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2018 Trenton Film Festival Award Winners Comments Off on 2018 Trenton Film Festival Award Winners

2018 Trenton Film Festival Award Winners

2018 Trenton Film Festival

Thank you to all of our filmmakers for making this year’s festival an unparalleled success! We are pleased to announce this year’s award winners:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Organizer
(US, Dir. Nick Taylor)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Gold Mettle
(US, Dir. Nicholas Carney)

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Dad is Pretty
(Korea, Dir. Park Soo-min)

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Return Safley
(US, Dir. Eric Burleson)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Alpha  Fish
(US, Dir. Roger An)

BEST NEW MEDIA
The Poet
(US, Dir. Adam Cushman)

AUDIENCE FAVORITE
One Mother’s Fire: The Gail Minger  Story
(US, Dir. Diana Nicolae)

JAMES SOLHEIM AWARD FOR BEST FILM
The Organizer
(US, Dir. Nick Taylor)

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2018 Trenton Film Festival Comments Off on 2018 Trenton Film Festival

2018 Trenton Film Festival

2018 Trenton Film Festival

We are pleased to announce this year’s line-up for the Trenton Film Festival. Tickets and passes now on sale!

An exploration of all things cinematic awaits at this year’s festival — featuring 53 films from 16 countries, including documentaries, narrative films, spoken word, animation and music videos by filmmakers from as close as Trenton, Bradley Beach, and other parts of NJ to as far away as Kosovo, Spain, and Iran. A great opportunity to connect with fellow film lovers and filmmakers!

FESTIVAL PASS

See as many films as you’d like for just $25!
With an all-access pass, you’ll be able to pick up one ticket for each film in the festival.
To see details and buy pass

Regular price tickets: $8

THURSDAY, MARCH 22


7:00 pm – Thursday Night Feature — BUY TICKETS


Light Sight
(dir. Seyed M. Tabatabaei, Iran, animation, 7.5 minutes)
Born of light, M.E. is trapped in a room. Drawn to a hanging light, he tries to catch it, but the room itself becomes an obstacle.

Blows with the Wind
(dir. Hazhir As’adi, Iran, animation, 6.5 minutes)
A scarecrow in a field finds himself becoming more and more human.

Kupal
(dir. Kazem Mollaie, Iran, narrative, 81 minutes)
Dr. Ahmed Kupal is a hunter and taxidermist. On the eve of Nuroz, the Iranian New Year, he finds himself faced with an unexpected challenge.

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 23


7:00 pm – Friday Night Documentaries — BUY TICKETS


Fire and Light
(dir. Dana Johnson, US, documentary, 10.5 minutes)
Four siblings with autism find an unusual path to healing: fire dancing.

No-Space
(dir. Julio Mas Alcaraz, Spain, documentary, 11.5 minutes)
One night spent with Enrique, a man who chooses to sleep every night in Terminal 4 of Madrid Airport.

@ Beautiful Mountains
(dir. Teng Chen, China, documentary, 40 minutes)
In the 500-year-old village of Meishan, over half the population has left for the cities. The film follows a 26-year-old entrepreneur who aspires to bring the internet age to his rural hometown, and a 90-year-old master of traditional dance who tries to pass on his centuries-old expertise to the next generation.

Every Ghost Has an Orchestra
(dir. Shayna Connelly, US, documentary, 7 minutes)
The universal question of what happens after we die is explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito. Warning: contains high-pitched sounds and feedback noise.

Waking a Monster
(dir. Mirjam Clement, US, documentary, 20 minutes)
Told in his own words, and through puppetry, animation and mixed media, Academy Award-winning special effects and makeup artist Howard Berger reflects on his lifelong fascination of classic movie monsters.

 

9:00 pm – Friday Night Shorts — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmaker

Sweet Candy
(dir. Yilmaz Vurucu, Austria, narrative, 18 minutes)
Isolated and desperate, Andreas decides to air his grievances and commit suicide live on the internet. As his broadcast goes viral, he strikes a chord with some while attracting the disdain of other.

White
(dir. David Moya, UK, narrative, 15 minutes)
A white man arrives at the “Transition Centre” after dying of food poisoning on a cruise. There he is informed that he cannot be white in his next life.

Johnny Thinks
(dir. Malcolm Rumbles, UK, spoken word, 3 minutes)
In the poem, “What Johnny Thinks,” Johnny is a woman trying to fit into a society that rejects her. Warning: strong language.

