2020 Trenton Film Festival

SAVE THE DATES

Thursday-Sunday, March 26-29, 2020
Location: Mill Hill Playhouse, Trenton
The Trenton Film Festival returns for its 12th year.


CALL FOR ENTRIES

The call for entries is now open for the 2020 Trenton Film Festival. The festival screens films by creators in various stages of their careers, hailing from nearby communities and from around the world. To be considered, films must have been completed after 1/1/2018.

The festival will include post-screening Q&A's, receptions and a panel discussion that offer filmmakers a chance to share their love of film with each other and their audience members.

For deadlines and categories, and to enter, visit ☛ filmfreeway.com/TrentonFilmFestival

Past event

2019 TRENTON FILM FESTIVAL

Many thanks to all of the filmmakers who presented at our festival and especially to those who joined us for our Q&As. Thanks also are due to our devoted jurors, judges, volunteers and planners. Below are the details for our completed festival.

Thursday-Sunday, March 28-31, 2019
Mill Hill Playhouse 

2019 TFF AWARD WINNERS

James Solheim Award for Best Film (selected by the audience)
- "This Is Norman" (Winner) - dir. Kathleen Poliski, US
- "High Heels" (Honorable Mention) - dir. Juan Alejandro Bermudez, Poland
- "Are You Volleyball?" (Honorable Mention) - dir. Mohammad Bakhshi, Iran

Best Animated Film - "Hard Way" - dir. Behnam Asadolahi, Iran
Best Documentary Feature - "The Truth About Marriage" - dir. Roger Nygard, U.S.
Best Documentary Short - "Treeline" - dir. Jordan Manley, U.S.
Best Narrative Feature - "Sugar Cube" - dir. Luke Jacobson, US
Best Narrative Short  - "Hair Trigger" - dir. Taylor Schafer, US
Best New Media - "Plasticnic" - dir. Fiona Tinwei Lam, Canada



🎟 Tickets

General admission: $8 per event • Students with ID: $5 per event.  See green links below for specific dates and times.

🎟 All-Festival Passes (buy passes) >

All 12 screenings March 28-31
General admission: $25 • Students with ID: $15

Don't miss our free Closing Reception & Awards Ceremony, open to all at 6:30 p.m. Sun., Mar. 31. Also, be sure to check out the official TFF exhibition films in the playhouse lobby.


🎟6:00 PM, Thursday, March 28 (buy tickets) >

Including jazz band Swedish Wood Patrol in the lobby before the screenings and a post-screening Q&A with filmmakers for the lobby films.

  • Cheat-Proof (dir. Meredith Snow, US, narrative, 19min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    A man and woman try to stave off an affair by confessing their deepest, darkest secrets.
  • Sugar Cube (dir. Luke Jacobson, US, narrative, 1hr 30min)
    A drama-comedy about coffee, cocktails and rejection. James, the local barista, is sure his feelings will be rejected by his best friend Sarah.

🎟8:15 PM, Thursday, March 28 (buy tickets) >
  • The Snag (dir. Isabelle Desalos, France, narrative, 8min)
    When Camille meets Etienne, their desire is palpable, but she has a secret that may ruin everything.
  • Private Meeting (dir. Farhad Gharibi, Iran, narrative, 11.5min)
    Struggling to raise a child while her husband is in jail, Mahboubeh finds out her husband has infected her with HIV when she tries to sell a kidney.
  • Worst Than Accepting a Dream (dir. Behnam Asadolahi, Iran, narrative, 9min)
    A young couple enters an unfinished building and tensions arise with every floor they climb.
  • Chimney Man (dir. Meghdad Akhavan, Iran, animation, 11.5min)
    A man's daily routine is unsettled when he finds a stalk of wheat bran.
  • The Ashes (dir. Aryan Golsoorat, Iran, narrative, 14min)
    In this dark comedy, a couple drive through the mountains looking for a place to burn the corpse they are carrying in the trunk of their car.
  • The Sea Swells (dir. Amir Gholami, Iran, narrative, 16min)
    War surrounds an old man who lives in the middle of the sea.
  • The Noise of the Light (dir. Valentin Petit, France, narrative, 23min)
    Pablo and Marius make a disturbing discovery about their friend Lou: she appears to be able to synthesise light into sound. Her gift becomes a curse when she becomes an instrument for their musical experimentation.
  • Dirt (dir. Michaela Brennan, US, animation, 2.5min)
    A janitor named Martin has an experience while sweeping.
  • The Truth About Marriage (dir. Roger Nygard, US, documentary, 1hr 29min)
    This documentary by filmmaker Roger Nygard (“Trekkies”) follows three not-so-ordinary couples to see how things turned out several years after the honeymoon. The film presents challenging ideas about relationships, as it answers the question: Why is marriage so hard for people?

🎟8:30 PM, Friday, March 29 (buy tickets) >
  • Endless Day (dir. Armin Saeedi, Iran, narrative, 13min)
    A sniper carries his past wherever he goes.
  • Break on Through (dir. Dustin Clark, US, narrative, 1hr 14min)
    A group of strangers find themselves trapped in an abandoned, isolated farmhouse during a potentially cataclysmic world event. As their fear and confusion mounts, they must learn to trust one another if they have any hope of survival.

