susanna Olmedo Alvarez, Aurelia Gil Junco, Elijah Reiss, Jacob Paul, Kiana Rosa Fisher, Ryan Kurt Whiting, Jack Cooper Stimpson, Sangita Iyer, Derrick Woodyard, Martin Gerigk, Judy Drosd, and Joey Skaggs.

Special Guest Appearances by Directors, Artists, and Actors: This fall the festival is pleased to announce many in-person special guest appearances by film directors, producers, and actors to the New Jersey Film Festival!  Some of these include: Shaun Seneviratne (Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts)Christopher Wiersema (Rough Blazing Star) Cooper Roberts (All You Need is Blood); Nadia Zoe (A Little Family Drama); Sonia Zawitkowski and Jenna Kathleen Taylor (Thank you for sharing) Elijah Reiss, Jacob Paul (Jacob Grows 6 More Years in 1 Second), Kiana Rosa Fisher (These Years), and others to be named a later date.

Special Musical Performance with Film Projections: The festival started a new concert series with a moving image component as part of the Film Festivals with the hope of reawakening the mostly dormant New Brunswick Music Scene. Last September 15th guitar virtuoso Tim Motzer performed to an experimental film.  That was the first true audio-visual concert we put on. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler also did an amazing concert with her own movie projections on June 15. Noise-Ambient musician Jim Haynes will be coming from California to do a show on October 18. This performance will include accompanying projections of experimental films by Marjorie Conrad, Anita Labelle and Albert Gabriel Nigrin. Festival Director Al Nigrin said: “We are inviting musicians whose work I really admire and whose work I think is also very cinematic.”

43rd Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival to Take Place September 6 through October 18

Jim Haynes is an artist defining his work through the phrase, "I rust things." The statement embraces a multiplicity of meanings across various media. there are three major approaches in the work at large: the mangled surfaces of corroded photographs, the cryptic tension of the video / expanded cinema pieces, and the caustic noise disturbances in sound composition. Blight. Dislocation. Subcutaneousness. Toxicity. Brackishness. Psychic unease. These allusions (amongst others) develop and materialize through various chemical, digital and/or analog means, often an intertwined amalgam. This process seeks to accentuate the instability of these conditions and territories as a series of evocations, hauntings, convulsions, and evanescence. Through these various media, Haynes investigate these properties of corrosion, specifically on how decay parallels and relates to the perception of time when cycles of activity collapse into stasis, and how that stasis can rupture when any number of pressures are applied. These result from a cross-contamination of shortwave reception, surveillance camera observation, blistered noise tactility, moribund radiophonic exploration, and/or electro-magnetic disruption. Jim Haynes will present a composition of accreted noise and drone from electro-acoustic sources, including but not limited to varispeed motors, electronics, shortwave radio, contact microphones, and tactile noise devices.

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Special Benefit Screening: On Friday, September 27, acclaimed experimental filmmaker Albert Gabriel Nigrin will be doing a retrospective of his films as a Benefit for the New Jersey Media Arts Center to help them raise money for the newly created Assistant Director position. Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist who 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. Films to be screened include: Portrait of Yazmin (2024; 2 min.); Lamiai (2024; 10 min.) - an experimental ghost film based on John Keats’s poem; Pizzica (2024; 10 min.) - an experimental dance film; Dream Screen (2024; 10 min.) - a dream film; Cold War Blues or Effects of the Bomb Varied, But... (2024; 7 min.) - a playful cut-out animation focusing on the Cold War; Light Pharmacy: 5 (1996; 3 min; Mental Radio (1996; 12 min.) - a personal film on Graves Disease; Aurelia (1985; 13 min); Brainwashing (1986; 6 min.); etc. Date/Time/Place/Cost/Info: Friday, September 27, 2024 in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ at 7PM. This program will also be available online for 24 hours on this day. General Admission=$15; In-Person Only Student Ticket=$10.

Best of the 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival: The festival will also be screening many of the prize-winning films of this past June’s 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival on Friday, October 4.  These will be screening online on their show dates for 24 hours. Films include: Tennis, Oranges – Sean Pecknold (Winner Best Animation); INFINITY! – Benjamin To (Winner Best Short) and FILM IS DEAD. LONG LIVE FILM!  – Peter Flynn (Winner Best Documentary)

Sponsors: The New Jersey Film Festival is funded and/or sponsored in part by The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center; The Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies/School of Arts and Sciences; Middlesex County, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts - Funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund; The Rutgers University Office of Summer and Winter Sessions; OVID/Icarus Films,  The Rutgers University American Studies Department; Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program; The Rutgers University Zimmerli Art Museum; The Rutgers University Writer’s House; Pro 8mm; The Rutgers University Office of Disability Services, WRSU; New Jersey Stage; The Home News, The Asbury Park Press; New Brunswick City Center; The Rutgers University Office of Community Affairs; Design Ideas; Advanced Printing; Steven C. Schechter, Esq.; Share and Harris.



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