Susan Fou from the Trenton Film Society talked to Princeton Community TV’s Fistful of Popcorn about the 2017 Oscar Shorts Festival.Learn More
Tickets Now on Sale!
February 23-25, 2017
Tickets are now on sale for our ever popular screening of Oscar-nominated documentary, live action, and animated short films in the run-up to the Sunday, February 26 Oscar awards ceremony!
Back by popular demand, our Saturday Night Double Feature will screen both the animated and live action shorts with a reception during intermission. Complimentary coffee and cookies will be served during the documentary shorts intermission on Thursday and Friday.
Enjoy refreshments and conversation with fellow film lovers while casting 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 29 through April 2.
Documentary Shorts – Two-Part Program
(Total running time: 72 minutes and 82 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission featuring complimentary refreshments. Suitable for ages 16+)
Joe’s Violin – dir. Kahane Cooperman, US, 24 minutes
During a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools, 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold offers his beloved violin, which he has played for more than 70 years. The instrument goes to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, where young musician Brianna Perez is inspired to become friends with her benefactor.
Extremis – dir. Dan Krauss, US, 24 minutes
At the Intensive Care Unit at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, palliative care specialist Dr. Jessica Zitter treats terminally ill patients. As she and her team provide the best possible care, they try to help the patients and their loved ones make critical, often heartbreaking decisions.
4.1 Miles – dir. Daphne Matziaraki, US, 26 minutes
Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard, is caught in the struggle of refugees fleeing the Middle East and traveling the short distance from the coast of Turkey to the island of Lesbos. Despite having limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save lives during the immense humanitarian crisis.
15-minute intermission with complimentary refreshments
Watani: My Homeland – dir. Marcel Mettelsiefen, UK, 40 minutes
Four young children live with their mother and father, a Free Syrian Commander, in a warzone in Aleppo, Syria. After their father is captured by ISIS, the children flee with their mother to Goslar, Germany, in a years-long journey that will test them all as they try to find a safe home in a foreign country.
The White Helmets – dir. Orlando von Einsiedel, UK, 41 minutes
In the chaos of war-torn Syria, unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers known as “the white helmets” comb through the rubble after bombings to rescue survivors. Although they have already saved more than 60,000 lives since 2013, these brave first responders continue to place themselves in danger every day.
Live Action Shorts
(Total running time: 132 minutes. Suitable for ages 15+)
Sing – dir. Kristof Deák, Hungary, 25 minutes
Young Zsofi is having a hard time fitting in at her new school, and her distress grows when the choir director treats her cruelly despite her love of singing. Along with her friend Liza, Zsofi investigates the revered teacher in an attempt to reveal her true nature.
Silent Nights – dir. Aske Bang, Denmark, 30 minutes
Young Danish woman Inger volunteers at a homeless shelter in Copenhagen, where she meets and falls in love with Kwame, an undocumented immigrant from Ghana. The couple builds a life together, but a devastating secret from Kwame’s past may undermine their happiness.
Timecode – dir. Juanjo Giménez, Spain, 15 minutes
Parking lot security guard Luna is bored with her uneventful daily routine but a call about a customer complaint leads her to discover how the night guard, Diego, alleviates his boredom. Soon the pair develops a relationship by communicating through the garage’s CCTV footage.
Ennemis Intérieurs – dir. Sélim Azzazi, France, 28 minutes
In the 1990s, as the Algerian civil war rages and terrorists infiltrate France, a French police officer of Algerian descent conducts a rancorous interview with a French-born Algerian man seeking naturalization.
La Femme et le TGV – dir. Timo von Gunten, Switzerland, 30 minutes
Elise has been waving at the express train as it passes by her home every day for three decades. A letter from the train’s conductor begins a correspondence between the two, and when the train is detoured to another route, Elise goes in search of her man.
(Estimated running time: 87 minutes. Suitable for ages 8+ except for final film.)
Borrowed Time – dir. Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, US, 7 minutes
A sheriff of the Old West returns to the scene of a tragic accident from his past that shaped his life. As memories wash over him, he is engulfed by emotion and must find the strength to carry on with his lifelong quest for redemption.
Pearl – dir. Patrick Osborne, US, 6 minutes
An itinerant musician travels around the country with his young daughter in their old hatchback and juggles his passion for performing with providing his daughter with a stable life. The daughter grows up with a love of music and adventure, and is able to repay her father for nurturing her creativity.
