NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – An intimate look at Clarence Clemons, a poignant story of a girl who finds salvation through art and a cautionary tale about the dangers of a video game are just some of the films on tap for the 24th annual New Jersey International Film Festival Summer 2019.

The festival, presented by Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center in association with the Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies, will also feature a film directed by Jeanie Bryson of East Brunswick.

“Sing You a Brand New Song: The Words and Music of Coleman Mallett” is the story about the tragic death of Bryson’s husband and how the guitarist’s music lives on thanks to some help from James Taylor, Chuck Mangione and others.

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Starting Saturday, June 1, 20 films will have their New Jersey premiere screenings at Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s Voorhees Hall.

For more information, contact Albert Gabriel Nigrin, Executive Director/Curator of the New Jersey International Film Festival at (848) 932-8482 or,, or visit

Here is the film lineup:


At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 7 p.m.

“The Traffic Separating Device”

Directed by Johan Palmgren (Stockholm, Sweden)

In this hilarious short documentary, a “traffic separating device” is installed in the middle of Stockholm. It is supposed to keep cars away and to let buses pass. It turns into a disaster as drivers continue to go where they’re not supposed to go, leading to hundreds of cars getting destroyed every week.  At once tragic and funny, this documentary speaks to a whole mess of human failures. In Swedish and German, subtitled. 2018; 15 min.


Directed by Barbara Vekarić (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

This terrific romantic comedy from Croatia tracks a young woman’s “quarter-life” crisis.  Having failed to find a job after graduating from college, Aleksi, now 28, returns home to live with her parents.  Ignoring her pressing responsibilities, and instead following her impulses, she entangles herself with three men: Christian, an American photographer; Goran, a local musician, whom she can't stand because of his traditional values, but with whom she has an intense physical chemistry; and Toni, an older, richer playboy who tries to lure her with the extravagance of yachts, parties and expensive drugs.  The question is:  will Aleksi choose one man, from among the three, or will she decide to ditch them all?  In Croatian, subtitled. 2019; 90 min.


At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 5 p.m.

“Hoan Alone: Personal Stories from the Bridge”

Directed by Aaron Johnson (Oak Creek, Wis.)

The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge in Milwaukee is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But it’s also a site that draws deeply troubled individuals, who are contemplating suicide. This animated documentary poignantly explores issues of depression and suicide prevention through three intimate interviews. 2018; 9 min.

“When I Last Saw Jesse”

Directed by Brian Rose (Kansas City, Mo.)

In November 2006, Jesse Ross traveled to Chicago to participate in an academic conference. While attending a meeting, he rose from his chair and walked out of the room.  He has not been seen or heard from since. “When I Last Saw Jesse” is a compelling feature documentary which tells the story of what happened in Chicago that night, and the impact of Jesse’s sudden and mysterious absence on his family and friends. 2018; 81 min.

At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 7 p.m.


Directed by Raúl Koler and Emiliano Sette (La Plata, Argentina)

This animated short from Argentina refashions the struggle between good and evil. 2019; 12 min.

“Little Histories”

Directed by Rafael Marziano (Caracas, Venezuela)

This timely feature film is set during the five-day Venezuelan military coup that took place in 2002. “Little Histories” consists of five different fictional stories that unfold between the start of the coup and the return of then-President Hugo Chavez. As the coup plays out, often in the background, the ordinary lives of the characters, from the working class to white-collar professionals, take on extraordinary dimensions. “Each story is a part of history, offering a commentary on normalcy in chaos.”- Kelly Harrison.  In Spanish, subtitled. 2018; 93 min.


At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 7 p.m.

“Carlotta’s Face”

Directed by Valentin Riedl (Munich, Germany) and Frédéric Schuld  (Hamburg, Germany)

As a child, Carlotta didn’t expect the people around her to have faces. She couldn’t even recognize her own face. Years later, she learned that she suffers from a rare, untreatable brain defect. Remarkably, however, she turns to art, as a medium that offers her a way to finally recognize herself. In German, subtitled. 2018; 5 min.


Directed by Shadi Adib (Stuttgart, Germany)

A mousetrap snaps shut, a market place awakens. A group of men heatedly discuss how to kill the animal in the little box.  One after the other, they try to trump each other’s sadistic fantasies, and even a stranger’s suggestion to let the creature loose turns out to be a sick manipulation. But as the macabre game unfolds and spirals out of control, both victim and tormentor suffer the same fate. The animated film was drawn entirely on paper and features, among others, Nick Cave as one of the main voice actors. 2018, 7 min.

“Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am”

Directed by Nick Mead (Newton, Pa.)

Bruce Springsteen's right-hand man Clarence Clemons was a force on stage.  But who was he when the lights went down? Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, former bandmates, friends and close family members, “Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?” highlights Clemons’ life as a musician while also presenting another side of that not many saw when he lit up the stage.  This is an intimate portrait of a musician who searched for enlightenment during the unknowingly final years of his life. 2019; 90 min Q+A Session with Producer Joseph Amodei. Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University American Studies Department.


