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

New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2020



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.
Phone: (848) 932-8482; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web Site:


New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2020

The Fall 2020 New Jersey Film Festival was scheduled to take place at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey but because of COVID-19 the University will not be having any public events on campus this Fall so the Festival will have to be a virtual one. It will still take place between September 13-October 25, 2020. We will be using Eventive as our Festival Provider. They have an excellent reputation and have done a masterful job of streaming films for many years.

Sunday-September 13

September 13Underground Inc: The Rise and Fall of Alternative Rock – Shaun Katz (Cammeray, New South Wales, Australia) 
Underground Inc tells the story of the rise and fall of the alternative rock scene, in the wake of Nirvana’s success. Starting with it’s roots in the eighties underground punk scene - witness the meteoric rise to mainstream dominance and how it all came crashing down against a world of excess and greed. This is the story of the music business colliding with some of the most important and overlooked musicians of the period, finally telling this story in their own words! Underground Inc explores the compelling history of the last physical rock scene in underground punk, and is a candid look into what it takes to survive as an artist in the music industry. Featuring interviews with a range of musicians and insiders from White Zombie, Queens of the Stone Age, Helmet, Clutch, Fishbone, Red Fang, Steve Albini and more. Underground Inc is a must see for both musicians and music lovers. 2019; 97 min.

Sunday-September 20

September 20

Super Shorts I Program

Yet Another – Tim Disbrow (Annandale, New Jersey)

Cooped up inside and overcome with boredom, a young boy ventures out of the house to find a little excitement--but it's not the first time. 3 min, 2019.

Happily Everglades After – Daniel Kassel (Brooklyn, New York)
Everybody's just doing their best in the lagoon. 2019; 4 min.

The Winter – Xin Li (Carlton, Victoria, Australia)

A beautiful paint-on-glass animation that follows a peasant in a snowy forest.  2020; 5 min.

Nothing To Say – Aubrey Mintz (Toronto, Canada)

Nothing to Say in an allegory in which a recent arrival at the zoo, a turtle, challenges the zookeeper and other animals by not speaking on command to receive his food. By revealing his story to the others, the turtle exposes themes of exile and being a refugee in a land that provides for the body at the cost of the soul. Various animation styles used in the film help to uncover the emotional quality of the turtle’s experience. Narrated by Danny Aiello. 2019; 10 min.

She Who Invites – Sarah El Bakkhouri (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)

An abstract visualization of the Shinto tale of Izanami; the Goddess of Death and Creation. 2019; 7 min.

Peanut – Andy Mills (Brooklyn, New York)

After learning he has an abnormally small brain, John is prescribed a gun to kill himself. Unfortunately, he learns a gunshot to the head is not quite sufficient for his affliction. 2020; 5 min.

Azrahel – Harry Valentine   (Los Angeles, California)

When Dr. Lopez brings Vivian to the morgue to identify her son, she learns that there is no limit to what a mother will do -- and no force she will not turn to -- to bring back her child. 2019; 7 min.  

The Red Marsh – Drake Woodall (Brooklyn, New York)

An isolated fisherman's latent grief resurfaces when desperation causes him to look elsewhere for food. 2020; 12 min.

Snowglobe – Timothy Rush (Los Angeles, California)

A young woman wakes in a frozen wasteland. Searching for her lost co-pilot, on the run from a totalitarian regime, she discovers a world with many secrets lying beneath its surface. Along the way, she must face the darkness and find her voice if she hopes to survive. 2019; 11 min.

The Bronze Fly – Karleener  (Dijon, France)

A painter gives three magic pills to his visually impaired girlfriend, then intentionally loses her in the crowd. Thanks to a painting and to the three pills that transform the view into a painting style, she will search for the painter and his secret, without suspecting that, in the shadows, he will observe her during his passionate quest. In French, subtitled. 2019; 15 min.

Speed of Time - William Stribling (West Hollywood, California)

Future cop Johnny Killfire (John Hennigan) must go back in time and team up with his former self (Sean Marquette) in order to stop the TimeBorgs from getting their hands on an app that could break the space-time continuum by delivering pizzas into the past...before they were even ordered. 2020; 13 min.

Friday-September 25

September 25

Super Shorts II Program

Motion At A Distance – Lindsay Packer and Andrew Yong Hoon Lee (Brooklyn, New York)

Color takes ephemeral form into the sound space. Shadow shapes emerge, interact and recede as luminous, temporary geometries call into the question the division between analog and digital ways of seeing and believing. Motion at a Distance is a stop-motion animation by Lindsay Packer. Optical sound by Andrew Yong Hoon Lee guides Packer’s light-based installation and performance work into the realm of film. Lee’s composition uses sound as material and is pushed and pulled much like paint on a canvas to create abstract textures that evoke mood and memory. 2019; 3 min.

