Film festival kicks off at Rutgers this week

The fall edition of the New Jersey Film Festival opens this week, featuring more than 25 film screenings in September and October.

The 33rd annual festival will showcase new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals and cutting-edge documentaries, according to a press release from the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, which presents the films in association with the Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies.

The festival runs on select dates from Sept. 12 to Oct. 16 on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus.

All but seven of the featured works are part of the New Jersey Film Festival competition and were selected by a panel of judges that included media professionals, journalists, students and academics.

The finalists were chosen out of more than 277 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world. Prizewinners will be announced on Oct. 5.

More than 20 films will have their area-premiere screenings as part of the fall festival. These include Evan Mathew Weinstein’s “Leaving Circadia,” an independent feature from New Jersey; Gabriel Baron and Bjorn Thorstad’s short film “Waking Marshall Walker”; Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno’s “The Rule,” a documentary by an acclaimed school in Newark; Yan Chi Lai’s “N+N,” a feature film from Hong Kong; Lendita Zeqiraj’s “Balcony,” a single-take film from Kosovo; Ryan Douglass and Sara Leavitt’s “Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio,” a documentary on a Brooklyn-based music studio threatened by encroaching gentrification; Antoine Blanchet’s “The Black Butterflies,” a short film from France; and John LeBlanc’s “Dog Down,” a documentary about discarded dogs who are given a second chance.

The festival will also feature special guest appearances by film directors, producers and actors. Screenings are set for Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at the Ruth Adams Building and Voorhees Hall. Tickets, which can be purchased at the door, are $10 or $9 for students and seniors. For more information and the schedule, visit