At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 5 p.m.


Directed by  Natalie Peracchio (Los Angeles)

When a destructive force comes between two sisters, it threatens their relationship and their lives. 2018; 7 min.


Directed by Ewan Gotfryd (Los Angeles)

“Mother” is an experimental short film that pays homage to Maya Deren, one of the most influential avant-garde filmmakers of the twentieth century. Featuring a dream-like narrative about a woman trapped within a fantasy and confronted by her inner fears. 2019 10 min.

“Dark Deco”

Directed by Matt Deblinger (Miami)

Candace and Ben's relationship unravel after Ben becomes addicted to the Deco, a virtual-reality device with mysterious simulation capabilities. While visiting Candace's grieving family for dinner, the estranged couple discovers that Ben is not the only one who is absorbed by this new technology. . . 2019; 12 min. Q+A Session by Actor Jose Duran and Editor Nicholas Orris.

“House of Stronzo”

Matthew White (Pittsford, N.Y.)

House of Stronzochronicles the quest of Pete Cecere, one of the preeminent collectors of folk art and outsider art in North America, to find permanent homes for the more than 5,000 pieces of original art that he stores inside his Virginia home. Pete thinks his art is the star of the film. But it is his overwhelming passion for collecting more and more stuff that actually steals the show. 2018; 58 min.

At Voorhees Hall No. 105, 7 p.m.

“The Reservoir”

Directed by Jordan Rowe (Encino, Calif.)

With high school in the rearview mirror and college fast approaching, Aaron (played by Jared Gilman, the star of “Moonrise Kingdom”) and his best friend Grant, who have played in a rock band on and off for years, are approached by a washed-up manager, Eddie Iverson.  Iverson offers them a potentially life-changing opportunity:  to be the opening act for his new band on their cross-country tour. Will Aaron risk the comfortable life his parents have planned for him or risk it all to escape suburban mediocrity? 2018; 19 min

“Sing you a Brand New Song: The Words and Music of Coleman Mellett”

Directed by  Jeanie Bryson (East Brunswick)

Guitarist Coleman Mellett was working on an album of original songs when he perished in a plane crash at the age of 34. In this moving story of enduring love, music, and friendship, Grammy-Award-winning producer Barry Miles, James Taylor, Chuck Mangione and many other talented musicians come together to complete Mellett’s final album, and to revel in his music. A beautiful and joyous documentary that should not be missed. 2019; 51 min.  Q+A Session by Producer Jeanie Bryson.


Voorhees Hall No. 105, 5 p.m.

“Song for Turbulent Youth”

Directed by Jianhua Yang (Zhuhai, China)

Full of hope for the future, six friends graduate from college in China, but the life path each hoped to follow turns out to be thickly sown with thorns. Guan Xiaobo discovers that his limousine shop is not well-run. Chang Fan is from a poor family, and his dreams of starting his own business are thwarted. Ni Wawa’s advertising agency thrives, but her secret lover makes her linger in sorrow. Tang Feier, an aspiring singer, loses herself in the temptation of fame. Facing the storm of fate, the six friends return to the safe harbor of their intimate circle, and eventually reach the shore of happiness. In Mandarin, Subtitled. 2018; 93 min.  Co-sponsored by The Rutgers University Confucius Institute.

Voorhees Hall No. 105, 7 p.m.


Directed by Alla Ready (Union Beach)

Unable to deal with a family loss, a mother and her teenage daughter resort to constant fighting and resentment.  Deep down, they both crave love and support but they don’t know how to express those needs. In the end, the tragedy causes them to access their true feelings. In English and Russian, subtitled. 2019; 5 min. Q+A Session with Director Alla Ready.

“Window Shopping”

Directed by Russell Kohlmann (Farmingdale)

What happens when young man with an active imagination and lackluster sex life goes shopping? 2019; 7 min. Q+A Session by Director Russell Kohlmann.


Directed by Brent Leoni (Hillsborough)

Laura invites a group of friends over for a party, oblivious to the chaos that is taking place around the globe. 2019; 23 min. Q+A Session by Brent Leoni.

“Anywhere is Here”

Directed by Ian Lettire (Stewartsville)

Sarah Dawson, a teenaged girl, endures a life at the hands of a corrupt and abusive father and a neglectful mother.  Seeing no other option, she devises a plan to steal her father’s money and to run away with her best friend Ben. Unfortunately, things go terribly awry, when she is unwittingly thrown into her father’s nefarious world of white-collar crime. Can she unravel the tangled web that her father has spun?  Or should she run as far away from home as she can?. 2019; 76 min.  Q+A Session with Director Ian Lettire.