(TRENTON, NJ) -- The Trenton Film Society presents the 2023 Trenton Film Festival from June 9-11 at the Mill Hill Playhouse, showcasing films from around the world and from our local area as well. Fifty-one films in eleven separate programs range from local to international settings, features to shorts, fiction films to documentaries, using traditional to experimental techniques.
Opening the festival on Friday at 6:00pm will be a humorous animated short about arachnophobia and a narrative feature from Germany, Everybody Wants to Be Loved, about a woman trying to balance her career with the demands of a selfish boyfriend, a difficult daughter, and an ailing mother. Then at 8:00pm is a narrative short and a feature, Another Day and Nargesi, both from Iran, that deal sensitively with the yearnings of young men with disabilities.
The Saturday, June 10, programs begin at 11:00am with two documentary shorts from Brazilian filmmakers, The Traditional Brazilian Family KATU and Urubá, centered on resistance to current challenges, and a documentary feature from Canada, Bay St. Healer, about an iconoclastic psychiatrist. At 1:15pm they will show a combination of narrative shorts and experimental films from Iran, Ukraine, and the United States. The Ukrainian short is a film diary from, amazingly, an eleven-year-old girl. The program at 3:15pm will start off with two animated films, Sarafour and Kiss ’n’ Ride, followed by narrative shorts from Iran and India. The Indian contribution, Lailaa Manju, profiles a young woman trying to keep her lesbian relationship from her traditional mother. The 5:30pm show opens with experimental and narrative shorts from Turkey and Brazil, and ending with a narrative feature, This Is Where I Meet You, from Germany. Lastly, the evening screening on Saturday at 7:30pm will include adult-themed narrative shorts Ice Blonde Hair, Passing, Animalia, and The Truth from Iranian and Italian filmmakers.
A program of international and domestic shorts ranging from Germany, Italy, and Canada along with California, New York, and North Carolina will be in the first showing on Sunday at 11:00am, from the slapstick Frederick’s Unforgiving Flatulence to The Split, a science fiction film. Films from the US and the region are the focus of the next three programs. The 1:00pm program starts off with experimental films, including the beautiful and innovative Estuary. Six narrative shorts follow, of special note for locals a project from Rider College, Strands of Light, based on stories by Jorge Luis Borges. Documentaries return at 3:15pm, with two shorts and a feature, The Sun Rises in the East, about a Pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 that encompassed schools, food coops, and political action. Finally, at 5:00pm, the festival will end with a documentary feature, Seven Square Miles, on Trenton’s Violence Strategy, paired with a narrative short, Pressed, both from local filmmakers. Filmmakers are invited to attend and conduct a Q&A after the showings. In the past this has been a very rewarding experience for both audiences and filmmakers.
Each program runs approximately an hour and a half. Films are not rated, but mainly suitable for teen to adult audiences. Tickets available through the Trenton Film Festival website are $8 ($5 students) for a single program or $25 ($15 students) for an All-Access Pass to all eleven programs—a great deal! See the TFS website for the schedules and details on the programs.
The last screening Sunday will be followed by the awards ceremony for best documentary feature, best documentary short, best narrative short, best narrative feature, and best animation/experimental/spoken word short, plus an award for the audience favorite, voted on by you!
The Mill Hill Playhouse is located at 205 E Front Street in Trenton, New Jersey.