Piper – dir. Alan Barillaro, US, 6 minutes
Young Piper, a sandpiper hatchling, leaves her nest for the first time to hunt for food but is too scared of the crashing waves to reach the yummy morsels hidden in the sand. After meeting an unusual ally, Piper attempts to face her fears and increase her confidence.
Blind Vaysha – dir. Theodore Ushev, Canada, 8 minutes
Young Vaysha was born with unusual sight: her left eye can see only the past and her right eye can see only the future, while the present is a blind spot. Called “Blind Vaysha” by the people of her village, the girl is tormented by the two realities that she cannot reconcile.
Additional animated films highly commended by the Academy:
The Head Vanishes – dir. Franck Dion, Canada, 9 minutes
Asteria – dir. Alexandre Arpentinier, France, 5 minutes
Once Upon a Line – dir. Alicja Jasina, US, 8 minutes
Pear Cider and Cigarettes – dir. Robert Valley, Canada/UK, 35 minutes
Hard-living Techno Stypes has been Robert’s best friend since childhood, and over the years, Robert has been amazed by Techno’s ability to sabotage himself. When Techno is hospitalized in China and needs a liver transplant, Robert goes on a wild ride to get him home to Vancouver.
Important note: PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES will be the last film in the program. It is not appropriate for children. A Parental Guidance warning will screen prior to this short, so that parents and caregivers can usher children out of the theater if they’d like. Other than PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES, the program is acceptable for kids.
Double Feature: Animated and Live Action Shorts
(Estimated running time: 92 minutes and 132 minutes, with a 30-minute reception. Suitable for ages 15+)
See both programs back to back, with a 30-minute reception during intermission. See above for film descriptions.Learn More
2017 Oscar Shorts Weekend
Thursday, February 23 – Saturday, February 25, 2017
Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, January 25!
Our ever popular screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary, animated, and live action short films in the run-up to the Sunday 2/26 Academy Awards ceremony. Social gatherings and the opportunity to make your own Oscar predictions make this a must-attend event! Sign-up for our e-mail list to receive advance notice and avoid sell-outs!
The Trenton Film Society is pleased to present the following events during our 2016-17 season:
Pop Up Anthology at TFS
Friday, September 16, 2016, 7:00 pm
Local Films by Local Filmmakers. Join us for a special evening of select short films by NJ and PA filmmakers curated with our friends at Pop Up Anthology. All filmmakers will be in attendance for a Q&A and reception following the screening.
$10 admission includes screening and reception. Proceeds benefit the Trenton Film Society.
Oscar Shorts Festival
February 23-25, 2017
Our ever popular screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary, animated, and live action short films in the run-up to the Sunday 2/26 Academy Awards ceremony. Social gatherings and the opportunity to make your own Oscar predictions make this a must-attend event!
Trenton Film Festival
March 30-April 2, 2017
Our signature film festival is an exploration of all things cinematic. Unparalleled in its diversity, the festival ranges from narrative and documentary shorts and features to music video and experimental media. A great opportunity to explore a wide breadth of film and engage in lively discussions with filmmakers!
Trenton Film Society’s Yvonne Adams and Susan Fou appeared as guests on a recent episode of the movie discussion program “Fistful of Popcorn” on Princeton Community TV to discuss the 2016 Oscar Shorts Festival.Learn More
2016 Oscar Shorts Weekend
Thursday, February 25 – Saturday, February 27, 2016
The ever popular screening of Oscar Short entries in run-up to Sunday, 2/28 Oscar awards ceremony.
This year we are offering a special Saturday Night Double Feature of both the live action and animated shorts with a reception during intermission. Enjoy refreshments and conversation while casting ballots for your picks to win the Oscars! Ballots that correctly pick the winners will be entered to win a raffle for passes to our other film festivals!
Documentary Shorts – Two-Part Program
(Running Time: 87 minutes and 76 minutes, with 15-minute intermission
featuring complimentary locally-roasted coffee and cookies)
Body Team 12 – dir. David Darg, Liberia, 13 minutes
Body Team 12 is tasked with collecting the victims at the height of the Ebola outbreak. These body collectors have arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world. Yet despite the strain they emerge as heroes while the film explores their philosophy and strength. The story is told on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia through the eyes of the only female member of the team, who reveals the heartbreaking, lifesaving work of removing bodies from loved ones in order to halt transmission of the disease.
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – dir. Sharmen Obaid-Chinoy, Pakistan, 40 minutes
More than a 1000 women are killed in the name of ‘honor’ in Pakistan every year. A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness follows the story of a rare survivor who falls in love and lives to tell the tale.
