The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center and
the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies present the

New Jersey Film Festival Spring 2019

Screening Schedule
Click Here For General Information

Cover Art: Star by Albert Gabriel Nigrin ©2018

New Jersey Film Festival Spring 2019 Winners
All the works that were part of the Spring 2019 New Jersey Film Festival Competition were selected by a panel of judges including media professionals, journalists, students, and academics. These judges selected the 22 finalists which were publicly screened at our Festival. The finalists were selected from 546 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world. In addition, the judges chose the Prize Winners in conjunction with the Festival Director.

Winner Best Feature Film
Here We Are – David Bellarosa (Austin, Texas)

Winner Best Documentary Film
Diary of Rooftop Water Towers – Nobuyuki Asai (New York, New York)

Winner Best Short Film
Mimi Vang Olsen: Pet Portraitist– Anthony Maranville (Los Angeles, California)

Honorable Mention Winners
The Bug – Dean Cameron (Burbank, California)
Everything's Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major – Zack Morrison (East Brunswick, New Jersey)
How They Got Over – Robert Clem (Stone Ridge, New York)
Harls – Kenzie Sutton (Millburn, New Jersey)
The Shepherd Sings A Song – Andrew Ni (Princeton, New Jersey)
Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries – Janet Gardner (Princeton, New Jersey)
A Girl Named C – Emily Kassie (New York, New York)
Vermont Fancy – Kathleen Dougherty Huxley (Brooklyn, New York)

Special Promotions and Events:
-All films screened that are part of the New Jersey Film Festival Competition
between January 24 and February 10 are New Jersey or Area Premieres!
-The Screenings on February 15 and March 1 are FREE!
-Free Parking in Rutgers University lots near the screening space!

Friday-January 25-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Geometry – Simo Liu (Los Angeles, California)

A short animation inspired by the work of experimental filmmakers Oskar Fischinger and John Whitney. 2018; 2 min.
Diary of Rooftop Water Towers – Nobuyuki Asai (New York, New York)
A poetic homage to New York City’s water towers as they evolve through the seasons, their mutability comparable to that of human lives. Over 200 shots of rooftop water towers are separated by brief intervals of black leader, which evoke a city symphony that changes throughout the day and through the seasons. 2018; 103 min Q+A Session by Director Nobuyuki Asai and Producer Keiko Shinonaga! Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Cinema Studies Program!

Saturday-January 26-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Rule Of Thumb – Bill Rosenthal (
Newton, MA)
When a woman has trouble maintaining her romantic relationships, her partners pay the price. 2018; 10 min.  Q+A Session with Director Bill Rosenthal!

Ashes – Anthony La Pira (Norwood, New Jersey)

A psychological horror film about a drug-addicted man, who reluctantly receives ashes on Ash Wednesday to please his family, and is sent into a downward spiral of hallucinatory, religious-themed body horror. 2018; 17 min.   Q+A Session with Director Anthony La Pira!

Teenage Bloodsuckin' Bimbos – Anthony Catanese (Trenton, New Jersey)

Struggling with her alcoholic mother and a love-struck neighbor, while taking care of her baby brother, high school student Jessica longs to be part of the in-crowd and escape the confines of her trailer park life. When she's accepted by a trio of fun-loving ladies of the night she finds herself thrust into a subterranean world of blood suckin’ pros.  Will her choices come back to bite her, or will a legendary, mysterious Russian vampire hunter, Boris Von Yelsing, catch up with her and her bloodsucking besties first? 2018;  105 min. Q+A Session with Director Anthony Catanese and Producer Sara Casey!

Sunday-January 27-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

The Bug – Dean Cameron (Burbank, California)

In this funny short film, Dave’s life changes completely when he is befriended by a singing and dancing bug. 2018; 7 min.