Return Safely
(dir. Eric Burleson, US, narrative, 12 minutes)
A young traveler must complete her quest through a harsh landscape to return a mysterious object.

Purple Dreams
(dir. Murat Sayginer, Turkey, animation, 2 minutes)
An animated film about the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.

The Manual
(dir. Wil Magness, US, narrative, 30 minutes)
In a distant future, James is the last human on Earth. Raised and protected by a humanoid robot, he is brought up on a religion ascribed in a device known as “The Manual.” As the search for other humans becomes more futile and his faith is shaken, James sets out to test one of The Manual’s core beliefs.

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 24


11:00 am – Saturday Morning Shorts — BUY TICKETS


Lunch Time
(dir. Alireza Ghasemi, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
A 16-year-old girl is forced to deal with the responsibility and harsh bureaucracy of identifying the body of her mother.

A Month
(dir. Zgjim Terziqi, Kosovo, narrative, 26 minutes)
Based on a true story, Ana is a quiet, unmarried 40-year-old blind woman who lives month to month with each of her four sisters, who collect government assistance for her care.

The Guy Came on Horseback
(dir. Hossein Rabiei Dastjerdi, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
Set in rural Iran, a father must figure out what to do when he realizes his disabled son has fallen in love with their neighbor’s daughter.

Cup of Tea
(dir. Jitendra Rai, India, narrative, 3 minutes)
A young photographer chases a child who has grabbed her bag through the jungle, until he reaches his village, and she finds something unexpected.

Wintry Spring
(dir. Mohamed Kamel, Egypt, narrative, 15 minutes)
Nour lives alone with her father and finds herself in crisis when she hits puberty and can’t tell him.

Shala
(dir. João Inácio, Brazil, narrative, 10 minutes)
A young boy who has a hard time getting adopted from the orphanage creates an imaginary friendship with his only toy, a doll named Shala.

Pale Mirrors
(dir. Salem Salavati, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
Shawbo finds herself with only 24 hours to become pregnant. Grasping at her last opportunity to be a mother, she visits the city prison.

 

 


1:15 pm – Saturday Afternoon Documentaries — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers

People First
(dir. Chelsea LoCascio, US, documentary, 5 minutes)
Students with disabilities at The College of New Jersey share their stories.

One Mother’s Fire: The Gail Minger Story
(dir. Diana Nicolae, US, documentary, 26 minutes)
After her son died in a fire at Murray State University in Kentucky, Gail Minger has not stopped searching for answers, uncovering negligence, forcing accountability, and fighting for change that can save other lives.

Gold Mettle
(dir. Nicholas Carney, US, documentary, 30 minutes)
Every year Villanova University hosts one of the largest Special Olympics competitions in the nation. Athletes from the Delaware County soccer team share the challenges they face on a daily basis, both on and off the playing field.

Hope Works Here: A Camden Story
(dir. Peter Prokop, US, documentary, 28 minutes)
Three students in Camden, NJ try to overcome their turbulent pasts and rewrite their future at HopeWorks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education, counseling and entrepreneurship to young people.

 


3:45 pm – Saturday Afternoon Shorts — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers

Ayesha
(dir. Ambarien Alqadar, India, narrative, 19 minutes)

When her father encounters a US veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress, Ayesha is forced to change her weekend plans with her boyfriend.

The Last Visit
(dir. Mark Clauburg, US, narrative, 19 minutes)
An accidental meeting between a recently widowed man and a young girl ends up changing both their lives.

Walk On
(dir. Megan Rossman, US, documentary, 13 minutes)
Cecilia is not your average college student. Diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome at age 13, she has been working to persevere despite her little-known disability.

The Scary Ham
(dir. Sue Mroz, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
Two sisters sort through 50 years of family memorabilia after the death of their father, and try to figure out how contend with his beloved ham.

I Promised Her Life
(dir. Robert Nazar Arjoyan, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
On the day of her daughter’s funeral, a grieving Armenian-American mother defies a centuries-old ritual and tests the limits of tradition.

Eggs and Soldiers
(dir. Imelda O’Reilly, US, narrative, 20 minutes)
A single dad gets drunk and forgets the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned, the older son, sets out to make things right and give his younger brother Marco a real Irish Christmas.

