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8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week

originally published: 09/13/2023

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week

(RED BANK, NJ) -- The eighth annual Indie Street Film Festival (ISFF), presented by Basie Center Cinemas, takes place September 13-17, 2023. ISFF 2023 will kick off at the Vogel theater with the NJ Premiere of I Like Movies, written and directed by Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Chandler Levack. The remainder of ISFF runs in person at Basie Center Cinemas (36 White Street, Red Bank, NJ). Feature-length films, short films, filmmaker Q&As, and panels with industry professionals will be presented.

The ISFF 2023 lineup brings 65 innovative short films and twelve of the year’s most exciting independent feature films to the screens of Red Bank. The shorts will be presented across three narrative programs, two documentary programs, two New Jersey programs, and one program with films “outside the box.” Jay Webb, ISFF Founder and Executive Director, says “This year’s film lineup gives us a look into humanity through so many different creative lenses and perspectives, and we are as excited as ever to reconnect and share these unique stories with Monmouth County film lovers!”

The slate of Narrative Feature films in-competition this year are all New Jersey Premieres and directed by women. They include Chandler Levack’s I Like Movies, Adura Onashile’s Girl, Charlotte Regan’s Scrapper, and Polish Filmmaker Anna Jadowsky’s Woman On The Roof. Additionally, there will be a special World Premiere screening of Orson Oblowitz’s Showdown At The Grand, starring Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren.

Feature Documentaries in competition include Christopher Burke’s No Ordinary Campaign, Law Chen’s Starring Jerry As Himself, Agniia Galdanova’s Queendom, Nicole Hawkins’ Empty Orchestra, and Alexis Neophytides’ Dear Thirteen. Finally, Indie Street will present a special screening of Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s Common Ground.

Indie Street’s Artistic Director, Allyson Morgan, feels it is essential to continue offering a diverse program of films and filmmakers. The 77 films that are being presented at this year’s ISFF come from across the globe, and almost 50% of the films are creations by female and non-binary directors. “I’m so excited to say for the first time we have a female-led Narrative Feature film program, with all films in competition directed by women,” says Morgan. “And for the rest of the program, it’s one of our biggest yet - we truly have something for everyone, from heartbreaking to hopeful, hilarious to deeply personal, with an array of voices and perspectives represented.”

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Count Basie was the festival’s presenting sponsor for the first years of the Indie Street Festival, and now Basie Center Cinemas returns as Indie Street’s presenting sponsor for this the 8th annual edition.

The winning films will be selected by a jury consisting of industry professionals, including Colin West, filmmaker of Linoleum, casting director Erica Hart, cinematographers Charlotte Hornsby and Quenell Jones, programmer Samah Ali, and Sam Plakun from New Day Films. The award winning filmmakers will be honored during a ceremony open to passholders at Triumph Brewing Co. on Sunday, September 17th at 4:45pm.

For a complete schedule of events and to purchase festival passes, please visit ISFF offers 5 day All-Access passes for $119.00 that grant access to all films, discussions, parties, art events and complimentary food/beverages from participating sponsors. Individual Film Tickets are also now on sale.

The full feature film program for the 2023 Indie Street Film Festival is listed here:

OPENING NIGHT FILM: I Like MoviesNarrative Feature. Writer/Director: Chandler Levack. Lawrence, a socially inept 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.

CLOSING NIGHT FILM: Scrapper. Narrative Feature. Writer/Director: Charlotte Regan. Grand Jury Prize Winner, Sundance 2023. Georgie, a dreamy 12-year-old girl, lives happily alone in her London flat, filling it with magic. Suddenly, her estranged father turns up and forces her to confront reality.


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Common Ground Documentary Feature. Directors: Joshua Tickell & Rebecca Harrell Tickell. The highly anticipated follow up to the global hit Kiss The Ground, Common Ground is the urgent but ultimately inspirational story of the pioneers of the “Regenerative Movement,” who produce tremendous quantities of nutritionally dense food and are working to balance the climate - all while bringing our entire ecosystem back to life. Balancing an urgent message about the poisonous practices within contemporary food systems with a vision for the future, Common Ground examines one thing we have in common – the very soil beneath our feet. Featuring appearances and narration by Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Woody Harrelson, Rosario Dawson, and Ian Somerhalder.

Dear Thirteen Documentary Feature.  Director: Alexis Neophytides. Dear Thirteen is a poetic exploration of coming of age in the modern world. Weaving together stories of thirteen-year-olds from France, Australia, Mexico, Nepal and the US, video diaries and candid interviews reveal how global issues are shaping and being shaped by young people. In Australia, Evie, a trans girl, begins her medical transition with confidence and optimism, in France, Oren prepares for his Bar Mitzvah while reckoning with prejudice in his hometown, in Brooklyn, Madeline finds joy and creativity on TikTok while contending with the pressures of the pandemic, in Mexico, Fany dreams of breaking the mold as a female boxer while navigating her parents’ separation. The film’s score by Dan Deacon underlines the complexity and the beauty in transition and finding adulthood today.

