Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 28
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
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Princeton Public Library to Host 4th Annual Student Film Festival

Avery Hookey

For the first time since it began four years ago, Princeton Public Library’s annual Princeton Student Film and Video Festival will span two evenings. Set for July 18 and 19 at 7 p.m., the event will feature 20 works chosen from a record-breaking total of 65 submissions.

Current Princeton High School students and alumni will show their work, as well as students from Cranbury, Lawrenceville, West Windsor, New York, and California. Some of the local filmmakers attending will introduce their films and then answer questions from the audience after the screening.

The styles of film include animation, comedy, feature, and personal narrative. They were selected from the pool of applications by librarians Susan Conlon, Martha Perry, and Maureen Smyth, as well as recent high school graduates E.J. Chi and Brendan Dean.

Each evening’s program will conclude with films by local students featuring local youth. Shown on Wednesday, Cranbury residents Sam and Bob Venanzi’s Dungeon Master is described by the brothers as a “dark comedy” about a group of friends who play “Dungeons and Dragons” and the disappointment of one of the members, who does not want to give up the game when the other players go their separate ways.

On Thursday evening the festival will conclude with B.A.C. Man, a spoof of the Batman franchise by Brendan Dean, who is also helping out with the festival and other video projects this summer at the library though an internship. He will be attending the Film Conservatory at SUNY Purchase in the fall.

Two Princeton High School alumni, both film majors, will return to the festival this year, Edmund Carson from Bard and Ben Saltzman, who is enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and will be screening a short film called Domino.

One of the festival’s founders, Mr. Carson shot Not Your Day as a project for his first production class at Bard. The film shows the editor for a publishing company living the same day five different ways. A shorter piece, Deux, which is about a mysterious package passed along by a team of spies, was made over the summers of 2005 and 2006 and largely shot on the Princeton University campus.

Other films and filmmakers scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, include Son Sketched Collection, Pt. 1 by Harrison Rego; Missing Feet by Marissa Warren; 17 by Shamus O’Connor; The Boxer by Curran Bhatia; Ping Pong by James Hodgens; Jive by Gary Powell; and The Umbrella by Amy Kawabata.

Thursday’s films include Martin Bergman’s Lone Wolves; James Magagna’s On the Town; Steven Ojeda’s The Inventor; Miguel Rodríguez’s Special Delivery; Harrison Rego’s Son Sketched Collection; Sonata by Agnes Garfield; Sugar Water by Billimarie Robinson; and Craven’s Birthday Bash by Melissa Murray.

Ms. Conlon, who coordinated the event, said that its aim is to “encourage and support the creative work” of young filmmakers, as well as to provide them with a venue for presentation and open discussion.

The event is free and open to the public. The Princeton Public Library is located at 65 Witherspoon Street. For more about the festival, visit

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