🎟11:00 AM, Saturday, March 30 (buy tickets) >
  • America (dir. Mehrnoosh Fetrat, Iran, narrative, 19min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    An Iranian journalist couple wants to move to America, but when only the wife receives her visa and finds success on television, the husband falls into a state of depression.
  • The River of the Kukamas (dir. Nika Belianina, Peru, documentary, 7min)
    Being born from the spirit of the river, Kukama people have a special connection to the water. The river shrinks and grows throughout the year, affecting the lives of its citizens.
  • Parvaz Mahiha (dir. Mohammad Towrivarian, Iran, narrative, 14.5min)
    A new teacher in the village becomes concerned with a student in his class who doesn't talk and has a cigarette burn on her hand.
  • Smoke Through a Spider Web (dir. Niranjan Raj Bhetwal, Nepal, narrative, 15min)
    Set in a remote village in Nepal segregated by a caste system, Sabitri and her husband are rejected as stove makers.
  • Treeline (dir. Jordan Manley, US, documentary, 40min)
    "Treeline" takes us to the enshrined cypress groves of Japan, the towering red cedars of British Columbia, and the ancient bristlecones of Nevada, following a handful of skiers, snowboarders, scientists and healers and their connection to these enduring giants.

🎟1:00 PM, Saturday, March 30 (buy tickets) >
  • Plasticnic (dir. Fiona Tinwei Lam, Canada, experimental, 1min)
    An animated short poem that humorously depicts how people seek out and enjoy nature while simultaneously (and obliviously) destroying it.
  • Metanoia (dir. Obediya Jones-Darrell, US, experimental, 3min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    Our hero's quest begins when Mike picks up a can of spray to create graffitti and he sees visions.
  • For Your Consideration (dir. Patrick Green, US, documentary, 19min)
    A tale of two street artists and one viral Harvey Weinstein statue that shook up the 90th Oscar awards ceremony.
  • bOObs: The War on Women’s Breasts (dir. Megan S. Smith, US, documentary, 27min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    "bOObs" examines the myths surrounding mammography and how mammograms tragically changed the lives of three women.
  • The Weight of Success (dir. M. Douglas Silverstein, US, documentary, 40min)
    A documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Angela Lauria, one of the fastest rising stars in the self-help and life coaching industries, and takes a hard look at whether life coaching is a scam.

🎟3:00 PM, Saturday, March 30 (buy tickets) >
  • Painted Paris (dir. Robin Deriaud, France, narrative/animation, 12min)
    Paris, at night, a shaped-cat graffiti comes alive to tell the story of Ed, one of the most fabulous street artists of his time. When Ed begins to forget about his muse, he slowly falls into madness.
  • Keeper (dir. Dave Lojek, Germany, narrative, 3.5min)
    A woman contemplates a loss that has challenged her to see the world in a different light.
  • Are You Volleyball? (dir. Mohammad Bakhshi, Iran, narrative, 15min)
    Arab asylum-seekers on one side of a border, American soldiers on the other. A deaf-mute boy helps find a way for them to communicate.
  • Carro (dir. Gustavo Rosa, US, narrative, 12min)
    An undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in Boston decides to buy a car in an effort to better his life before returning home.
  • Rocks (dir. Vincent Gagliardi, US, narrative, 10.5min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    A lonely geologist finds companionship in the form of a rock worshipping cult.
  • Suite & Tie (dir. Ben Sciortino, US, music video, 2.5min) FILMMAKER & D.P. IN ATTENDANCE
    Before you go out, you have to get ready. You know, get dressed, comb your hair, all that... jazz.
  • My Dad and Bob Todd (dir. Mark Clauburg, US, narrative, 12.5min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    Rebecca is supposed to meet her father for a quiet dinner to catch up, but things take a turn when he brings a guest.
  • A Thursday in December (dir. Christopher McKee and Kenneth Martell, US, narrative, 21min) FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE
    On a winter's day in New York, an encounter between a stranded man and a young woman who tries to pickpocket him leads to something unexpected.
  • Showtime (dir. Shawn Antoine II, US, narrative, 15min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    Darius and Hakeem dance on New York City trains to earn honest money and escape the crime-riddled streets of Harlem. A woman sees Darius dancing on the train and offers him an opportunity to audition for a Juilliard travel dance team.

🎟5:15 PM, Saturday, March 30 (buy tickets) >
  • Granny Knows Best (dir. Stephan Nielsen, UK, documentary, 7.5min)
    A Tinder-addicted bachelor takes relationship advice from his irascible German grandma and her boyfriend with hilarious results.
  • The Truth About Marriage (dir. Roger Nygard, US, documentary, 1hr 29min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    This documentary by filmmaker Roger Nygard (“Trekkies”) follows three not-so-ordinary couples to see how things turned out several years after the honeymoon. The film presents challenging ideas about relationships, as it answers the question: Why is marriage so hard for people?