 


6:00 pm – Saturday Evening Shorts — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers

Lawman
(dir. Matthew Gentile, US, narrative, 13 minutes)
1875, Indian Territory. Bass Reeves is the first African-American to be deputized by the US Marshal Service. While bringing two outlaws to justice, Bass begins to question his idea of justice and choosing to fight for a country that may never fight for him.

Rules
(dir. Yassen Genadiev, Bulgaria, narrative, 20 minutes)
Mikhail is a meticulous supervisor of a residential building near the Black Sea. His monotonous life is about to be shaken up by a new neighbor, the young and extroverted Evelina.

King Kong
(dir. Lo Xu-Ming Tong, Canada, narrative, 19 minutes)
When their mother suffers an accident, teenager Eliza must take responsibility for traveling with her younger brother Damian to Montreal to join their father.

D for Docs
(dir. Joe Sikoryak, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
Professor Marty is a documentary film teacher who thinks he has the worst class ever. Now he has to explain himself to the department chair who has come to watch his students’ final projects.

Death of an Umbrella Salesman
(dir. Steve Herold, US, narrative, 18 minutes)
A day in the life of a door-to-door umbrella salesman.

Docked
(dir. Amie Batalibasi, Australia, narrative, 19 minutes)
A young South Sudanese aspiring actress works late nights at a bar and meets an older man at a crisis point in his life. They spend a night walking around together in Melbourne, two people from different worlds who find an unlikely connection.

 


8:15 pm – Saturday Night Feature — BUY TICKETS


Take My Hand
(dir. Francesco Siro Brigiano, Italy, experimental, 4 minutes)
An abstract autobiographical and emotional journey. The pursuit of a visionary language, personal and poetic.

Sisak
(dir. Faraz Arif Ansari, India, narrative, 15 minutes)
In a country where homosexuality is a crime, two men find themselves slowly and silently falling in love through movements and glances on the busy Mumbai train system.

Dad is Pretty (dir. Park soo-min, Korea, narrative, 92 minutes)
Middle-aged salesman Duk-jae is ignored by his wife and daughter at home and shown no respect at work. When he is given a liquor contract that no other colleagues want — for a cross-dressing club called “Hawaii” — he finds a new “family” who help him reconnect with his own.

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 25


12:30 pm – Panel Discussion: Perspectives in Storytelling — FREE

Join us for a look at how filmmakers explore communities and people both as insiders and outsiders. Hear about how they navigate the process of telling a story that is not their own. This event will feature filmmakers with films in this year’s festival, and is open to the public.

Panelists: Purcell Carson, documentary filmmaker and editor; Cory Choy, director of “The Best Little Coffeehouse in Maryland;” and Jeff Stewart, director of “The Ballad of Craig Kelly”


2:00 pm – Sunday Feature Documentary — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers

The Best Little Coffeehouse in Maryland
(dir. Cory Choy, US, documentary, 18 minutes)

Inwood House, the only apartment building in the US that is both Section 8 and dedicated to people with disabilities, is home to a monthly musical coffeehouse like no other.

The Organizer
(dir. Nick Taylor, US, documentary, 100 minutes)
A portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of ACORN, which had been the largest community organization in the US before its infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals. Through archival footage and interviews, the film follows how ACORN grew to be a national powerhouse and how internal and external pressures led to its downfall.

 


4:30 pm – Sunday Afternoon Shorts — BUY TICKETS

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers

The Ballad of Craig Kelly
(dir. Jeff Stewart, US, narrative, 8 minutes)
Based on the life of actor Craig Kelly, this semi-autobiographical short is a stream of consciousness narrative of a lonely man coming to terms with past, present and future mistakes.

The Poet
(dir. Adam Cushman, US, spoken word, 6 minutes)
An inspired Beat-era poet takes the stage.

North & Nowhere
(dir. Scott Ballard, US, narrative, 12 minutes)
A girl, a gun, and a last chance. Devan moves back home to care for her father, who has suffered a stroke. When her sister puts him in a care facility, it’s up to Devan and her friend Kyle to get him out by any means necessary.

PHAT Girl
(dir. Rosemarie Wilson, US, spoken word, 8 minutes)
PHAT Girl is a testament to women becoming comfortable in their own skin, flaws and all, and owning it.

Alpha Fish
(dir. Roger An, US, animation, 9 minutes)
Rodrigo, a charismatic talking goldfish, has had enough of his hapless owner Conner. Tired of performing tricks for snacks, Rodrigo has his sights on Bianca, a beautiful marine biologist.