Empty Orchestra Documentary Feature. Director: Nicole Hawkins. In the religiously homogeneous Provo, Utah, a group of self-proclaimed misfits try to replace the devotion and community they once found in the Mormon church with weekly karaoke singing.

Girl Narrative Feature. Writer/Director: Adura Onashile. The curious relationship between a girl and her mother is threatened by the hostile community around them.

Late Bloomers Narrative Feature. Writer: Anna Greenfield | Director: Lisa Steen Featuring: Karen Gillan, Jermaine Fowler, Kevin Nealon. An aimless 28 year-old Brooklynite lands in the hospital after drunkenly breaking her hip being stupid. An encounter with a cranky elderly Polish woman who speaks no English leads to a job caring for her. Neither likes it, but it's time to grow up.

No Ordinary Campaign Documentary Feature. Director: Chris Burke. At 37, Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS—on the same day he and his wife Sandra brought their second daughter home from the hospital. In an instant, everything changed. They went from being a couple only a few years removed from both working at the White House to not knowing if Brian would live to see his 40th birthday. This is the story about what happened next. A story about patients taking control of the fight for their lives, breaking down walls and breaking through to new solutions. Brian and Sandra have moved with astonishing speed to build a patient-led revolution reminiscent of the HIV fight. In doing so, they are not only showing us how to create from scratch a movement that makes impossible dreams possible, but also how to really live—even in the face of incredible odds.

Queendom Documentary Feature. Director: Agniia Galdanova. From the producers behind Welcome To Chechnya comes the haunting, high-stakes tale of Gena, a uniquely provocative queer artist from a small town in Russia prior to and during the Ukrainian invasion. Gena dresses in otherworldly costumes and drag made from junk and tape, and protests the government on the streets of Moscow. She stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism - and put her life in constant danger.

Showdown At The Grand *World Premiere” Narrative Feature. Writer/Director: Orson Oblowitz. Featuring: Terrence Howard, Dolph Lundgren. A proud movie theater owner must defend his family business from corporate developers alongside a legendary action star as art imitates life in a showdown for the ages.

Starring Jerry As Himself Documentary Feature. Director: Law Chen. A family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently retired Florida man, was recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent, only to discover a darker truth.

Woman On The Roof Narrative Feature. Writer/Director: Anna Jadowska. Mira, a 60 year-old woman, appears to have a normal life. One morning she starts her day like any other, wakes up early, puts her family's clothes out to dry, purchases food for her fish and commits a bank robbery with a kitchen knife. She discovers her need for money is surpassed only by her need for love.

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See what is uncovered in these unique stories.

ANIMALS (Writer/Director: Joakim Thörn)

EAT IT (Writer/Director: Katie Lambert)

FUCK ME, RICHARD (Writer/Director: Lucy McKendrick)

I THINK I LIKE IT HERE (Writer: Monica Heisey, Director: Charlie Tyrell)

JELLY (Writer/Director: Anndi Jinelle Liggett)

MY EYES ARE UP HERE (Writers: Aminder Virdee & Arthur Meek, Director: Nathan Morris)

ROCKY ROAD ON CHANNEL THREE (Writer/Director: James Rogers III)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Love them or hate them, you can’t escape them.

BABA (Writer: Maziyar Khatam, Directors: Anya Chirkova & Meran Ismailsoy)

BREAKING FAST WITH A COCA COLA (Writer/Director: Amy Yasmine Omar)

BRENDA AND BILLY (AND THE POTHOS PLANT) (Writer/Director: Dave Solomon)

LIONS (Writer/Director: Beru Tessema)

ÑAÑOS (Writer/Director: Emilio Subía)

PICTURE DAY (Writer/Director: Kelly Pike)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Films highlighting drama in the workplace.

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BLUE HOUR (Writer/Director: J.D. Shields)

CLAUDIO’S SONG (Writer: David Kolbusz, Director: Andreas Nilsson)

FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO (Writers: Jorge Cadena & Li Aparicio Candama, Director: Jorge Cadena)

I HAVE NO TEARS AND I MUST CRY (Writer/Director: Luis Fernando Puente)

SWEATSHOP GIRL (Writers: Selma Cervantes & Indra Villaseñor Amador, Director: Selma Cervantes)

NOCTURNAL BURGER (Writer/Director: Reema Sengupta)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Their first selection of short films with a connection to our home state of New Jersey!