🎟7:15 PM, Saturday, March 30 (buy tickets)>
  • Hard Way (dir. Behnam Asadolahi, Iran, animation, 1min)
    A mountaineer keeps trying to reach the top of the mountain.
  • Road to Edmond (dir. David Trotter, US, narrative, 2hr 6min)
    When youth pastor Cleo is put on a two-week timeout, he packs a bag, hits the road on his bike, and runs into a hairy guy named Larry traveling with his dead dad.

🎟 1:00 PM, Sunday, March 31 (buy tickets) >
  • Sober (dir. Adrian Colon, US, music video, 4.5min)
    A music video for the song "Sober" by Mike Rossi, about living with and loving an addict.
  • Cycle (dir. Christopher Romano, US, narrative, 14min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    A single mother and recovering drug addict is given the chance to use heroin again, after being clean for 8 months.
  • Road to Recovery (dir. Michelle C. Yu, US, documentary, 10.5min)
    Former drug addicts discuss the grueling recovery process and how their troubles with substance abuse have affected both their past and present lives.
  • Thank You for Supporting: 80 Years of Mingus Magic (dir. Ryan Adamowicz, US, documentary, 45.5min) FILMMAKERS & CAST IN ATTENDANCE
    The enchanting story behind a magic shop in Reading, Pennsylvania that has been in operation for eight decades: the history, the culture and the community that has kept the magic alive.

🎟3:00 PM, Sunday, March 31 (buy tickets) >
  • Self Portrait (dirs. Corrie Legge and Benjamin Algar, narrative, 13min)
    A young woman reflects on the authenticity of marriage by watching a staged reenactment of the same family dinner told from three different perspectives.
  • Hair Trigger (dir. Taylor Schafer, US, narrative, 8min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    School shooting survivor Sadie, her mother Terry, and Sadie's best friend Elyse struggle to reconcile the night before the rest of Sadie's classmates return to school without her.
  • Her World (dir. Cristian Scardigno, Italy, narrative, 10min)
  • One Step (dir. Michael Williams, Japan, narrative, 11.5min)
    When Tadashi sees a girl from his school standing alone on the beach, he becomes determined to find out why.
  • High Heels (dir. Juan Alejandro Bermudez, Poland, narrative, 13min)
    A man tries to overcome his marriage crisis while he deals with a weird obsession.
  • Ways to Look at the Moon (dir. Katherine Clark, US, narrative, 17min) FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE
    Sensing their relationship is drifting apart, an artist attempts to reconnect with an astronomer but gets lost in a universe of her own making.
  • The Secret Nobody Knows (dir. Nick Ronan, US, narrative, 8min) FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE
    Inspired by a poem by e.e. cummings, this romance set in 1952 is a glimpse of a couple's last few hours together before he goes overseas to fight in the Korean War.

🎟5:00 PM, Sunday, March 31 (buy tickets)>
  • Yia Yia: A Portrait (dir. Greg Sego, US, documentary, 20min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    Between 1939 and 1945, an estimated 40.5 million Europeans were uprooted and displaced. This is the story of one of them -- "Yia Yia" Mary Vorgia -- as told by herself.
  • Justin Geller: Thought It Would Be a Good Story (dir. Jon Rehr, US, documentary, 6min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
    After getting diagnosed with leukemia at 30, Justin's doctor convinced him to donate sperm before starting treatment. Justin walked into the sperm bank thinking he would just leave with a funny story. 10 years later he ended up with a lot more.
  • Thou Shall Not Tailgate (dir. Greg Hamilton, US, documentary, 25min)
    A documentary profile of art car creator and Portland Cacophony Society co-founder Rev. Chuck Linville.
  • This Is Norman (dir. Kathleen Poliski, US, documentary, 21min) FILMMAKER & CAST MEMBER IN ATTENDANCE
    Set in Philadelphia, "This is Norman" is about making an extraordinary 67-year-old blind man's lifelong dream come true.

Closing Ceremony

At 6:30 p.m. Sun. Mar. 31, the festival closes with a complimentary reception and awards ceremony. All are invited to attend.

Playing March 28-31 in the Mill Hill Playhouse Lobby

Artistes Burlesques (dir. John Bickerton, US, experimental, 6.5min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
Artist Joseph Cornell’s film collage technique serves as the inspiration for this surrealist tone poem, which incorporates found, public domain, and stock footage of ballet and dance, with musical improvisation.
Cuban Queens (dir. Warren Bass, US, experimental, 7min) FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE
"Cuban Queens" is an experimental animation that rhythmically constructs, de-constructs and explores ninety-nine evolving images of Havana's street divas.
Diary of Rooftop Water Towers (dir. Nobuyuki Asai, US, experimental, 1hr 43min) FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE
A cinematic poem depicting the changing phases of New York water towers as they evolve through the seasons, their mutability comparable to that of daily human lives.


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PREVIOUS FESTIVALS

2018 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 (Archives coming soon.)

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