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New Jersey Film Festival promises multitude of interesting films

The opportunity to see creative, independent films this spring is available at one of New Jersey's many film festivals.  – Photo by Jeremy Yap / Unsplash

The 2022 New Jersey International Film Festival has unveiled its exciting film program, jointly curated by an exclusive panel of judges composed of media professionals, students, journalists and academics who have selected 29 finalists from the works of more than 667 filmmakers from around the world.

The films, which span an incredible range of genres and come from an exciting wave of emerging international filmmakers, will screen throughout the hybrid festival here at Rutgers.

The summer 2022 festival celebrates its 27th annual year and, as with the popular spring 2022 festival, will be helmed by Albert Nigrin, executive director of the festival and a professor in the Department of Cinema Studies.

The festival will be taking place on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between June 3 and June 12. All films will be virtually available via video on demand for 24 hours on their show date, while select live screenings will be held at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. in Voorhees Hall on the College Avenue campus.

Among the diverse and acclaimed offerings of 29 films are the following, which include but are not limited to:

"Faithbreaker" dir. Piotr Złotorowicz (Warsaw, Poland)

A cinematic meditation on the morality and costs of truth, Złotorowicz's film tells the story of Anna, a young woman who returns to her childhood village to take care of her ailing mother in the last stages of her life.

Anna returns to the village to reconcile with her past and finds herself battling a whirlwind of emotions upon rekindling her childhood romance with a man named Alko — and that's what forms the crux of the story.

"The Mental State" dir. James Camali (Brooklyn, New York)

Camali’s film traces the journey of Andy Cady, a high school senior based in rural Kentucky who battles a severe mental illness that causes him to hallucinate his former Navy SEAL uncle, Dylan, back into existence from the dead.

As Andy comes to terms with the menacing schemes of his uncle and his inability to provide for his mother, Angela, Dylan brings a gun to school one fateful day as his struggles crescendo. 

"Beacon" dir. Jayme Coveliers (New York)

A depressed young man named Raúl finds a strange and life-altering new connection with an unknown person through his bedroom window, leaving him forever changed.

At a runtime of a mere 8 minutes, Coveliers’ film is a stunning work of cinematography and an intriguing piece of filmmaking that will spark a broad range of reactions from its viewers.

Coveliers, who has been writing, directing and shooting films since his middle school years and was even recently recognized by the Russo brothers (directors of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”), is hoping to attend Columbia University’s MFA program in filmmaking and is one of many prominent filmmakers who hope to grace the silver screen with their unique perspectives on contemporary cinema in the next decade.

"Fire-Man’s Fetish" dir. John Slover (Los Angeles)

Featuring “Spy Kids” star Danny Trejo in a leading role, Slover’s “Fire-Man’s Fetish” tells the story of a pyromaniac who is released from a state penitentiary after 50 years and immediately embarks on an arson rampage. The unique twists and turns in this premise, in addition to the gritty presence of Trejo, will make for a truly interesting watch! 

"NICHOLAS WINTON: THE MAN WHO SAVED 669 CHILDREN" dir. Frédéric Tonolli (Paris)

Tonolli’s documentary film narrates the heroic story of Nicholas Winton, a British banker who, in the spring of 1939, saved 669 children from the clutches of Nazi abuse in Prague. In addition to the film showing how his great acts of valor were, they also earned him the honor of knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.

These are just a few of the impressive lineup of films that will grace the New Jersey International Film Festival this summer!

For more information about the festival, to purchase tickets or to read more about the festival lineup in addition to these films, you can visit the festival's website

Tickets are available for $15 per program, while an all-access pass for the festival is available for $100. Whether you’re a fan of indie cinema, an aspiring filmmaker or actor or are simply interested in interacting with some of the most prominent names in the indie film scene, then this festival promises a remarkable lineup of films just for you. Don’t miss it!

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