It’s June in Metuchen, and that means Junebug Art Festival, gorgeous gardens, a hopping downtown and this year, FILM! 

The Metuchen Downtown Alliance, Metuchen Chamber of Commerce, Metuchen Arts Council, the Borough Improvement League and the Metuchen High School are working with JuneBug ArtFest to present a red-carpet screening of “Blame,” a film shot in Metuchen by Laurie and Quinn Shephard, the youngest female filmmaker to show her work at the Tribeca Film Festival. The movie’s Nadia Alexander took home the “Best Actress” award from Tribeca, and the film is creating industry buzz with a tale of drama within the drama club of a New Jersey high school.

Films like this can only happen in small towns. Metuchen was the perfect location for ‘Blame’ — both as the setting for the story, a close-knit All-American suburban town, and as a support system for me as a filmmaker. We were welcomed into local homes to film. Our set was catered by local businesses, and MHS and the Board of Ed made the entire production possible by allowing me to film at my old high school. Mr. Peragallo, who is the principal of MHS, was a huge advocate for the film. He got everyone on our side. Now, it is so exciting to share the final product with the community that helped make it possible!” — Quinn Shephard on filming in Metuchen

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“It’s so exciting to be able to share this film — and the years of work we have put into it — with the community. This film was born, bred, and filmed in Metuchen – and it’s been wonderful to have the support of local groups and businesses to celebrate BLAME, as well as Metuchen and independent filmmakers.” – Quinn Shephard

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that “(‘Blame’) is sleekly shot and edited, though it's best appreciated as a vehicle for the gifted cast…Nastiness abounds in ‘Blame,’ but the writer, director brings an empathy to the material — a willingness to locate hidden depths in even the meanest of mean girls — that keeps it from feeling cheap or facile.”

“With the 10th Anniversary of Junebug this year, we are very excited to help support their film and the special Metuchen Screening – and very excited that they will be joining us at Junebug on June 17th. Metuchen is known for its art scene and creativity and the success of this film and Metuchen filmmakers is a big part of our community this year and hopefully a start of many more media projects in our community.” – Bob Diken, 2017 Junebug Chairman. 

The screening will be on Friday June 23rd at 7pm and Metuchen High School alum, director/actor Quinn and the cast will be on hand for a Q&A after the film and there will be a special after party at Cai’s (420 Main Street) with actors & crew with the purchase of a VIP ticket. 

“We’re incredibly excited about hosting the BLAME Metuchen party! Metuchen is quickly evolving into the ‘it’ spot in central New Jersey and BLAME is full of young, cutting edge, creative energy that we love to foster here at Cai’s.” Coleen Hanson, co-owner of Cai’s. 

The event starts at 7 pm on Friday, June 23, at Metuchen High School Auditorium located at 400 Grove Avenue. The after party will be at 9:30pm at Cai’s at 420 Main Street Metuchen. 

See www.filmmetuchen.org for more details, including locations for ticket purchase.

Visit Junebug at www.junebugartfest.com for scheduling and details on the arts festival.