The Dinner Scene
(dir. Nicholas Thurkettle, US, narrative, 10 minutes)
A solitary screenwriter in a café battles frustration and self-doubt to craft the most dramatically juicy scene between a couple at dinner that she can.

Expiration Date
(dir. Shunya Chang, US, animation, 4 minutes)
A poetic animated story about searching for an unexpired romance.

Jimmy Scalia: An Honest Portrait
(dir. Anthony Scalia, US, documentary, 6 minutes)
School janitor and Bobby Darin archivist, Jimmy Scalia, reflects on his life as he approaches a milestone transition.

Talk
(dir. Fred Zara, US, narrative, 16 minutes)
Eight lives intersect at a typical coffee shop one afternoon. Some are enjoying a fresh new start, some are at a crossroads, and others may be in the midst of a painful ending.

Frieda and Eddie, A Jersey Shore Love Story
(dir. Jennifer Suwak & Stephen Abruzzese, US, documentary, 24 minutes)
Frieda and Eddie met at the Jersey Shore in 1942 and dated until Eddie was drafted into the service for World War II. Separated for 50 years, they married other people and had families of their own. After both of their spouses died, they reconnected and found it’s never too late for love.

 


6:30 pm

Closing Night Reception and Award Ceremony — FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Join us for a reception following the last screening. Prizes will be awarded at the Closing Night Ceremony for:

James Solheim Award for Best Film
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Animated Film
Best New Media (Music Video, Spoken Word Poetry, New Media)
Audience Favorite

 

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2018 Oscar Shorts Weekend Comments Off on 2018 Oscar Shorts Weekend

2018 Oscar Shorts Weekend

Oscar Shorts Weekend

March 1-3, 2018

Our ever popular screening of Oscar-nominated documentary, live action, and animated short films in the run-up to the Sunday, March 4 Oscar awards ceremony!

Back by popular demand, a Saturday Night Double Feature will screen both the animated and live action shorts with a reception during intermission. Complimentary refreshments will be served during the documentary shorts intermission on Thursday and Friday.

As in years past, we invite you to cast ballots for your picks to win the Oscars. Ballots that correctly pick the winners will be entered in a raffle to win passes to the Trenton Film Festival, March 22-25, 2018.

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts

(Total running time: Part 1 – 102 minutes, Part 2 – 82 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission. Appropriate for ages 17 and older.)

Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm (Parts 1 & 2) – BUY TICKETS
Friday, March 2, 7:00 pm (Parts 1 & 2) – BUY TICKETS

Traffic Stop
(dir. Kate Davis, US, 31min)
In June 2015, a 26-year-old African-American elementary school teacher named Breaion King was pulled over by a white police officer for a routine traffic stop. The incident escalated into a violent arrest, followed by a conversation about race in America between King and another white officer while he drove her to the station.

Edith+Eddie
(dir. Laura Checkoway, US, 29min)
Edith and Eddie, at ages 96 and 95, became America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
(dir. Frank Stiefel, US, 40min)
Artist Mindy Alper has spent almost all of her 56 years combating severe depression and anxiety, using medication, electroconvulsive therapy and psychiatry to help her. Art has always been her most effective outlet, with drawing and sculpture offering her the tools to give voice to her fears and mental battles.

Intermission

Heroin(e)
(dir. Elaine McMillion Sheldon, US, 39min)
Once a bustling industrial town, Huntington, WV has become the epicenter of America’s modern opioid epidemic, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, we see a different side of the fight against drugs — one of hope, as three women working to change the town’s narrative one person at a time.

Knife Skills
(dir. Thomas Lennon, US, 40min)
Over 650,000 people are released from prison every year. Knife Skills follows the launch of Edwins, an haute cuisine French restaurant in Cleveland staffed by men and women recently released from behind bars to tell the story of re-entry, second chances and the healing power of fine food.

 

Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts

(Total running time: 99 minutes. Appropriate for ages 17 and older.)

Saturday, March 3: 12:30 pm – BUY TICKETS
Saturday, March 3: 4:30 pm – BUY TICKETS

DeKalb Elementary
(dir. Reed Van Dyk, US, 21min)
Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Silent Child
(dir. Chris Overton, writer Rachel Shenton, UK, 20min)
The Silent Child centers around a profoundly deaf four year-old girl named Libby who is born into a middle-class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

My Nephew Emmett
(dir. Kevin Wilson, Jr., US, 20min)
At 2:30AM on August 28, 1955 in the most racially divided state in the country, 64 year-old Mose Wright tries to protect his 14 year-old nephew Emmett Till from two racist killers out for blood. Based on the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till.

