Films have area premieres during festival at Rutgers

The spring edition of the New Jersey Film Festival is underway, showcasing more than 50 film screenings through March 1 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

New international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals and cutting-edge documentaries will make their area premieres at the festival, which is sponsored by the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center and the Cinema Studies program at Rutgers University. The festival is in its 33rd year.

Most of the works being screened are part of the New Jersey Film Festival competition and were selected by a panel of judges that include media professionals, journalists, students and academics. They were selected from more than 338 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world. Prize winners will be announced March 1.

Films set for 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Voorhees Hall include “Expressway to Your Skull,” a gripping horror film about a thrill-seeking couple whose impulsive trip to the woods leads them to cross paths with a psychotic survivalist who lives in a twisted world all his own.

Screenings at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 include “The Gospel According to Bart.” The film follows Nathaniel, whose boyfriend has committed suicide. Nathaniel hides behind the skirt of his best friend from high school, Ava, and contemplates asking her to marry him. The starring role she ropes him into, in a burlesque play, changes his mind.

Features also include “Surviving Me: The 9 Circles of Sophie” by Leah Yananton, at 7 p.m. March 1 in Voorhees Hall. The film is about a young coed who struggles to find herself amidst an allegorical journey of Dante’s “Inferno.” Sophie spirals out over a financial aid crisis, grapples with resentments toward her mother and navigates a hellish hook-up scene. When Sophie seeks refuge with her poetry professor and befriends his enigmatic wife, Jacqueline, she perilously oversteps boundaries and falls into the inferno of lust and deceit.

The festival also includes classic and rare experimental film screenings, including “Films by Stan Brakhage” on Feb. 26.

The 27th annual United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival will take place Feb. 20-21 in Voorhees Hall, Room 105, with more than 100 filmmakers competing for prizes.

In addition, the festival includes five film and video workshops taught by professionals. Topics are screenwriting, selling a screenplay, raising money for film projects, legal aspects of the motion picture business, and mastering audio for general production work.

For a schedule of screenings or more information on workshops, visit