Everything's Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major – Zack Morrison (East Brunswick, New Jersey)
A musical comedy about a woman at the onset of her quarter-life crisis and her existential journey through the various stages of anxiety in song and dance. 2018; 15 min. Q+A Session with Director Zack Morrison!
How They Got Over – Robert Clem (Stone Ridge, New York)

A stirring documentary about African-American gospel quartets like the Soul Stirrers, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the Blind Boys who developed a hugely influential musical spirit and style. Gospel quartets synthesized an  energy and beat that evolved into doo-wop, rhythm and blues, soul music, and rock and roll.  Quartet music also became a lifeline for African Americans who took to the road as radio and records became popular, popularizing an energetic musical form that was both infectious and moving.  Featuring interviews with legendary singers, the film documents how quartets choreographed their gestures -- shouting, bending over backwards, dancing, jumping off the stage – to move their audiences. Pioneers of rock and roll, they created the unforgettable music that animates this film. 2018; 87 min. Q+A Session with Director Robert Clem and Producer Jerry Zolten! Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University American Studies Department!

Friday-February 1-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Harls – Kenzie Sutton (Millburn, New Jersey)

A guy named Harls keeps getting reincarnated in this wonderful animated film. 2018; 2 min.

Mimi Vang Olsen:  Pet Portraitist– Anthony Maranville (Los Angeles, California)

Pets are not just members of the family—they deserve their own portraits!  Creating such portraits is the life’s work of Mimi Vang Olsen, a painter with her own store front in New York’s West Village who immortalizes the lives of her clients and their pets.  This loving profile of the artist is a thoughtful meditation on the importance of pets and art. 2018; 33 min.

Leaving an Impression: A Portrait of Edward Dufner – David Koh and Emma Quong (Millburn, New Jersey)

100 years ago, the American Impressionist Edward Dufner created two large paintings depicting night and day. He generously gifted these paintings in 1957 to Millburn Township, New Jersey.  This documentary follows the restoration process that brought these two beautiful paintings back to life.  Celebrating the work of the art restorers, and the volunteers who helped along the way, the filmmakers track the techniques that reversed the damage brought on a by century of neglect, with clarity, passion and humor. 2018; 43 min. Q+A Session with Co-Director David Koh and Producer Laraine Brennan Barach! Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University American Studies Department and the Zimmerli Art Museum!

Saturday-February 2-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Queenie and the All or Nothing Thin King – Benni Quintero (Valencia, California)

A mixed-media animation film that utilizes acrylic paint, a camera obscura, stop-motion puppetry, shadows, after-effects, a scanner, and an exuberant amount of glitter dubbed “random disco flakes” to tell the story of the internal and unhealthy thought processes of a little felted blobby person named Queenie. 2018; 4 min.

Here We Are –David Bellarosa  (Austin, Texas)

A romantic comedy about two human lab rats who fall in love over meds. Andy, a talented young writer stuck in Austin, Texas, is looking to get away, to see what else his life and this great country has to offer him. But with a growing debt and a broken down rv, finally hitting the road seems impossible until he hears of a way to make some fast money at a pharmaceutical testing facility.  Checking himself in, he starts taking some really weird experimental drugs.  But there, amongst even more lovable losers, he finds Misty, a vibrant and mysterious young woman with whom he may actually have a true connection. If he can survive the testing and maintain a cool head, has he found the co-pilot on the road of life that he's been looking for all along? 2018; 108 min. Q+A Session with Director David Bellarosa!

Friday-February 8-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

The Shepherd Sings A Song – Andrew Ni (Princeton, New Jersey)
Local newspapers – the printed diaries of hometowns – are no longer the revered community voices that they used to be.   The Shepherd Sings a Song champions local journalists in Central New Jersey as they struggle to keep their hometown newspapers afloat, and to balance their community obligations with the strains of maintaining a profit-making enterprise. 2018; 31 min. Q+A Session with Director Andrew Ni!

Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries – Janet Gardner (Princeton, New Jersey)

This illuminating documentary film tells the story of the Quakers and their spiritual movement, which has played a remarkable role in our religious, social and political life.  Demonstrating an influence disproportionate to their numbers, Quakers have been leaders in the anti-slavery, civil rights, and women’s rights movements, and are deeply committed advocates for world peace.  The film follows Quakerism from its founding in 17th-century England, as the Religious Society of Friends, to the present.  The call of individual conscience and community activism continues to affect the lives of modern Quakers. For example, Philadelphia’s Earth Quaker Action Team is made up of young Friends who are working to ban mountain-top-removal coal mining. 2018; 80 min. Q+A Session with Director Janet Gardner!

