July 3, 2018

2018 Princeton Student Film Festival Receives Record Number of Submissions

By Taylor Smith 

This year’s Princeton Student Film Festival will take place July 17-19 at 7 p.m. The showings on July 17 will be held at Princeton Garden Theatre, while the showings on July 18 and 19, will be hosted by the Princeton Public Library.

Created and presented by the Princeton Public Library, the Festival features original short films created by student filmmakers ages 14-25. The films were chosen from local, national, and international entries. Some of the films represent college student thesis projects, while others are from novice high school filmmakers who possess a passion for filmmaking and a desire to see their vision portrayed on the big screen.

Susan Conlon, Youth Services Department head  at the Princeton Public Library, was the force behind the creation of the Princeton Student Film Festival. Conlon (who has worked for the library for the past 19 years) saw a need for aspiring high school- and college-aged filmmakers to be represented on a larger stage. The number of submissions this year totaled 240, the largest yet.

Selecting 27 films out of 240 was no easy task. The screening committee included a wide audience of library staff, Princeton Garden Theatre staff, two local high school students from Princeton High School and Princeton Day School who have taken an active role and interest in previous Festivals, and Marilyn Campbell, host of Fistful of Popcorn on TV 30.

Conlon noted, “This year there was an interesting balance between men and women filmmakers. We used to receive more entries from men, but now we are receiving more diverse perspectives than ever.”

During the course of 15 years, Conlon has learned to cast a wide net in order to alert high schools and colleges across the globe about the Princeton Student Film Festival. “I reach out to high schools, universities that have film programs, and post announcements on film festival websites.”

Films run between two and 20 minutes in length and cover the spectrum of human emotion and experience, from love and loss to iPhones and the process of simply coming of age in today’s divisive environment. Many of the filmmakers will attend the screening of their own films and take questions from the audience in a formal Q&A setting. This free event is best suited for teen and adult audiences. Conlon notes that the Princeton Public Library staff enjoys attending the festival just as much as the general public. Local favorite, the bent spoon, will be donating their famous ice cream and sorbet for tastings on all three nights.

To learn more, visit www.princetonlibrary.org or call (609) 924-9529.