Last Day of Freedom – dirs. Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman, USA, 32 minutes
When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision; should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom is a richly animated personal narrative that tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother, a Veteran returning from war, as he faces criminal charges, racism, and ultimately the death penalty. This film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day; veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice.
15-minute intermission featuring complimentary locally-roasted coffee and cookies
Chau, Beyond the Lines – dir. Courtney Marsh, USA/Vietnam, 34 minutes
Chau, a teenager growing up in a Vietnamese care center for children disabled by Agent Orange, battles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist.
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah – dir. Adam Benzine, USA, 40 minutes
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah is a 2015 documentary short film exploring the life and work of French director Claude Lanzmann. The film was written, directed, and produced by British filmmaker and journalist Adam Benzine.
(Running Time: 86 minutes)
Sanjay’s Super Team – dir. Sanjay Patel, USA, 7 minutes
In Sanjay’s Super Team, the new short film from Pixar Animation Studios, accomplished artist Sanjay Patel uses his own experience to tell the story of a young, first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for western pop-culture comes into conflict with his father’s traditions. Sanjay is absorbed in the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into the traditions of his Hindu practice. Tedium and reluctance quickly turn into an awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on a journey he never imagined, returning with a new perspective that they can both embrace.
World of Tomorrow – dir. Don Hertzfeldt, USA, 17 minutes
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future. Don Hertzfeldt is a two time Oscar®-nominated American independent filmmaker whose other animated films include It’s Such a Beautiful Day, The Meaning of Life, Billy’s Balloon, and Rejected.
Bear Story – dir. Gabriel Osorio, Chile, 11 minutes
An old, lonesome bear tells the story of his life through a mechanical diorama. Gabriel Osorio majored in Fine Arts at Universidad de Chile. Later he specialized in 3D animation. Since 2008 he has been directing projects for children’s television. Bear Story is his first short film.
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos – dir. Konstantin Bronzit, Russia, 16 minutes
Two cosmonauts, two friends, try to do their best in their everyday training life to make their common dream a reality. But this story is not only about the dream. Konstantin Bronzit was born in Leningrad, RSFSR, USSR. He is a director and writer, known for Au bout du monde (1999), Lavatory Lovestory (2007) and Alyosha Popovich i Tugarin Zmey (2004).
Additional films: If I was God, The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse, The Loneliest Spotlight, Catch It
Prologue – dir. Richard Williams, UK, 6 minutes
Prologue describes an incident in the Spartan-Athenian wars of 2,400 years ago. In it, a small girl bears witness as warriors battle to death. The dialog-free project utilizes natural sounds to complement the intense animation entirely animated by Richard Williams himself, who is best known for his work as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Important note: The final film in the program, Prologue, one of the five nominees, is not suitable for young children. A Parental Guidance warning will be shown prior to this short, so that parents may exit at this time. Other than Prologue, the rest of the program is acceptable for all ages.
Live Action Shorts
(Running Time: 107 minutes)
Ave Maria – dir. Basil Khalil, Palestine/France/Germany, 15 minutes
The silent routine of 5 Palestinian nuns living in the West Bank wilderness is disturbed when an Israeli settler family breaks down right outside the convent just as the Sabbath comes into effect.
Shok – dir. Jamie Donoughue, Kosovo/UK, 21 minutes
The friendship of two boys is tested to its limits as they battle for survival during the Kosovo war.
Everything Will Be OK – dir. Patrick Vollrath, Germany/Austria, 30 minutes
A divorced father picks up his eight-year-old daughter Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend, but after a while Lea can‘t help feeling that something isn’t right. So begins a fateful journey.
Stutterer – dir. Benjamin Cleary, UK/Ireland, 12 minutes
Apart from his aging father, Greenwood has only one connection to the external world in the form of an online relationship. Every night, often for hours at a time, he exchanges messages with Ellie. On the eve of their six-month anniversary, Ellie messages Greenwood and tells him that she has travelled to London to surprise him. She asks if he would like to take things “offline” and meet in person for the first time.
Day One – dir. Henry Hughes, USA, 25 minutes
Inspired by a true story, Day One depicts a new translator’s first day accompanying a US Army unit as it searches for a local terrorist. As she quickly discovers, her job will bring up brutal complexities as gender and religious barriers emerge with lives hanging in the balance.
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1:50 pm
Special Double Feature!!
Live Action and Animated Shorts
Make a full evening of it and see both the live action and animation programs, with a 30-minute reception during intermission!
Saturday, Feb. 27, 6:00 pm