Dysphoria – Eric Butler (Orlando, Florida)

An A.I. or person struggles to recognize the self in it's truest sense, from second to second, taking into account past, present, and future (Family pictures, watching screens, and the Free Will Thereom), all of which is happening in every moment. Warning: strobe effect. 2020; 5 min

Night Birds & Ghost Crabs  - Robert Sickels (Walla Walla, Washington)

In pairing experimental imagery with interviews in which people from all walks of life discuss the gamut of that which keeps them up at night, Night Birds & Ghost Crabs documents those lonely late night moments we share with so many others the world over. As it turns out, though we are physically alone during the wee dark hours, we are united in sleeplessness with untold millions, and there’s a kind of reassuring comfort in that realization. 2019; 6 min. 

Slideshows From The Peanut Gallery – Paul Rodgers (Lexington, Kentucky)

Slideshows From The Peanut Gallery is an experimental animation that examines this pathology of longing by producing a hyper-facsimile of the family photo. The process starts by digitally scanning Kodak slides that have some formal or conceptual relationship. The subjects are then digitally traced, cut out, and animated: a kind of forensic archeology in response to the photographic image that breathes life into the subjects—and conversely flattens and mechanizes them. The resulting animation is a dream-like, non-narrative reenactment of the past that echoes the fleeting and arbitrary nature of nostalgia and the corruption of memory, an uncanny slideshow for strangers. 2020; 8 min.

Patient’s Copy – Patrick Tarrant (London, England)

A hand-made reflection on the underconscious and on the illustration of ideas on plastic. This collage film comes about after the discovery, in my university office, of a thousand overhead transparencies used for teaching biology. A chemically induced gaze looks out over this archive while a light shines down on obsolete treasures, buried ideologies and the science of life. Patient's Copy focuses on the capacity of these acetate transparencies to not simply allow light to pass through them, but also to allow light to reflect off them. This suggests a new function for images that have not only been excavated from their pedagogical and technological moment but which, in their new fluorescent form, are both less plastic, and more plastic than ever before. 2019; 10 min

Bubble – Haonan Wang (Beijing, China)

This is an urban tale of love and sacrifice set in a mysterious restaurant hidden in an alleyway. On an ordinary night, a man eats a lot of herbal plants in front of a woman, transforming himself into the woman’s food. In Mandarin, subtitled. 2020; 14 min.

Knock, Knock, Knock – Arom Choi  (Seoul, South Korea)

Knock, Knock, Knock follows Hana, a young woman who confines herself to a tiny box-like room. She interacts with the world by listening through the thin walls that separate her from her neighbors. Hana is consumed by thoughts of death, only to be confronted by an unexpected death. The room itself acts as an antagonist; the limited space and sound has the power to manipulate human emotion. In Korean, subtitled. 2019; 16 min.  

Bella – Seth D. Myers, Sarah Stolar (Dubuque, Iowa)

A young female dancer travels on an emotional journey through psychological and physical landscapes to discover a crucial truth that lives within her. 2019; 18 min.

Saturday-September 26

September 26

Love is not Love – Stephen Mills (Los Angeles, California)
Early December, New York City, and everyone is on the hunt for love. Why? Because they haven’t found it and because they haven’t found it, they make it into a myth and chase the myth instead. That is not love in this romantic drama of fantasy, fate, and yearning. Beautifully shot with great special effects and a terrific cast! 2019; 95 min.



Friday-October 2

October 2

The Palindromists – Vince Clemente (Long Beach, California)

The Palindromists is a documentary delving into the history of palindromes while following the world's greatest palindromists as they prepare for the 2017 World Palindrome Championship. 2019; 90 min.


Saturday-October 3

October 3

Super Shorts II

thunder.struck – Tory Delahunt (New York, New York)

A young woman has one more thing she must get -- and do -- before leaving her home, and her abusive partner, forever. 2019; 5 min.

NIUNIU-Xi Wang (San Francisco, California)

Mina tries to fit in with people around her but she finds that it is hard to connect. Then she finds a snail Niuniu, who unexpectedly become her best friend. And develop a special friendship. Mina and Niuniu live in their own world. 2019; 6 min.

Ghost of a Chance – Manes Duerr (Vienna, Austria)

Ghost of a Chance is a snapshot into the relationship of a young working class American couple. Two individuals bonded together through the expectance of a newborn baby, yet with different priorities - racing through their lives, we question whether one man’s childhood dream is more important than three people’s reality. 2019; 10 min.

