Ridgewood Film Festival Back for an Encore

Forty-five films will be showcased for Wednesday and Thursday's red carpet event.

The Ridgewood Guild is rolling out the red carpet on Wednesday and Thursday for the second annual Ridgewood Film Festival.

Last year's premiere event generated considerable interest and organizer Tony Damiano says the second take will be bigger and badder.

"We're doing these film festivals because they're such an adrenaline rush," the Guild head and owner of said. "This one promises to be better than last year."

A total of 45 films will be shown at the smack dab in Ridgewood's downtown for the two-day event.

Films include world premieres, foreign flicks from Australia, student films and lauded flicks from the festival circuit.

Local filmmaker Caytha Jentis will be unveiling a 10-minute trailer for comedy currently in the editing process. "The Longest Swim," a film based on the true story of a man struggling to save his friend from an epileptic seizure and the journey that follows, will also premiere in Ridgewood.

Damiano said the quality of this year's offerings is top notch. Audiences, he said, are in for an experience with this year's best feature film, "Kinyarwanda," a depiction of the genocide in Rwanda by local filmmaker Darren Dean.

"The film was a big hit at Sundance and he was chosen for the Roger Ebert Film Festival to get an award," Damiano said. "We're lucky to get his film."

He also recommended audiences check out "Pupsock and Wendell in the Gallery of Doom", a kids flick that's impressed Steven Spielberg and the Ridgewood organizers as well. It's set to be awarded "Most Creative Film".

In a new wrinkle for this year, the film festival will tie in some feature films with live entertainment. Set to roll is the film "Sounds Good to Me," about a cappella groups in college. It'll be mirrored in a livelier form.

"We have the Orpheus Men's Group performing and a girl group from RHS called 'Crazy Pitches,'" Damiano said. "We also have a film called 'T. Haruo', which is about a country singer who had his guitar stolen. His son will be playing guitar at the festival."

The gift store owner said he's brimming with excitement over the student entries this year.

freshmen Spencer Muhlstock and Hayes Walsh had three films accepted into the festival, one, "The White Crayon," is slated to win best student film.

"I watched the film three times and can't believe freshmen in high school put this together," Damiano said.

Another offering, "It Only Takes One," chronicles bullying in schools. The filmmaker is Alexandra Schulsinger, a Ho-Ho-Kus senior at Northern Highlands High School.

Like last year, there will be Q&A sessions with several of the filmmakers. Those hoping for a sense of deju vu will get to check out last year's six winning films as well.

Tickets are $15 for one night and $25 for two nights, both run from 6 to 10 p.m. Guild members, seniors, students can get them for $12 for one night and $20 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased at Mango Jam, , and .

Four restaurants, , , and , will offer early bird specials between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to ticket-holders.

Damiano said this wouldn't be possible without the big sponsorship from Boiling Springs Savings Bank.

"The thing I really like about is they really care about the community," he said, urging village residents and those around the state to stop by.

"It's the first time Ridgewood's ever done a film festival and it's just going to grow every year," Damiano said in his pitch. "What better way to celebrate film than have an in-town film festival and award those deserving people. It's a tough industry and there are a lot of great films."

For more info on the films, check out the Ridgewood Guild's Facebook page.

sean mccooe April 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM
sean mccooe April 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
" A Walk Through Historical Ridgewood" on the big screen at 6:55 tomorrow ,Thursday - Joe Suplicki , Bill Carbone will do talk back after the 35 min film - room for 330 people . Many Rwd and Bergen County people involved in the 45 films over 2 nights . http://www.facebook.com/events/355352054515108/
John Hahn April 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM
This is an exciting event. I applaud all involved in making this happen.
John Siracusa April 26, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Thank you Boiling Springs Savings Bank to help make this happen!


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