New Jersey Film Festival virtual event allows moviegoers to experience the films from home

One of the longest running film festivals in New Jersey will be bringing the films into the homes of movie lovers this year – a virtual event due to the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Sep 18, 2020, 12:44 AM

Updated 1,310 days ago

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One of the longest running film festivals in New Jersey will be bringing the films into the homes of movie lovers this year – a virtual event due to the pandemic.
Al Nigrin founded the nonprofit festival 39 years ago. The Rutgers University film professor had to make the difficult decision this year to either cancel the festival or go virtual. He says that streaming the movies to ticket buyers has had surprising results beginning with the festival's opening film.
“We had people from Germany, from the United Kingdom, from Australia – watching our films,” Nigrin says.
The festival normally screens its movies on the New Brunswick Campus of Rutgers University. But public gatherings are not allowed on the campus this year because of the pandemic, and most students are away while participating in online classes.
One of the films showcased in the festival is “The Pine Barrens” – a documentary by David Scott Kessler.
“There is this kind of mystery that surrounds it. There is this kind of unknown - supernatural sometimes – presence,” Kessler says of the southern New Jersey location.
Kessler says that nothing can replace live movie screenings to launch a new film.
“It’s great to be in a theater with people and kind of get that immediate reaction, meeting people in the industry,” he says.
But he says that the most important thing now is getting his film in front of an audience, even if it means they are watching it at home.
The New Jersey Film Festival runs through Oct. 25. Ticket and schedule information can be found on the event’s website.


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