My Dinner With Werner-Maverick Moore (Robinson, Texas)

Based on real events, real people, and real things they actually said, My Dinner With Werner is a wildly bizarre and wacky farce about a 1987 dinner date with a murder plot as the main dish. 2020; 18 min.

Thin Walls – Nick Canellakis (New York, New York)
An aspiring novelist moves into a new apartment, only to find her next-door neighbor is an obsessive cellist who practices all day long. How far is one willing to go for their art?

2019; 19 min.

How to Say I Love You at Night – Andree Ljutica (New York, New York)

A single take film exploring notions of male-on-male intimacy, sexuality and violence through one romantic encounter gone awry between a drugged up Benny and an emotionally disturbed, Paul. 2019 17 min.

Sunday-October 4

October 4Short Documentary Films Program

The Hustle Is Real – Thomas Draudt (Watertown, Massachusetts)
The Hustle Is Real is a story about creating your own lane to make money doing what you love and the hustle and grind that goes along with it.DJ Prestige makes a living as a DJ spinning 7” 45 rpm vinyl records.  He’s also a freelance writer, graphic designer, and champion of all things vinyl.  His lane is music that has soul, music that moves you.  Funk, jazz, soul, hip hop, latin, disco, and more are what he delivers at his DJ night.  Whether it’s in the lobby of the ACE Hotel in NYC, the SHAKE party in Brooklyn, behind the decks at various venues on the beach in Asbury Park, NJ, or as a guest DJ at Boston’s SOULELUJAH,  Prestige is known for his impeccable selection that controls the vibe and moves the dance floor.  2019; 12 min

Islander – Derek Pastuszek (Glendale, California)

The storm took everything... but, now, pieces have begun to wash ashore. This film was shot entirely on Long Beach Island NJ, in Beach Haven, where the director, Derek Pastuszek, spent a significant part of his childhood and adolescence at his family’s summer home, which was built by the director's grandfather in the 1960s. The film was shot by then-fellows -- and edited/finished by current alum -- of the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. Islander was shot just after Hurricane Sandy famously devastated the island -- as well as so much of the east coast – and scarred the collective psyche of so many people in the Northeast. The writer/director's family ended up having to part ways with their longtime short-home on LBI, a beachfront property on 4th St. in Beach Haven. The tough decision to say goodbye to such an important place in so many family members’ lives was primarily motivated by the damages on the island done by Sandy and its trying aftermath. This was the seed that grew the story of Islander. 2019; 12 min.

Karaoke League – Jeb Banegas (Brooklyn, New York)

Four teams battle to become the best karaoke team in New York City. 2019; 24 min.

Ashes to Ashes – Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk (Park City, Utah)

Winfred Rembert, the only living survivor of a lynching, a Star Wars fanatic and leather artist, develops a friendship with Doctor Shirley Jackson Whitaker who is on a mission to memorialize the forgotten 4,000 African Americans lynched during the Jim Crow era. Together, their journeys of healing intertwine. 2019; 25 min.

Friday-October 9

October 9

The Pine Barrens - David Scott Kessler (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

A wilderness stands in defiance of the encroaching megalopolis that surrounds it. Rare orchids and endangered species thrive near busy roadways. Wildfires rage through forests bringing life to its sandy soil. Land once deemed inhospitable, gave rise to a community and with it, a sense of pride inexorably linked to the diminishing island of darkness. Under a veil of folklore and myth, within the most densely populated state in America lies the New Jersey Pine Barrens. For six years, during a period of political flux that threatens to undermine New Jersey Pineland's protections, David Scott Kessler filmed the forest and its inhabitants in order to create a growing and evolving portrait of nature and identity. The project, which evolved as a series of live performance scored by The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, aims to capture the surreal wonder of the Pinelands in the hope of rekindling the sense of importance and imagination that helped to preserve it over 40 years ago. 2019; 104 min.

Saturday-October 10

October 10

In Case of Emergency – Carolyn Jones (Brooklyn, New York)

All of our country’s biggest public health challenges—from COVID19 to the opioid crisis to gun violence to behavioral health and lack of insurance—collide in emergency departments. Nearly half of all medical care in the U.S. is delivered in emergency departments and nurses are on the frontlines of that care, addressing our physical and emotional needs and sending us back out into the world. In Case of Emergency is a documentary that follows emergency nurses and their patients in seven unique settings across the U.S, from urban to rural, shedding light on some of the biggest health care crises facing Americans today, and the opportunity that emergency nurses have to help break a sometimes-vicious cycle for patients under their care. 2020; 76 min.

