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6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 09/28/2023

6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend! 

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Friday, September 29, 2023 - Online for 24 Hours Only!

6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend!

Pictures Only – Charles A. Honeywood (Chicago, Illinois) Set in 1950s Bronzeville, Louise Parker is facing eviction from her home. Desperate to keep her independence and status, she is introduced to a lucrative performing opportunity. While attempting to keep this new venture a secret, she simultaneously gains popularity, risking being exposed to and disowned by her mother. After being offered a promotion, she is left with two choices, become the headliner, or allow her family to lose everything. 2023; 21 min.

6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend!

The Last Passenger – Takashi Horie (Queens, New York)   It is in a small coastal town of Tohoku, Northeastern Japan, where a disastrous Tsunami wiped out the entire town and took thousands of people’s lives ten years ago. Years later, a rumor started circulating among Taxi drivers. The rumor is about a ghost that appears in the affected area. When a taxi driver picks up a young girl late at night near the affected area, she asks to take her to the Beach Town. But when they come to the beach town, she vanishes. One night, Endo, a taxi driver, picks up a girl who asks to go to the Beach Town. And when they come to the beach town….it is the beginning of his journey to discover his darkest past and his time to confront it. In Japanese, subtitled. 2023; 55 min.

Sunday, October 1, 2023 - Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 5PM!

6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend!

#LookAtMe – Ken Kwek (Singapore) When teenagers Sean and Ricky are invited to attend church with Sean’s girlfriend, they are treated to an Evangelical rock concert capped by a searing anti-LGBTQ sermon. Sean, a Youtuber, soon gets into trouble for dropping an outrageous video lampooning the megachurch’s pastor. He is widely condemned and prosecuted for flouting Singapore’s strict laws on public expression. As Sean descends into near-madness in prison, his gay twin brother, Ricky, gains prominence as a LGBTQ activist. Both find themselves at the heart of a culture war that spills out from social media into the real world. In English and Malay, subtitled. 2022; 108 min.

Sunday, October 1, 2023 - Online for 24 Hours Only!



 
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6 Excellent Films at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival this weekend!

Best of the 2023 New Jersey International Film Festival


Balaena - Alessia Cecchet (Santa Cruz, California) A whale lies stranded on the beach, and a woman seeks closure through a simulacrum while human interlopers observe, collect, dissect and take selfies. 2022; 8 min.

A Spot for Frog – Evan Bode (Syracuse, New York) Locked out of the school art room, a creative nonbinary teen named Frog grapples with anxiety as they seek a new place to eat lunch. Imagination blurs with reality in this hybrid work of live action and animation about an artist's search for identity, belonging, and expression on the margins. 2022; 16 min.

Herd – Michel Negroponte (Livingston Manor, New York) A herd of shaggy Belted Galloway cattle is delivered to a neighboring pasture in the Catskills and instantly inspires a new film. The filmmaker's growing fascination with the complex forces that propel the animals through one season to the next leads him to reflect on the modern idea of animal personhood. The cows graze and chew their cud, new calves are born, the mothers diligently safeguard their offspring while the bull dominates the herd. Like humans, cows have distinct characteristics: some are giddy, some private, others wise and placid. What are the mysterious forces that drive the cattle? Is their curiosity hardwired into their brains? Are cows sentient? Why do humans believe they have dominion over animals? These questions have been asked for centuries: Aristotle believed that animals are purely instinctual whereas Pythagoras believed that reincarnation moved souls from humans to cows. Equal part rumination, observation and meditation, the film reveals the cow's essence and challenges us to think differently about our fellow living animal beings. 2023; 66 min.

The 42nd Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival will be taking place on the Fridays and Sundays between September 8-October 8, 2023. The Festival will be a hybrid one as we will be presenting it online as well as doing in-person screenings at Rutgers University. All the films will be available virtually via Video on Demand for 24 hours on their show date. Each General Admission Ticket purchased is good for both the virtual and the in-person screenings. The in-person screenings will be held in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ beginning at 5PM on their show date.  General Admission Ticket=$15 Per Program; In-Person Only Student Ticket=$10 Per Program.  For more info and tickets go here.

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; Grant funding has also been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners - This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; 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.



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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