The Eleven O’Clock
(dir. Derin Seale, writer Josh Lawson, Australia, 13min)
The delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other the session gets out of control.

Watu Wote: All of Us
(dir. Katja Benrath, Germany, 22min)
For a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.


Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

(Total running time: 83 minutes. Appropriate for ages 8 and older)

Saturday, March 3: 2:30 pm – BUY TICKETS

Dear Basketball
(dir. Glen Keane, writer Kobe Bryant, US, 6min)
An animated telling of Kobe Bryant’s poem ‘Dear Basketball’.

Negative Space
(dir. Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, France, 5min)
Adapted from a poem by Ron Koertge, a tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase.

Lou
(dir. Dave Mullins, US, 7min)
A Pixar short about a lost-and-found box and the benevolent monster within.

Revolting Rhymes
(dir. Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, UK, 29min)
Based on the much-loved children’s book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, Revolting Rhymes takes the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and The Three Little Pigs then mixes them together and serves them with a mischievous twist.

Garden Party
(dir. Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, France, 7min)
In a deserted rich house, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts.

Playing with additional films commended by the Academy: Lost Property Office, Weeds, Achoo


Double Feature: Oscar-Nominated Animated and Live Action Shorts

(Total running time: Part 1 – 83 minutes, Part 2 – 99 minutes, with 30-minute reception between programs. Part 1 appropriate for ages 8 and older, Part 2 appropriate for ages 17 and older.)

Saturday, March 3: 6:30 pm – BUY TICKETS

See both programs back to back, and enjoy food and conversation during a 30-minute reception during intermission.

Dear Basketball
(dir. Glen Keane, writer Kobe Bryant, US, 6min)
An animated telling of Kobe Bryant’s poem ‘Dear Basketball’.

Negative Space
(dir. Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, France, 5min)
Adapted from a poem by Ron Koertge, a tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase.

Lou
(dir. Dave Mullins, US, 7min)
A Pixar short about a lost-and-found box and the benevolent monster within.

Revolting Rhymes
(dir. Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, UK, 29min)
Based on the much-loved children’s book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, Revolting Rhymes takes the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and The Three Little Pigs, then mixes them together and serves them with a mischievous twist.

Garden Party
(dir. Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, France, 7min)
In a deserted rich house, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts.

Playing with additional films commended by the Academy: Lost Property Office, Weeds, Achoo

30-minute reception at Intermission

DeKalb Elementary
(dir. Reed Van Dyk, US, 21min)
Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Silent Child
(dir. Chris Overton, writer Rachel Shenton, UK, 20min)
The Silent Child centers around a profoundly deaf four year-old girl named Libby who is born into a middle-class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

My Nephew Emmett
(dir. Kevin Wilson, Jr., US, 20min)
At 2:30AM on August 28, 1955 in the most racially divided state in the country, 64 year-old Mose Wright tries to protect his 14 year-old nephew Emmett Till from two racist killers out for blood. Based on the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till.

The Eleven O’Clock
(dir. Derin Seale, writer Josh Lawson, Australia, 13min)
The delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other the session gets out of control.

Watu Wote: All of Us
(dir. Katja Benrath, Germany, 22min)
For a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.


See 2017 Oscar Shorts Weekend
See 2016 Oscar Shorts Weekend
See 2015 Oscar Shorts Weekend

Learn More
2018 Trenton Film Festival Schedule Comments Off on 2018 Trenton Film Festival Schedule

2018 Trenton Film Festival Schedule

2018 Trenton Film Festival

We are pleased to announce this year’s line-up for the Trenton Film Festival. Tickets and passes now on sale!

An exploration of all things cinematic awaits at this year’s festival — featuring 53 films from 16 countries, including documentaries, narrative films, spoken word, animation and music videos by filmmakers from as close as Trenton, Bradley Beach, and other parts of NJ to as far away as Kosovo, Spain, and Iran. A great opportunity to connect with fellow film lovers and filmmakers!