Saturday-February 9-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Game Changer – Sam Shapiro (Watchung, New Jersey)
In this musically-driven tale, a young woman has just discovered that she is pregnant. While anxiously waiting for her husband to come home from work so she can tell him the news, she imagines the future: good, bad, and ugly. 2018; 9 min.

Jo –  Justine Williams (New York, New York)

Set in 1980s Woodstock, Jo follows a 13-year-old girl as she clashes with her rabbi and her mom over her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. On the heels of her dad's death and with puberty coming on quick, nothing about this traditional rite of passage feels right to Jo.  An unexpected encounter with a local girl in the woods, gives Jo a new outlook, and sends her Bat Mitzvah party into an unorthodox direction. 2018; 15 min.

A Girl Named C – Emily Kassie
(New York, New York)
This documentary addresses one of the most taboo subjects in the United States: child sexual assault, as it documents, with commendable sensitivity, the case of a girl who was raped in her New Jersey elementary school by another 11-year-old student. After being denied justice and resolution, C is determined to share her story. The film uses C's drawings and poetry to illustrate and animate her inner life, and what it means for a child to survive such trauma. 2018; 70 min.

Sunday-February 10-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10; $9

Introducing Skülly – Kirk Wallace (Leominster, Massachusetts)
In this crazy short film, Skülly careens from one animated adventure to the next. 2018; 5 min.

Yellow Arrows – Yana Sar (New York, New York)

In this gorgeous experimental film, a man named Jack follows a path into a hidden world. As he gets trapped in a maze of the unknown, the answers he was looking for begin to be revealed. Or do they? 2018; 15 min.

The Last Harvest – Alexis Spraic (Watsonville, California)

Critical labor shortages are forcing farmers to abandon valuable crops. Hear from affected communities and the unsung heroes who grow our food. The Last Harvest is a rallying cry for compassionate immigration reform and innovation in our food system. 2018; 20 min.

Vermont Fancy – Kathleen Dougherty Huxley (Brooklyn, New York)

Vermont Fancy  profiles Doug Densmore, a farmer who lives and works in a bucolic Vermont town nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. As the film tracks four seasons on the farm, Doug--a hilarious raconteur and natural philosopher--shares his concerns and dilemmas as he makes maple syrup, cuts his wood, operates his small sawmill, raises cattle and pigs, puts up hay and grows his vegetable garden. He radiates the joy of this life even as it is under threat.  What will become of his farm in the future?  For him, the question is existential. Having chosen to follow his passion in his youth, he is deeply worried that the harsh reality of the present portends the end of a beloved way of life.  2018; 47 min. Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) Honors! Q+A Session with Director Kathleen Dougherty Huxley!

Friday-February 15-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM FREE!!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Wayne Wang
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on the best-selling novel, is a compelling portrait of female friendship. Centuries ago, two “sworn sisters” are isolated by their families, but they stay connected through a secret language written in the folds of a white silk fan.  Their descendants, who reside in modern-day Shanghai, draw inspiration from the past as they struggle to maintain their own bonds in the face of life’s complications. Two stories unfold, generations apart, but everlasting in their universal notions of love, hope, and friendship. 2011; 137 min. Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Confucius Institute!

Friday-February 22-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10;$9
Saturday-February 23-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM $12; $10;$9

2019 United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival                                      

View the winning films and digital videos of the International U.S. Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival, selected by a jury of filmmakers, Rutgers University students, and media professionals. The festival--now in its 31st year—will feature finalist works by independent filmmakers from the United States and around the world. Prize winners will be announced after the screening, in a competition for prizes, along with the Audience Favorite Prize. Approx. 120 min. Click here to see the complete festival line-up.

Friday-March 1-Voorhees Hall #105-7PM FREE!!

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers – Wayne Wang
This critically acclaimed film by Wayne Wang deals with assimilation and family conflict in an open and gracious way.  It tells the story of a father who decides to leave his native China, and to find his estranged daughter, Yilan, in the United States.  There, he befriends an Arab-American mother who can relate to his feelings of isolation and culture shock. After having an awkward reunion with Yilan, he realizes just how far apart they've grown from each other. And though he can barely speak English, he decides to stay permanently, hoping to mend their broken relationship. 2007; 83 min.  Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Confucius Institute!

General Information

All Voorhees Hall programs begin at 7:00 PM. Films are screened in the order listed.


