RED BANK: INDIE FILMS TO LIGHT UP SCREENS

The trailer for ‘I Am Another You,’ a documentary about a young man who chooses to live on the streets, screens as a free, community-welcome entry at this week’s Indie Street Film Festival. Below, artist Ron Haywood Jones‘s mural for the festival at 97 Broad Street remained unfinished Tuesday morning because of rain interruptions. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Its community mural may still need some finishing touches, thanks to uncooperative weather. Still, the third annual Indie Street Film Festival kicks off in Red Bank Wednesday evening, ushering in a five-day rush of innovative cinema, movie talk and parties.

A project of the filmmaker cooperative Indie Street (working in partnership with Red Bank RiverCenter), the festival spreads decidedly non-Hollywood magic across the borough’s theaters, restaurants, night spots, and even the middle school auditorium. And there’s a free, community-welcome screening mixed in among the orange-pass-only fare.

Check out the festival schedule below; information about passes and tickets can be found here.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS STAND FOR PEACE

Students at the Red Bank Middle School were out on Harding Road taking turns sharing messages of peace and other reminders of Martin Luther King Jr. outside the Red Bank Primary School Tuesday.

According to vice principal J.T. Pierson, a new group of 20 students will be out every 15 minutes during the school day. (Photo by J.T. Pierson. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST GETS UNDERWAY

Lead festival organizer Jay Webb, right, with guests at Wednesday night’s opening reception on the patio of the Count Basie Theatre. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

With a display of carved-surfboard art, a New Jersey premiere screening of Dave Made a Maze and a DJ’d after-party at three separate venues, the second annual Indie Street Film Festival officially got underway in Red Bank Wednesday evening, ushering in a four-days-and-nights slate of screenings, panels, workshops and get-togethers with an admirable “Cannes-do” spirit.

A project of the fillmajer cooperative Indie Street (working in partnership with Red Bank RiverCenter), the sequel to last year’s inaugural event looks to make a long-running “tentpole franchise” of the venture. It’s a multi-venue happening that offers plenty of reasons to visit the borough’s theaters, restaurants and nightspots — or even its best-kept-secret middle school auditorium — during that time of year when the beaches make their biggest bid for buzz.

Take it here for info on individual event tickets and festival passes — and read on, for a rundown of goings-on between through Sunday. Read More »

RED BANK: FESTIVAL SERVES FILMS & EVENTS

A portion of the colorful mural painted earlier this month on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic heralds the second annual coming of the Indie Street Film Festival, co-founded by Jay Webb, below.

To Wanamassa resident Jay Webb, losing oneself in the flickering lights of a hushed, darkened room is only part of the joy of a film festival for cinephiles. Another is getting together and gabbing about what they’ve seen, and who’s doing what in an art form wholly dependent on collaboration.

Which is one reason the schedule for the second edition of the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to Red Bank next week, is studded with community events in between screenings of some 60 films.

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RED BANK: BANDIERA AND ‘HOPE’ AT BASIE

bobby_bandiera_and_jon_bon_jovi_at_hope_concert_8_2015Bobby Bandiera, joined here by longtime tourmate Jon Bon Jovi at a past Hope Concert, brings the ninth edition of his all-star benefit show back to the Basie Friday.

donegoodlogoIt’s just about the last of the big holiday-themed entertainment events to take the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank each December — a frankly awesome rock and roll extravaganza that plants a glittering star atop the tree at an eleventh hour when various Scrooges, Nutcrackers and vocal choirs have scurried off to their last-minute shopping excursions.

Ask Bobby Bandiera and he’ll probably tell you that a dose of charitable spirit is more important than ever in the final countdown to Christmas and Hanukkah — and that the day-to-day survival of our neediest neighbors doesn’t take a holiday break when the rest of the community settles into its family traditions.

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LITTLE SILVER: A GUEST VIRTUOSO AT RBR

rbr-interstring-christian-howesThis past October 21, Red Bank Regional High School welcomed renowned musician and educator Christian Howes, as a lead-in to the school’s annual Inter-String Concert. The Ohio-based guest artist conducted an all-day workshop that brought together students from Red Bank Middle School and Little Silver’s Markham Place School, working with RBR high school string players and culminating in the concert event that showcased the talents of 65 young musicians.