FESTIVAL PASS

See as many films as you’d like for just $25!
With an all-access pass, you’ll be able to pick up one ticket for each film in the festival.
To see details and buy pass

Regular price tickets: $8

  

THURSDAY, MARCH 22


7:00 pm – Thursday Night Feature — BUY TICKETS


Light Sight
(dir. Seyed M. Tabatabaei, Iran, animation, 7.5 minutes)
Born of light, M.E. is trapped in a room. Drawn to a hanging light, he tries to catch it, but the room itself becomes an obstacle.

Blows with the Wind
(dir. Hazhir As’adi, Iran, animation, 6.5 minutes)
A scarecrow in a field finds himself becoming more and more human.

Kupal
(dir. Kazem Mollaie, Iran, narrative, 81 minutes)
Dr. Ahmed Kupal is a hunter and taxidermist. On the eve of Nuroz, the Iranian New Year, he finds himself faced with an unexpected challenge.

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 23


7:00 pm – Friday Night Documentaries — BUY TICKETS


Fire and Light
(dir. Dana Johnson, US, documentary, 10.5 minutes)
Four siblings with autism find an unusual path to healing: fire dancing.

No-Space
(dir. Julio Mas Alcaraz, Spain, documentary, 11.5 minutes)
One night spent with Enrique, a man who chooses to sleep every night in Terminal 4 of Madrid Airport.

@ Beautiful Mountains
(dir. Teng Chen, China, documentary, 40 minutes)
In the 500-year-old village of Meishan, over half the population has left for the cities. The film follows a 26-year-old entrepreneur who aspires to bring the internet age to his rural hometown, and a 90-year-old master of traditional dance who tries to pass on his centuries-old expertise to the next generation.

Every Ghost Has an Orchestra
(dir. Shayna Connelly, US, documentary, 7 minutes)
The universal question of what happens after we die is explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composter Michael Esposito. Warning: contains high-pitched sounds and feedback noise.

Waking a Monster
(dir. Mirjam Clement, US, documentary, 20 minutes)
Told in his own words, and through puppetry, animation and mixed media, Academy Award-winning special effects and makeup artist Howard Berger reflects on his lifelong fascination of classic movie monsters.

 

9:00 pm – Friday Night Shorts — BUY TICKETS


Sweet Candy
(dir. Yilmaz Vurucu, Austria, narrative, 18 minutes)
Isolated and desperate, Andreas decides to air his grievances and commit suicide live on the internet. As his broadcast goes viral, he strikes a chord with some while attracting the disdain of other.

White
(dir. David Moya, UK, narrative, 15 minutes)
A white man arrives at the “Transition Centre” after dying of food poisoning on a cruise. There he is informed that he cannot be white in his next life.

Johnny Thinks
(dir. Malcolm Rumbles, UK, spoken word, 3 minutes)
In the poem, “What Johnny Thinks,” Johnny is a woman trying to fit into a society that rejects her. Warning: strong language.

Return Safely
(dir. Eric Burleson, US, narrative, 12 minutes)
A young traveler must complete her quest through a harsh landscape to return a mysterious object.

Purple Dreams
(dir. Murat Sayginer, Turkey, animation, 2 minutes)
An animated film about the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.

The Manual
(dir. Wil Magness, US, narrative, 30 minutes)
In a distant future, James is the last human on Earth. Raised and protected by a humanoid robot, he is brought up on a religion ascribed in a device known as “The Manual.” As the search for other humans becomes more futile and his faith is shaken, James sets out to test one of The Manual’s core beliefs.

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 24


11:00 am – Saturday Morning Shorts — BUY TICKETS


Lunch Time
(dir. Alireza Ghasemi, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
A 16-year-old girl is forced to deal with the responsibility and harsh bureaucracy of identifying the body of her mother.

A Month
(dir. Zgjim Terziqi, Kosovo, narrative, 26 minutes)
Based on a true story, Ana is a quiet, unmarried 40-year-old blind woman who lives month to month with each of her four sisters, who collect government assistance for her care.

The Guy Came on Horseback
(dir. Hossein Rabiei Dastjerdi, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
Set in rural Iran, a father must figure out what to do when he realizes his disabled son has fallen in love with their neighbor’s daughter.

Cup of Tea
(dir. Jitendra Rai, India, narrative, 3 minutes)
A young photographer chases a child who has grabbed her bag through the jungle, until he reaches his village, and she finds something unexpected.

Wintry Spring
(dir. Mohamed Kamel, Egypt, narrative, 15 minutes)
Nour lives alone with her father and finds herself in crisis when she hits puberty and can’t tell him.

