It is, quite simply, a movie lover’s dream: hour after hour of new indie films offered up on three screens in a thriving cultural hub.


And it unspools this weekend, the cornucopia of cinematic riches known as the Red Bank International Film Festival, sponsored by the Freedom Film Society.

Taking over a trio of top-notch venues—Clearview Cinemas, Count Basie Theatre and the Two River Theater—is a wide-ranging program that inludes 50 features, documentaries, animated shorts, live-action shorts, foreign films, classics and experimental films.

Knowing which to pass up may be the hardest part for attendees.

There’s a 1925 silent film, Don Q, Son of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Astor, with live organ accompaniment.

There’s a documentary called Between Iraq and A Hard Place, which is less about war than those who fight. The Marines who made the film will attend the Friday afternoon screening at Clearview Cinemas and respond to audience questions afterward.

There’s Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson. In her 1980 review in the Times, Janet Maslin called Nicholson’s performance “one of his most vibrant characterizations, furiously alive in every frame and fueled by an explosive anger.”

There are films by local high school students. There’s a documentary from Cameroon on women and justice. There’s a selection of 18 animated shorts that are not for kids. There’s a program about Superman films. There’s a gripping short about a World War II parachutist who finds himself alone in enemy territory.

And there’s a full-length feature film called The Little Things that’s a triumph of the one-man-band approach to filmmaking. Screenwriter Stephen Padilla wrote, casted, shot, lighted, manned the sound for and directed this story of star-crossed 20-somethings looking for love in Manhattan. Padilla’s writing in particular is so dead-on naturalistic and insightful that the dialogue alone is worth the price of admission.


What links all these stories?

“We’re just looking for good movies,” says Freedom Film Society chairman Richard Alter. And after five years of hearing how attendees to the festival respond, “we think we know what the audiences like,” he says.

Here’s the short version of the sked. A more detailed version with story synopses is available at the RBIFF website.

LOCATIONS: Clearview Cinemas (CV), Count Basie Theatre (CBT) and Two River Theater (TRT).


1 – 2:45 pm (CV) The Trouble With Dee Dee.

3 – 4:45 pm (CV) Between Iraq and A Hard Place (Marines will appear at screening).

5 – 6:45 pm (CV) “Apple Spits Out Its Seeds: Where the tour bus doesn’t go,” a shorts segment that includes: Afraid So, Quitters, Tales of Times Square, Ship Shape, In Love and Across The Hall (Director and actress will appear at screening).

7 – 8:45 pm (CV) The Education of Shelby Knox.

9 – 10:45 pm (CV) RBIFF Opening Night Feature: Berkeley with Guide Dog.


12 – 2:45 pm (CBT) Emerging Filmmakers 2006.

12:30 – 2:45 pm (CV) Jersey Fresh Segment, including RBIFF’s Jersey Spotlight Feature: The Bonnie Situation, with The Audience.

3 – 4:45 pm (CV) In A Single Bound.

4 – 6:15 pm (CBT) Silent Classic with live musical accompaniment: Don Q: Son of Zorro. (Ben Model, accompanist, will introduce film and respond to questions afterward.)

5 – 7 pm (CV) “Animators March Ahead! – Part III,” shorts for mature audiences only. (Curator and several animators will appear for screening.)

6:30 – 8 pm (CBT) “Being The Change You Wish To See In The World,” shorts from Jersey to Senegal, including: Caught In Paint, Fat Cake, Tradition, Green, The Parachutist, and Binta and the Great Idea.

7:15 – 9:15 pm (CV) Sisters In Law , with Guide Dog.

8:15 – 9:45 pm (CBT) “Escaped From A Nightmare,” shorts segment including: The Mamtsotsi Bird, Hairy Driving, Dead Tired, The Drip Incident, The Walking Ink, The Poet and The Bear, and Zombie American (Director will appear at screening).

9:30 – 11:15 pm (CV) “Who’s Paying the Check?” shorts segment including: The Shirt, Dinner With Cupid, Full Disclosure,
Owned, Eva, Love Letter, Lovesick, and Take Four.

10 pm – 12:15 am (CBT) The Shining.


12 – 1:45 pm (TRT) Souls From Fire.

1:30 – 3:15 pm (CV) The Little Things (Director will appear at screening).

2 – 3:45 pm (TRT) The Shape of Water , with Caught In Paint.

3:30 – 4:45 pm (CV) Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mother’s Custody Movement.

4 – 5:45 pm (TRT) Prescription For Disaster ( (narrator Gary Null will appear at screening), with When Georgie Goes Marchin’ Home.

5 – 6:45 pm (CV) A Knockout , with Puppet.

6 – 7:45 pm (TRT) No Vacancy.

7- 8:45 pm (CV) “Apple Spits Out Its Seeds: Where the tour bus doesn’t go,” shorts segment including:
Afraid So, Quitters, Tales of Times Square, Ship Shape, In Love, and Across The Hall (Director and actress will appear at screening).

8 – 9:15 pm (TRT) Al Otro Lado .

9 – 10:45 pm (CV) RBIFF Closing Night Feature: Stomp! Shout! Scream!, with Green Umbrella and Gone Fishin’.

9:30 – 10:45 pm (TRT) RBIFF Closing Night Documentary: The Canary Effect, with Anna and the Solider.

Prices: Festival pass $85, Day pass $30, Individual tickets $10, $8 for Freedom Film Society members. Hotel and entertainment packages available.

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