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2020-2021 Trenton Film Festival

August 4 through August 31, 2021

The Trenton Film Society is pleased to launch its first Virtual screening of its annual Trenton Film Festival. Tickets are on sale now. The links below will take you to our virtual festival site on the Eventive platform.

Order Tickets Now

🎟 Individual Screening Block tickets cost $10.50 each, which includes all service fees.

🎟 All-Access Passes cost $28.33, which includes all service fees, and are a great value for film lovers.

Audience members are encouraged to vote for their favorites, and a prize will be awarded to the winning film. For a list of films in competition, scroll down to see a list of all 13 screening blocks.

Virtual 2020-2021 Trenton Film Festival
Screening Block Film Listings


The Same But Different
(Dir. Art Varga, US, music video, 6min)
In this music video, a young girl learns how small ideas grow into big things.

Go To Hell and Turn Left
(Dir. Carlo Caldana, US, narrative, 1hr 22min)
Reminiscent of Mr. Bean and other silent comics, Olif is a deaf painter struggling with alcohol and the death of his wife Emily. When he sneaks into a reception to play spy for his agent, he sees a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the late Emily.

SCREENING BLOCK B: Music Documentaries

(Dir. Robert Sickels, US, experimental, 8min)
A look at the relationship of movies and their depiction of the human need to travel.

Dance All Night - The Highwoods Stringband Story
(Larry Edelman, documentary, 1hr 18min)
In the 1970s, the Highwoods Stringband’s unique blend of musical talent, exuberance, and eclectic repertoire introduced listeners to traditional old-time string band music, and inspired a new generation of musicians.

SCREENING BLOCK C: Political Documentaries

War Game
(Dirs. Mehrnoosh Fetrat & Jon Appel, US/Iran, experimental, 18min)
World Premiere. In an imagined battle between the United States and the fictional Latin American country of Cubachilia, an American soldier has control over water resources and news media on both sides of the war.

(Dir. Daniel Falconer, US, documentary, 1hr 24min)
This documentary investigates the mechanisms by which special interests bankroll political campaigns and lobby to rig the system in their favor.

SCREENING BLOCK D: Personal Stories

Three Seasons of Sarony
(Dir. Christian Fleury, France, documentary, 36min)
This documentary compares the life of pioneering 19th century photographer Napoleon Sarony with that of three present-day photographers and their quest for artistic identity.

High Flying Jade
(Dir. Katherine Sweetman, US, documentary, 21.5min)
The true story of a woman from Los Angeles who moves to Vietnam to join the circus as an aerialist. We meet her one week before the opening night of her first-ever big top performance.

Tuba Ted: The Man and the Music
(Dir. Susan Reetz, US, documentary, 41min)
Spritely octogenarian tuba player Ted Goeden has over 70 years of professional experience, and the stories to prove it.


Behind the Cloud There Lives a Sun
(Dir. Kumar Mayank, India/Philippines, narrative, 15min)
Waiting for a bus to take her son to a family gathering, a victim of domestic violence silently questions her way of life.

Every Shadow Seems Alive
(Dir. Leandro Afonso, Brazil, narrative, 16min)
As a woman leaves her house, she senses threats throughout the day -- at work, on the subway, in the car, on the street.

Coffin Decolleté
(Dir. Nancy Kamal, Egypt, narrative, 6min)
A young girl sees wedding preparations in her home and realizes that she is being forced to be the bride.

I'm Not an Actress
(Dir. Ali Jalali, Iran, narrative, 20min)
A woman tries to learn first-hand about drug addiction.

The Bartender
(Dir. Travis Newsad, US, narrative, 10min)
Hotel bartender Carly is thrown off her game by the arrival of a VIP guest celebrating with his leadership team. She becomes increasingly concerned for the only woman in the group.

Driving Lessons
(Dir. Marziyeh Riahi, Iran, narrative, 13min)
According to the laws of Iran, Bahareh must have her traditional, chauvinistic husband accompany her to driving lessons so she and her instructor will not be alone.


(Dir. Joshua Planz, US, experimental, 2min)
Every seed is a poet.

Scenes from the Periphery
(Dir. Derek Taylor, US, experimental, 3min)
An aerial survey becomes a search for home, place, and direction.

Dear Hearing World
(Dir. Adam Docker, UK, spoken word, 7min)
A spoken word piece voiced by Raymond Antrobus and performed in British sign language by deaf actress Vilma Jackson.

I See in the Dark
(Dir. Lana Bregar, Slovenia, documentary, 16min)
An intimate journey into the worlds of three individuals who have lost their sight.

(Dir. Omid Mirzaei, Iran, narrative, 15min)
A man lives alone in a bus in the desert.

The Man Who Dwelt Below
(Dir. Abram Hammer, US, narrative, 7.5min)
A hermit living underground in a series of wet, grimy tunnels hears a girl’s song and is faced with the opportunity to help someone in need – and come out of the darkness.

As the First Time
(Dir. Emanuela Mascherini, Italy, narrative, 20min)
Oscar is a photographer who has always captured moments and memories on film, until his wife’s illness threatens to steal all forms of memory.


NOTE: Some of the films in this block contain mature content that may not be appropriate for children.

(Dir. Maliheh Gholamzadeh, Iran, animation, 7.5min)
An animated short about people forced to leave their memories and loved ones behind because of war.

(Dir. Rayhaneh Mortezeenia, Iran, narrative, 9.5min)
A disabled boy who loves soccer tries to make his dreams come true in his imagination.

(Dir. Mirabbas Khosravinezhad, Iran, narrative, 9.5min)
Azadeh wants to go to the city to visit her father in the hospital, but her mother and brother won’t allow her to go.