Shala
(dir. João Inácio, Brazil, narrative, 10 minutes)
A young boy who has a hard time getting adopted from the orphanage creates an imaginary friendship with his only toy, a doll named Shala.

Pale Mirrors
(dir. Salem Salavati, Iran, narrative, 15 minutes)
Shawbo finds herself with only 24 hours to become pregnant. Grasping at her last opportunity to be a mother, she visits the city prison.

 

 


1:15 pm – Saturday Afternoon Documentaries — BUY TICKETS


People First
(dir. Chelsea LoCascio, US, documentary, 5 minutes)
Students with disabilities at The College of New Jersey share their stories.

One Mother’s Fire: The Gail Minger Story
(dir. Diana Nicolae, US, documentary, 26 minutes)
After her son died in a fire at Murray State University in Kentucky, Gail Minger has not stopped searching for answers, uncovering negligence, forcing accountability, and fighting for change that can save other lives.

Weavers of Imagination
(dir. Sadegh Jafari, Iran, documentary, 21 minutes)
Unsighted men and women in Iran weave intricately patterned carpets by using Braille.

Gold Mettle
(dir. Nicholas Carney, US, documentary, 30 minutes)
Every year Villanova University hosts one of the largest Special Olympics competitions in the nation. Athletes from the Delaware County soccer team share the challenges they face on a daily basis, both on and off the playing field.

Hope Works Here: A Camden Story
(dir. Peter Prokop, US, documentary, 28 minutes)
Three students in Camden, NJ try to overcome their turbulent pasts and rewrite their future at HopeWorks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education, counseling and entrepreneurship to young people.

 


3:45 pm – Saturday Afternoon Shorts — BUY TICKETS


Ayesha
(dir. Ambarien Alqadar, India, narrative, 19 minutes)
When her father encounters a US veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress, Ayesha is forced to change her weekend plans with her boyfriend.

The Last Visit
(dir. Mark Clauburg, US, narrative, 19 minutes)
An accidental meeting between a recently widowed man and a young girl ends up changing both their lives.

Walk On
(dir. Megan Rossman, US, documentary, 13 minutes)
Cecilia is not your average college student. Diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome at age 13, she has been working to persevere despite her little-known disability.

The Scary Ham
(dir. Sue Mroz, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
Two sisters sort through 50 years of family memorabilia after the death of their father, and try to figure out how contend with his beloved ham.

I Promised Her Life
(dir. Robert Nazar Arjoyan, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
On the day of her daughter’s funeral, a grieving Armenian-American mother defies a centuries-old ritual and tests the limits of tradition.

Eggs and Soldiers
(dir. Imelda O’Reilly, US, narrative, 20 minutes)
A single dad gets drunk and forgets the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned, the older son, sets out to make things right and give his younger brother Marco a real Irish Christmas.

 


6:00 pm – Saturday Evening Shorts — BUY TICKETS


Lawman
(dir. Matthew Gentile, US, narrative, 13 minutes)
1875, Indian Territory. Bass Reeves is the first African-American to be deputized by the US Marshal Service. While bringing two outlaws to justice, Bass begins to question his idea of justice and choosing to fight for a country that may never fight for him.

Rules
(dir. Yassen Genadiev, Bulgaria, narrative, 20 minutes)
Mikhail is a meticulous supervisor of a residential building near the Black Sea. His monotonous life is about to be shaken up by a new neighbor, the young and extroverted Evelina.

King Kong
(dir. Lo Xu-Ming Tong, Canada, narrative, 19 minutes)
When their mother suffers an accident, teenager Eliza must take responsibility for traveling with her younger brother Damian to Montreal to join their father.

D for Docs
(dir. Joe Sikoryak, US, narrative, 15 minutes)
Professor Marty is a documentary film teacher who thinks he has the worst class ever. Now he has to explain himself to the department chair who has come to watch his students’ final projects.

Death of an Umbrella Salesman
(dir. Steve Herold, US, narrative, 18 minutes)
A day in the life of a door-to-door umbrella salesman.

Docked
(dir. Amie Batalibasi, Australia, narrative, 19 minutes)
A young South Sudanese aspiring actress works late nights at a bar and meets an older man at a crisis point in his life. They spend a night walking around together in Melbourne, two people from different worlds who find an unlikely connection.