ON THE GREEN: TOUCH A TRUCK — OR COPTER

092014 touchtruck19The kids are in the driver’s seat once more this Saturday at the annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser in Red Bank, while Middletown Day offers an opportunity to get hands-on with a NorthSTAR emergency helicopter (below).

middletown-day-copter“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Monmouth Day Care Center exec director Heidi Zaentz — and this Saturday, they’ll have an opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with various trucks, tractors, and emergency vehicles — even an emergency Medevac helicopter at a couple of big yearly events that have become major fundraising vehicles in their own right.

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RED BANK: A HANDS-ON FAVORITE FUNDRAISER

092014 touchtruck13One of the most popular public events of the local kid year returns on September 24, when Monmouth Day Care Center presents the 7th annual Touch-A-Truck event at Red Bank Middle School.

Press release from Monmouth Day Care Center

In the words of Heidi Zaentz, executive director of Monmouth Day Care Center, “Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by” — and on Saturday, September 24, kids will receive a rare opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with these hard working vehicles and more, when MDCC hosts its seventh annual Touch-a-Truck “fun-raiser” event.

Scheduled to run “rain or shine” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Red Bank Middle School at 101 Harding Road, the popular event also includes crafts, games (activity tickets required) and music. Food vendors will be on site, and a 50-50 raffle will be held.

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RED BANK: MOVIE SATURDAY ON INDIE STREET

The trailer for “65 Percent,” a documentary by Mike and Jon Altino of Middletown, screens at the Red Bank Middle School at 1 p.m.

indie street logo 2Saturday-morning cartoons, a locally made documentary and shorts-in-a-bunch enliven Saturday’s schedule of the Indie Street Film Festival, which got underway in Red Bank Wednesday night and continues through Sunday afternoon.

Click the “read more” for the full schedule and a sampling of delightful and outrageous movie trailers. Read More »

RED BANK: FRIDAY’S INDIE STREET LINEUP

isff 070616 1Sand artist Joe Mangrum creating a temporary painting at the festival opening-night cocktail party on the Count Basie patio Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

indie street logo 2

Screenings at four Red Bank venues fill Friday’s schedule of the Indie Street Film Festival, which got underway Wednesday night and continues through Sunday afternoon.

Click the “read more” for the full schedule and a sampling of delightful and outrageous movie trailers.

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RED BANK: A MOVIE FEAST ON INDIE STREET

A documentary about people who eat white dirt adds some grit to the first full day of the Indie Street Film Festival. 

indie street logo 2Scandalously long, beautiful legs. A guy with a compulsion for commandeering buses and trains. Geophagy, or dirt-eating.

These and other delightfully strange and wondrous topics fill the schedule of Red Bank’s Indie Street Film Festival as it enters its first full day of screenings and other events Thursday.

Click the “read more” for the full sked and a whole dirtload of delightful and outrageous movie trailers.

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RED BANK: TURN HERE FOR INDIE STREET

The festival flickers to life with “Morris from America” on the big screen at the Count Basie Theatre. Here’s the trailer.

indie street logo 2Day One of the first-ever Indie Street Film Festival gets underway in Red Bank Wednesday, kicking off five days of heaven for movie lovers.

The opening day schedule is light, with one just one film lighting up the giant silver screen of the Count Basie Theatre and two parties. But the festival shifts into high gear Thursday with daylong screenings and other events at five venues, and keeps up the pace through Saturday before winding down Sunday.

Check in with redbankgreen throughout the week for festival coverage and next-day schedules with tons of trailers to help you decide which darkened room to bring your popcorn to. Meantime, here’s the first-day lineup:

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RED BANK: INDIES INVADE THIS WEEK

rb indie film mural 070416A mural on Monmouth Street near Maple Avenue touts the five-day Indie Street Film Festival, which flickers to life Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

indie street logo 2For the first time since 2007, Red Bank will swarm with screening maniacs this week as independent films, filmmakers and cinephiles invade the downtown — and one or two nearby outposts.

Encompassing nearly 100 feature-length and short films, four screening venues and a handful of bars and restaurants, the five-day Indie Street Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, promising to liven up a post-Independence Day interval when the borough traditionally slips into an early doldrums.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS INSTANT MURAL

rb mural 060416 4A team of painters, including 13 students from the visual arts program at Red Bank Regional, worked on the mural throughout the day Saturday and into early Sunday. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb mural 060416 3Racing to finish before an expected rain, a team of artists and volunteers painted a two-story mural in downtown Red Bank over the weekend.