I Killed a Person
(Dir. Nima Aghakhani, Iran, narrative, 28min)
Children playing with water guns in the street hit a passerby with water. He falls down and doesn’t seem to respond to anyone who tries to help him.

Better than Neil Armstrong
(Dir. Alireza Ghasemi, Iran, narrative, 20min)
Four kids start their journey to the moon with the mission of finding a mysterious place called The Redland.


City of Shells
(Dir. Sean Hamilton, US, narrative, 34min)
Set in the changing urban landscape of Philadelphia, a woman’s disappearance sets off a series of strange events.

The Connection Web Series
(Dir. Andrew Froening, US, narrative, 43min)
A series of short episodes that intertwine the superhero and film noir detective genres.

(Dir. Michael Licisyn, US, narrative, 6.5min)
Vanessa is a photojournalist who takes it upon herself to investigate a local disturbance. She quickly finds that there are some things only her camera can see.

The Time in Between the Seconds
(Dir. Mark Clauburg, US, narrative, 26min)
Told in a non-linear narrative, this short film follows a young woman whose recovery from a tragic event leads her to make a selfless decision.

SCREENING BLOCK I: Fun International

Things Were Better Before
(Dir. Lu Pulici, Italy, music video/animation, 6min)
This animated music video, made entirely using found or recycled materials, is a wake-up call for environmental change before it’s too late.

(Dir. Thomas Brosset, France, music video, 3 min)
A music video for the song “Monster” by Fanny Charmont.

Girl Culture (English subtitles)
(Dir. MĂ©lanie Brun, France, documentary, 1hr 8min)
A year in the life of 13-year-old girls entering the 8th grade in France. Who are these girls? What do they do, what do they talk about, what do they dream about?


Black Hole
(Dir. Nicholas Ovcharov, Ukraine, narrative, 8min)
An astrophysics professor lectures about a black hole, but doesn’t realize that he will be also be absorbed by it.

Comrade Dov
(Dir. Barak Heymann, Israel, Documentary, 1hr 15min)
Dov Khenin has been called everything from “goddamned communist” to “internal enemy” during his 13-year tenure as a member of the Israeli parliament for the leftist Jewish-Arab party Hadash. This thought-provoking portrait follows a unique politician, while examining the open wounds of contemporary Israeli society.

SCREENING BLOCK K: Docs by Local Filmmakers

Geronimo: Circus Trash Monster
(Dir. Colleen Brady, US, documentary, 8.5min)
After moving to Kensington, Philadelphia, Regina uses her aerialist skills to beautify her neighborhood and bring together the community.

Sunday in Cadwalader Park
(Dir. Ilene Dube, US, documentary, 30min)
Trenton’s Cadwalader Park is the last great urban park designed by Frederic Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture and designer of Central Park. Hear how the park has taken on a life of its own through the voices of local residents.

(Dir. Khalid Ali, US, documentary, 13.5min)
A documentary following the working days of seven Baltimore “squeegee boys” – young men who wash car windshields at busy intersections for tips.

Walter's Walk
(Dir. Stephen Bydal, US, documentary, 8.5min)
Meet Walter Wright, a 21st century pedestrian out to conquer Manhattan’s bridges one step at a time.

(Dir. Christopher Romano, US, documentary, 16min)
Fly fishing and tour guiding is a way of life for most Belizeans, and this documentary follows one of the best, Eworth Garbutt.

The Tides That Bind
(Dir. Nick Natalicchio, US, documentary, 22min)
People have been sending messages in bottles for hundreds of years, in search of everything from romance to scientific data. Clint Buffington has found over 90 messages in bottles and has made it a mission to track down the senders.

SCREENING BLOCK L: Shorts by Local Filmmakers

You Reap What You Sow
(Dir. Jacob Updike, US, animation, 2min)
When 5-year old Thomas is evacuating the city with his mother, he asks her why they have to go.

(Dir. Virend Shindi, US, narrative, 8.5min)
While filming a commercial for a new artificial intelligence app, Luna, the AI, takes on a mind of her own.

(Dir. Tommy Butler, US, narrative, 7.5min)
One morning inside the head of a young man on the autism spectrum as he and his older sister try to get through the day.

You Look Great
(Dir. Justin Davis, US, narrative, 26min)
In this dark comedy, Peter struggles with his weight and body image as he tries to gain control.

Ben & Sarah Get a Dog
(Dir. George Westberg, US, animation, 9min)
Sarah becomes focused on the idea of getting a dog. Ben is hesitant because he’s afraid of being replaced as the object of Sarah’s affection.

Calibrated (Dir. Miles Calbach, US, narrative, 53min)

An eccentric loner is forced into bizarre situations when the antique machine he relies on to create daily agendas begins to turn on him.

SCREENING BLOCK M: Music & Animation, Local

Space Tape
(Dir. Yuma Slowbinder, US, narrative/experimental, 6min)
Three unique stories about art, a videotape in space, and a hearse driver.

1,000 Keys
(The Cryptkeeper Five) (Dir. Anthony Catonese, US, music video, 3min)
A music video about finding a stronghold among friends, away from turmoil at home.

Agent of Chaos
(Dir. Scott Glazer and Wade Wilson, US, music video, 4min)
A music video for Trenton-based rapper, Wade Wilson.

The 3 Me's
(Dir. Simon Daniels, Ireland, spoken word, 2min)
A poem about discovery of self.

Song for Our People
(Dir. Mustapha Khan, US, documentary, 56min)
A group of professional musicians and artists come together in a Brooklyn recording studio to create a powerful new anthem to honor the perseverance of their African-American ancestors and to answer the question, “What have you done with your freedom?”traditional old-time string band music, and inspired a new generation of musicians.


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