New Jersey Film Festival: Fall Preview


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Courtesy of New Jersey Film Fest


It’s that time of year again, and as students return to the New Brunswick campus so does the latest installment of the New Jersey Film Festival. The festival showcases selections from around the continent and film styles that include narrative features, documentaries, short films and experimental art pieces.

The festival will feature more than 50 screenings, with the first part focused on the films in competition and the second part centered on the films that won prizes in the festival last spring. The 29 films competing are finalists that were selected out of a pool of 388 entries from across the globe. This year’s prizewinners will be selected by a group of judges and the Festival Director and will be announced after the screenings on Oct. 6.

Some of the highlights at the festival this year include “Life With Alex,” a documentary about an African Grey Parrot with advanced communication skills and the way that his life intertwines with a doctor and her assistants. The emotional story features never before seen footage of the famous parrot and serves an interesting commentary on the human spirit and the connections that it forms. After the screening on Sept. 20, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, the film’s human subject and “Life With Alex’s” director Emily Wick will stay for a Q and A.

In “Locomotive,” viewers will find an emotional character study on a musician who left his band to start a solo career as a DJ. After failing at his new venture, he decides to go back and reconnect with the band, as well as with a former lover. “Locomotive” will be shown Sept. 27. Also that night, festival attendees can indulge in a piece that is a little lighter, “A Night at the Office.” The six-minute short follows two workers at a dead-end job who realize that a monster lives in their office. There will be an Introduction as well as a Q-and-A session with director Eric Eppinger.

The festival will premiere a documentary on Sept. 15 that is truly larger-than-life, “Sick Mick and the Boys.” Mike Charlton is a man with dozens of arrests and a troubled past. Rather than turning into a deadbeat or falling into another vicious cycle of negativity, Mike decides to get his friends together and attempt what his father could never accomplish: break the land speed record. The film follows Mike and his ragtag group of friends as they head to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with a homemade jet-powered motorcycle as they try to rewrite history.

The film festival will be running from Sept. 6 through Nov. 15 at Voorhees Hall on College Avenue campus. More information on the New Jersey Film Festival and a complete schedule of films and ticket prices can be found at njfilmfest.com.


Spence Blazak

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