Voorhees Hall #105, 71 Hamilton Street/College Avenue Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

NOTE: Our primary screening location, Voorhees Hall #105, features comfortable seats, stadium seating, and a state-of-the-art hi-definition projection and sound system. We can also provide listening assistive devices, without charge, to those who are hearing impaired.  Please contact us 48 hours prior to a screening so that we can arrange to have these listening assistive devices available for your use.

$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends. NOTE: Screenings on February 15 and March 1 are FREE!
All films are subject to change. Call our information number 848-932-8482 the day of show to confirm titles.

Tickets are available on a “first-come-first-served” basis and can be purchased at the door beginning a half-hour before the start time.

Advance Tickets are available and can be purchased using Paypal up to the day before a screening (unless that screening is sold out). Log on to, and use as the send money address. Tickets are $14 each in advance ($12+$2 processing fee). Include the names of the attendees and the date/time of the screening in the memo box. We will have a list of those who pre-paid at the door. Advance Tickets are non-refundable.
Call or email us for more info on Advance Ticket sales.

Voorhees Hall #105=Take the NJ Turnpike to Exit 9 and then take Route 18N (New Brunswick direction) and go for 2 1/2 miles to the College Avenue Campus/George Street exit and make a left at the light at the end of the exit ramp onto George Street, then go to the next light and make a right onto Hamilton Street, then go to the next light and make a right onto College Avenue. Almost immediately on your right hand side there is an University Parking Lot (#9) which is made available for our patrons to park in. Voorhees Hall is adjacent to the Zimmerli Art Museum and is 100 paces across the Voorhees Mall from Parking Lot 9. Patrons can also park in Rutgers Lots #1 (next to Kirkpatrick Chapel) and #16 (next to Murray and Milledoler Hall)
Map and Directions are also here:,+71+Hamilton+St,+New+Brunswick,+NJ+08901/@40.5000688,74.4481033,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c3c65384be2723:0xee54027c4331b753!8m2!3d40.5000688!4d-74.4459146

Note: Parking in the lots listed above are only for visitors to the University. Visitor vehicles must be registered prior to parking at the link below:
Faculty, Staff, and Students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in.

New Jersey Film Festival
Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center
Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies
4170 Academic Building, 15 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901-8525 U.S.A.
(848) 932-8482 phone (732) 932-1935 fax;,  e-mail;
Web Site:


The New Jersey Film Festival is funded and sponsored in part by The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center; The Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies/School of Arts and Sciences; Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant provided by New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; The Rutgers University Confucius Institute; Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program; Jungle Software;  The Rutgers University American Studies Department; The Rutgers University Writer’s House; Rutgers Global; The Zimmerli Art Museum; The Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Honors Program; The Rutgers University Office of Disability Services;  The Rutgers University French Department; Johnson & Johnson; WCTC/WMGQ; WRSU; The Home News Tribune; The Asbury Park Press; New Brunswick City Market; The Rutgers University Office of Community Affairs; The Rutgers University Digital Classroom Services Office; Design Ideas; Advanced Printing; Steven C. Schechter, Esq.; Share and Harris.

Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC 2018 Staff
Executive Director/Curator
: Albert Gabriel Nigrin
Office and House Managers: Dayna Hagewood, Franne Magen, John Noonan, Joshua Reich
Volunteers/Interns: Preeya Dave, Alexis DeRise, Abigail Folvar, Sergio Gattica, Hayleigh Gronenthal, Justin Holness, Chelsea Lebron, Angeli Reyes, Quinn Turon, Tyler Van Osten, Luis Veras, Xinyue Wang

Advisors: Bob Brodsky, Victoria Connor, Dr. Susan Martin-Marquez, Dr. Daniel Nigrin, Toni Treadway, and Dr. Alan Williams
Board of Trustees: Dr. Irene Fizer, Bill Harris, Albert Gabriel Nigrin, and Steven C. Schechter, Esq.

The New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2018 is curated by Albert Gabriel Nigrin. Schedule Editor: Irene Fizer. Schedule compiler: Vic Fern. Schedule Designer:  Victoria Connor/Design Ideas. Schedule printed by Advanced Printing.  Cover Art: Star by Albert Gabriel Nigrin ©2018.