Sunday-October 11

October 11

The Covenant – Adam Baroukh (London, England)
One year after WWII concentration-camp survivor Abba Kovner is set to poison a German water-filtration plant in revenge for the crimes of the Nazis, but as the moment of truth nears, an unexpected encounter threatens to jeopardize the mission. Based on a true story. In German, subtitled.  2020; 10 min.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nelson – Ludi Boeken (Tel Aviv, Israel)

The saga of Israeli soldier ELIAHU B. (later known as “Tony Nelson”) unfolds at the 1955 Court Martial in which he stands accused of desertion for 846 days - during which he made his way via Italy to France and eventually to the swamps of Vietnam, in search of justice – and revenge. Nelson is inspired by a true story. In Hebrew, subtitled. 2019; 75 min.

Friday-October 16

October 16Inez & Doug & Kira - Julia Kots (New York, New York)

When Inez (Tawny Cypress) took her own life after a long struggle with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, she left no note—only a pile of old photos strewn about her bed. The two people closest to her—her sister, Kira (Talia Thiesfield), and Kira’s fiancé, Doug (Michael Chernus) – are left with too many questions. Doug embarks on a self-destructive quest to decipher the significance of the photographs and understand what pushed Inez to slit her wrists one night. Driven by a series of flashbacks and increasingly haunting dreams, Doug’s investigation grows more obsessive; while his relationship with Kira begins to unravel, as does his sanity, until he finds himself face to face with his own demons. 2019; 96 min.

Saturday-October 17

October 17

A Single Mom – Farhad Ali and Peyman Soheili (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

A single mom and her teenage daughter communicate with sticky notes. 2020; 8 min.

Ironrite – Clayton Combe (Tappan, New York)

A 1950s housewife struggles to accept her place in the world, while hiding herself and her young son from an aggressive door-to-door salesman. 2019; 9 min.

Turtle Island - Orko Mukherjee (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

A beautiful coming of age drama which revolves around Irene, an orphaned teen raised by her Native American guardian, who falls in with the wrong crowd and runs away. Irene returns after 10 years, now with her daughter, and follows a better path. Along with a focus on domestic trafficking, the story also makes an attempt to bring up the treatment of indigenous community in this country. The hardship the community had to go through in the past and, which is still relevant. 2020; 58 min.

Friday-October 23

October 23

Woman of the Photographs – Takeshi Kushida (Tokyo, Japan)

A misogynic photographer discovers for the first time in his life the joys of loving a woman, this one confused about her self-identity and self-esteem, by helping her in her perceptions of herself with his retouching skills. One day, middle-aged photographer and retouching artist Kai encounters Kyoko, a beautiful woman and model with a huge and ugly scar on her body. She asks Kai if he can erase the scar in her photographs of herself and create a perfect and flawless body by his retouching skills. Kyoko is fascinated by her new perfect looks in her photographs. At the same time, she is hesitant to show the world and her fans her ideal figures as in her photographs or to show her real self, scars and all. She is torn between the two selves and falls into confusion. Kai feels that only he can salvage Kyoko from her anguishes, and he is determined to love her at all costs, even if it means death to him.
Woman of the Photographs is a film that depicts the fascination and the passion in this encounter between two people awakening for the first time, to love and empathy. In Japanese, subtitled.  2019; 89 min.

Sunday-October 25

October 25

Festival Winners Announced!






General Information



$12=General per screening ! $75= Early Bird Festival Pass ! ! $100= Early Bird Festival Pass
All films are subject to change.


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.   
Phone: (848) 932-8482
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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; Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program; Jungle Software; The Rutgers University American Studies Department; The Rutgers University Office of Disability Services; The Rutgers University Writer’s House; Johnson & Johnson; WCTC/WMGQ; WRSU; The Home News Tribune; The Asbury Park Press; New Jersey Stage; New Brunswick City Market; Steven C. Schechter, Esq.; Share and Harris.

Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC 2020 Staff

Executive Director/Curator: Albert Gabriel Nigrin
Office and House Managers: Abigail Folvar, Sergio Gattica, Katie Scrivani, Quinn Turon,
Volunteers/Interns: Kai Dennis, Dennis Geissler, Hayleigh Gronenthal, Hamsa Hassan, Justin Holness, Dana Lauria, Zijia Liu Stephanie Man, Bryana Martinez, Aimee Rabino, Kylie Sekelsky, Ashley Terer, Max Valentine, Yu Yan
Advisors: Bob Brodsky, Victoria Connor, Dr. Susan Martin-Marquez, Dr. Daniel Nigrin, Dr. Meheli Sen, 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 2020 is curated by Albert Gabriel Nigrin. Schedule compiler: Vic Fern. Cover Art: Spin Me Round by Albert Gabriel Nigrin ©2020.