THE EXCHANGE GIRL (Director: George Larkin)

THE GREAT MIGRATION AND ASBURY PARK (Director: Erin Kathleen Fleming)

HALMONI’S POT (Writer/Director: Alice Lauren Lee)

HOW TO DATE ANOTHER COMEDIAN (Director: E.J. McLeavey-Fisher)

METHOD (Writer/Director: Trevor Hembling)

POWER SIGNAL (Writer: Erin DeWitt, Director: Oscar Boyson)

SULAM (LADDER) (Writer/Director: Noam Argov)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Part two of their curated selection of New Jersey films.

THE BLAKE (Directors: Courtney Sposato & Mark Sposato)

FINISH ON TOP (Director: Jesse Rindner)

FLOUNDER (Writers/Directors: Sam Cutler-Kreutz & David Cutler-Kreutz)

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GOLDILOCKS (Writer/Director: Meryl Jones)

HONEY & MILK (Writers: Jennifer JP Parkhill & Damian Joseph Quinn, Director: Dash Donato)

THE LITTLE DEATH (Writer/Director: Andrew Cardozo)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Let these protagonists take you on emotional and physical treks.

BAREFOOT EMPRESS (Director: Vikas Khanna)

BREAKING SILENCE (Directors: Amy Bench & Annie Silverstein)

HOPE YOU FAIL (Director: Alison Grasso)

KYLIE (Director: Sterling Hampton IV)

LOVE, BARBARA (Director: Brydie O’Connor)

WINN (Directors: Erica Tanamachi & Joseph East)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


Intimate portrayals of vulnerable characters.

CLEAN (Director: Miranda Stern)

INTO LIGHT (Director: Sheona McDonald)

WHERE THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES (Director: Rosie Baldwin)

FROM FISH TO MOON (Director: Kevin Contento)

WAKING UP IN SILENCE (Directors: Mila Zhluktenko & Daniel Asadi Faezi)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


From documentary to animation to non-linear stories, all of the films they loved that defy category.

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A BODY APPEARED AT THE LAKE TODAY (Writer: Daniel DeVaughn, Director: Brian Ratigan)

THE CITIES I LIVE IN (Director: Rabie Mustapha)

DEAD ENDERS (Writers: Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, Conor Murphy, Jordan Michael Blake, Directors: Fidel Ruiz-Healy & Tyler Walker)

HOG-TIED FREEDOM (Writers/Directors: Shaheen Sheriff & Sunakshi Puri)

I AM WHAT YOU IMAGINE (Writer/Director: Matthew Modine)

IT’S A DATE (Director: Nadia Parfan)

MERMAN (Director: Sterling Hampton IV)

THE RECRUIT (Writer: Christina Connerton, Director: Bao Truong)

SENSORY ITCH (Writer/Director: Roel van Beek)

SONORA (Director: Johnny Holder)

8th Annual Indie Street Film Festival Takes Place This Week


COMING OUT AUTISTIC (Writer/Director: Steven Fraser)

CURIOSA (Writers: Tessa Moult-Milewska & Matthew Dicky, Director: Tessa Moult-Milewska)

DON’T DIE ON ME (Director: Ori Goldberg)

THE FOUNTAINEER (Writer/Director: Matthew Sandager)

GOOD BOY! (Director: Daniel Robert Hope)

INGLORIOUS LIAISONS (Writers/Directors: Chloé Alliez & Violette Delvoye)

REGULAR RABBIT (Writer/Director: Eoin Duffy)

ROSEMARY A.D. (AFTER DAD) (Director: Ethan Barrett)

SANDWICH CAT (Writer/Director: David Fidalgo)

SPROUT (Writer/Director: Zora Kovac)

THIS WILL NOT BE A FESTIVAL FILM (Writer/Director: Julia Orlik)

THE TOP SPOT (Writer/Director: Frank Weber)

Indie Street Institute is a non-profit organization formed to create interactive art & film experiences that challenge people to connect with and be inspired by new ways of thinking. The organization’s flagship event, The Indie Street Film Festival, brings the most talented storytellers from across the globe to the screens of Red Bank, NJ. Born from a cooperative of filmmakers, Indie Street Film Festival combines top-notch independent cinema with industry discussions, live art and music experiences, and social gatherings that look to spark important conversations within our diverse communities.

The Count Basie Center for the Arts is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie Center mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that embrace and amplify the diversity of the region. As a nonprofit organization, the Basie Center is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity. To learn more about the Count Basie Center for the Arts, including events at its historic Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, its new performance venue, The Vogel, or film screenings at Basie Center Cinemas, visit



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