 


8:15 pm – Saturday Night Feature — BUY TICKETS


Take My Hand
(dir. Francesco Siro Brigiano, Italy, experimental, 4 minutes)
An abstract autobiographical and emotional journey. The pursuit of a visionary language, personal and poetic.

Sisak
(dir. Faraz Arif Ansari, India, narrative, 15 minutes)
In a country where homosexuality is a crime, two men find themselves slowly and silently falling in love through movements and glances on the busy Mumbai train system.

Dad is Pretty (dir. Park soo-min, Korea, narrative, 92 minutes)
Middle-aged salesman Duk-jae is ignored by his wife and daughter at home and shown no respect at work. When he is given a liquor contract that no other colleagues want — for a cross-dressing club called “Hawaii” — he finds a new “family” who help him reconnect with his own.

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 25


12:30 pm – Panel Discussion (TBD)


2:00 pm – Sunday Feature Documentary — BUY TICKETS


The Best Little Coffeehouse in Maryland (dir. Cory Choy, US, documentary, 18 minutes)
Inwood House, the only apartment building in the US that is both Section 8 and dedicated to people with disabilities, is home to a monthly musical coffeehouse like no other.

The Organizer (dir. Nick Taylor, US, documentary, 100 minutes)
A portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of ACORN, which had been the largest community organization in the US before its infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals. Through archival footage and interviews, the film follows how ACORN grew to be a national powerhouse and how internal and external pressures led to its downfall.

 


4:30 pm – Sunday Afternoon Shorts — BUY TICKETS


The Ballad of Craig Kelly
(dir. Jeff Stewart, US, narrative, 8 minutes)
Based on the life of actor Craig Kelly, this semi-autobiographical short is a stream of consciousness narrative of a lonely man coming to terms with past, present and future mistakes.

The Poet
(dir. Adam Cushman, US, spoken word, 6 minutes)
An inspired Beat-era poet takes the stage.

North & Nowhere
(dir. Scott Ballard, US, narrative, 12 minutes)
A girl, a gun, and a last chance. Devan moves back home to care for her father, who has suffered a stroke. When her sister puts him in a care facility, it’s up to Devan and her friend Kyle to get him out by any means necessary.

PHAT Girl
(dir. Rosemarie Wilson, US, spoken word, 8 minutes)
PHAT Girl is a testament to women becoming comfortable in their own skin, flaws and all, and owning it.

Alpha Fish
(dir. Roger An, US, animation, 9 minutes)
Rodrigo, a charismatic talking goldfish, has had enough of his hapless owner Conner. Tired of performing tricks for snacks, Rodrigo has his sights on Bianca, a beautiful marine biologist.

The Dinner Scene
(dir. Nicholas Thurkettle, US, narrative, 10 minutes)
A solitary screenwriter in a café battles frustration and self-doubt to craft the most dramatically juicy scene between a couple at dinner that she can.

Expiration Date
(dir. Shunya Chang, US, animation, 4 minutes)
A poetic animated story about searching for an unexpired romance.

Jimmy Scalia: An Honest Portrait
(dir. Anthony Scalia, US, documentary, 6 minutes)
School janitor and Bobby Darin archivist, Jimmy Scalia, reflects on his life as he approaches a milestone transition.

Talk
(dir. Fred Zara, US, narrative, 16 minutes)
Eight lives intersect at a typical coffee shop one afternoon. Some are enjoying a fresh new start, some are at a crossroads, and others may be in the midst of a painful ending.

Frieda and Eddie, A Jersey Shore Love Story
(dir. Jennifer Suwak & Stephen Abruzzese, US, documentary, 24 minutes)
Frieda and Eddie met at the Jersey Shore in 1942 and dated until Eddie was drafted into the service for World War II. Separated for 50 years, they married other people and had families of their own. After both of their spouses died, they reconnected and found it’s never too late for love.

 


6:30 pm

Closing Night Reception and Award Ceremony — FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Join us for a reception following the last screening. Prizes will be awarded at the Closing Night Ceremony for:

James Solheim Award for Best Film
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Animated Film
Best New Media (Music Video, Spoken Word Poetry, New Media)
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It’s a Wonderful Life Comments Off on It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Join the Trenton Film Society and Passage Theatre for a special free screening of the 1946 holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who is about to give up on life until his guardian angel shows him how things would be different if he had never been born.

And keep the spirit going after the screening at a reception downstairs, complete with cookies and caroling!

Saturday, Dec. 16, 7:00 pm – FREE

 

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