Overlooking the parking lot for Buona Sera restaurant at Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue, the mural promotes a film festival scheduled to light up movie screens in town next month.

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RED BANK: FILM FEST MURAL GREENLIGHTED

rb IFF Mural 051116A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.

The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.

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RED BANK: A BRIDGE TO YOUR INNER WRITER

Laura McCulloughBrookdale professor and poet Laura McCullough advises aspiring authors on getting published in the first in a new series of seminars presented by Project Write Now.

While it wasn’t the sort of Grand Opening extravaganza that’s usually accompanied by rented spotlights, a DJ booth and an air-powered dancing “Tube Dude,” the recent relocation of Project Write Now to a larger studio space in Red Bank back in December made a decidedly civilized splash of its own.

All over town, a collection of local people — including Mayor Pasquale Menna, who artfully ambushed a lunchtime crowd at Robinson’s Ale House with a reading from Rudyard Kipling — took part in a promotion that found them sharing favorite poems and inspirational words with their community neighbors.

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RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST SET FOR SUMMER

basie screen 070114The big screen at the Count Basie Theatre, seen here during a live broadcast of the 2014 World Cup, will serve as the home screen for a film festival scheduled to run in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ClapboardKept on a restricted diet for the past eight years, Red Bank-area fans of independent movies will finally get to binge again this summer.

An outfit called Indie Street — in conjunction with Red Bank RiverCenter, three major entertainment venues and even the borough middle school — is planning screenings of as many as 30 films over five days in July.

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RED BANK: CH-CH-CH-CHANGES TO BASIE SKED

bandieraBobbie Bandiera, above, will bump Roy Orbison to pay homage to the changeable David Bowie at the Count Basie Theatre in April. (Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

bowie 1973Two weeks ago, the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank announced a concert event featuring Bobby Bandiera’s Jersey Shore Rock n’ Soul Revue, and its tribute to an artist who’s long loomed as a genuine inspiration for the veteran Shore scene singer and guitarist: Roy Orbison.

And then, the world lost David Bowie.

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RED BANK: DEBBIE HARRY, BON JOVI, & MORE…

Bandiera HopeDeborah Harry, below, and a host of pop stars join Bobby Bandiera for two jinglebell-jam spectaculars as Hope Concert 8 commandeers the Basie for two shows Wednesday night.

deborah harryCall him Bob Hope: a seasoned and savvy entertainer who’s made some formidable friends, logged many a lap around the globe, raised a flotilla of funds, and marshaled a major entertainment campaign every holiday season.

But while the original Mr. Hope famously brought his USO-show mix of radio-era comedy, go-go-booted dancers and patriotic spirit to the troops back in the day, Bobby Bandiera calls an elite troupe of all-star buddies back to the boards of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre each December for an operation that’s designed to do good and lift morale on the home front.

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RED BANK: LAST CALL FOR ‘ARTS FOR ALL’

Art4AllA seventh grade drum-circle jam, and a hip hop how-to for fifth graders, are just two of the many arts instruction classes brought to Red Bank Middle School by the Count Basie Theatre’s “Arts for All” program, which presents its final session of the year this Tuesday. (Photos by Mary Wyman/ Red Bank Public Schools)

Press release from Red Bank Middle School

As schools across the country are working to integrate arts into their curriculum, Red Bank Middle School has developed an innovative way of bringing a comprehensive arts program to its students—thanks to the Count Basie Theatre.

Called “Arts for All,” the program has brought different arts instruction to each grade at the middle school every Tuesday. Fourth graders are learning cultural dance, while fifth graders are doing hip hop. Sixth grade students are taking theater classes, while the seventh grade is learning percussion. And eighth graders are taking part in a Rwandan Literacy Arts project, in which students create a chapter and illustrations for a book that will be used to teach English to students at the Kampanga and Bisate schools in Rwanda. The drawings that the students create will also be printed onto tiles that will be installed at the schools.

The program is being administered and funded in part by the Count Basie Theatre, which is raising money by donating $10 from every ticket sold for the Bobby Bandiera and Friends Hope Concert 8 events on December 23. In addition, the Basie asked attendees to donate a minimum of $3 for tickets sold to other shows through October 31. So far Count Basie has raised $10,000 toward the costs of the Arts for All program, which presents its final session of 2015 tomorrow, December 15.

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RED BANK: WRITE PLACE, WRITE TIME

project write nowProject Write Now invites the public to an unveiling of its expanded Bridge Avenue space on December 1, capping a Giving Poetry Tuesday celebration of the community’s words and voices.

It’s a unique little event that unfolds over the course of a late-autumn weekday in Red Bank, taking place at various locations around town (train station, library, hospital, classroom), and involving the participation of people ranging from Mayor Pasquale Menna and volunteer emergency responders to staffers from Lunch Break and students from the borough’s schools.

It’s Giving Poetry Tuesday, a “celebration of Red Bank’s voices” that finds people from all walks of local life taking part in a collaborative community poetry reading between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. Organized by Project Write Now, the initiative is an engagingly interactive lead-in to the borough-based nonprofit’s main event: an evening open house unveiling of its new, expanded studio space at 25 Bridge Avenue.

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LITTLE SILVER: A STRING THING AT RBR

string concertOn October 22, the day was devoted to string music at Red Bank Regional High School, during a multi school event spotlighting students from RBR, its sending schools of Red Bank Middle School and Markham Place in Little Silver, as well as Middletown’s Bayshore Middle School and High School North. The event was organized by RBR strings teacher Jeffrey Boga, and guest artists who conducted workshops and visited classrooms included baroque musician Laura Apello, guitarist Kevin Kelly, Monmouth Symphony Orchestra member Kathryn Morrison, and Monmouth Conservatory members Irna Kavolsky and Christina Villiagomez. Jennifer Brush of Markham Place Middle School shared the conducting honors with Jeffrey Boga in the afternoon’s performance event.

RED BANK: WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW

Write NowRed Bank Middle School students proudly display the notebooks that have helped them grow academically and personally, as part of Project Write Now’s Literacy Outreach Program. The nonprofit has announced a fundraising campaign to help finance the program’s move to a new self-contained classroom/studio space on Bridge Avenue.

What if we shared our true feelings about everyone/ Would that be weird?

What if we all looked the same/ Would you know who you really are?

What if we all got along and put issues aside/ What if we all matured and started taking action

What if we all had no social media/ Would you be who you truly are today?

What if we all fought every day/ Would you call it a riot?

What if we all loved each other and cared about each other/ Would you consider that as family?

What if we all had one/ What would you wish for?

What if we all made billions/ What would you do with that money?

What if we all started to be honest/ Would that scare you?

The wise words were composed by a 7th grader from here in Red Bank — a student poet who participates in a modestly scaled (but expansively ambitious) program conducted by Project Write Now.

As Jennifer Chauhan, co-founder of the borough-based nonprofit enterprise writes, “Since January, we’ve had the privilege of working with 7th and 8th grade students at Red Bank Middle School through our Literacy Outreach Program. We’ve encouraged them to write freely, and they’ve opened up, exploring their thoughts and beliefs.”

The executive director of Project Write Now goes on to explain that she and fellow co-founder Allison Tevald have received “more than one hundred thank-you letters, telling us how much they’ve grown academically and personally. One student told us she never would have finished her school assignments without our encouragement. Another boy is perceived as a troublemaker, yet with us he writes poetry (including the above example) that inspires his peers.”

An impressive set of results for the program’s inaugural year — but as Chauhan sees it, the successes of the current class have set the stage for the expansion of the program; a plan that centers around a campaign aimed at funding Write Now’s move to an enhanced studio space at its Bridge Avenue address.

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RED BANK “FUTURE BUCS” BIG ON MU CAMPUS

Future BucsPress release from Red Bank Charter School

This past week, the Monmouth University Womensʼ Basketball team hosted a group of 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls from Red Bank Charter School and Red Bank Middle School, for a special tour of the Monmouth campus.

The “Future Bucs” from Red Bank were the guests of the basketball team members, for a guided tour of the dining hall, library, dorm area, academic area and, of course, the athletic area. Lamiyah, Laniyah, Tania, Ariel, Winnie, Mandy, Makayla, Joann, Mitzi, Jennifer and Joselin all took advantage of this wonderful opportunity. The event was chaperoned by Future Buc founders Enrico Ciabattoni and David Prown.

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