Monday, April 17, 2023

NJ/NY Area Event: Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival Announces Film Lineup, Free Industy Panels, Networking - Premiere of Trinity's Triumph Film with Joe Morton, Banded Together Doc, Bendix Diner Film & More

The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival (RGIFF) announces its lineup for its 12
th Season with five nights of events. Come join in the fun and excitement in downtown Ridgewood and see over 50 films by up and coming filmmakers, see the premiere of a NJ feature film, enjoy panels by industry experts, do some networking, hear inspiring Q & A's, pose on the Red Carpet and mingle at the Awards After Party.
If you've never been to a film festival, this is the perfect place to start. The RGIFF is an official GOLD Star film festival and has become recognized for its unique curation of films, attention to the filmmakers and support of NJ and NY filmmakers.  You can see shorts, documentaries, web/new media, animation, features, international content and more. 

The festival takes place at the Bow Tie Cinemas Warner Theater at 190 East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ on Wednesday, April 26th and Thursday, April 27th. Of special note is the Premiere of a New Jersey made film, Trinity's Triumph by Father Stephen Fichter (NJ) and the screening of Banded Together: The Boys from Glen Rock High a documentary featuring Uncle Floyd.
Film Festival ticket prices are $12 per night, $10 for students and seniors for each night. The After Party and Awards Event is open to anyone and will take place on Thursday night 4/27 at 10:00pm EDT - in person at Steel Wheel, 51 N. Broad Street, Ridgewood. $35 per person  Includes light food.  Open to the public.  Tickets available online. Student Scholarships presented by TEEEM. There is a Red Carpet at 6pm both nights in front of the theater. There is no charge for the Red Carpet. You can purchase tickets at the door but it is recommended to purchase online at For info visit note the website will be updated often until the day of the festival. 
Red Carpet and Other Appearances
Of note scheduled to appear are actors and producers from Trinity's Triumph including Joe Morton (Scandal, God Friended Me, Brother From Another Planet), Josh Wills, Adriel Irizarry, Narci Regina, Melissa Bolona, Father Stephen, Michael Wickham and Thomas Hanna. From Banded Together: The Boys from Glen Rock High - Uncle Floyd, Director Barry Rubinow and other band members. Also scheduled is Three-time Daytime Emmy Award Winner Cady McClain (Days, As The World Turns, All My Children).
Of special note are these films:

Trinity's Triumph - Three young men enter the seminary guided by the wise and lovable mentor, Monsignor Heck. What begins as a single mission becomes divided, and each seminarian must decide what God is asking of them. They struggle individually, with each other, and against God, but soon their answers are clear with the help of Monsignor Heck’s influence. In the end, when everyone has found the path that God has in mind for them, they triumph! Director: Michael J. Wickham (New Jersey)

Banded Together: The Boys From Glen Rock High - A heartwarming, uplifting documentary feature film, providing a window into the lives of eight talented individuals as they go from gifted teenagers to successful professional musicians.  Under the inspiring tutelage of a one-of-a-kind music teacher and mentor, these young men ‘banded together’ at Glen Rock High School - where music and arts education was cherished. From band practice to playing alongside jazz, blues and rock legends, the Boys from Glen Rock High all have remarkable journeys.  “Banded Together” is truly a celebration of music and homegrown camaraderie. Director: Barry Rubinow (New Jersey)
Bendix: Site Unseen - Surrounded by highway traffic sits the unassuming Bendix Diner, owned and operated by John Diakakis. As the blind, single father of three young children who also work at the diner, John attempts to address and overcome his obstacles in order to provide a better life for his family. Director: Anthony Scalia (New Jersey)
A Calling Home - A woman returns to her previous home to sell it, but the longer she stays, the more her past comes back to haunt her. Director: Kayla Marriott (New Jersey)
Urania Leilus - A young female journalist is subjected to death threats and intimidation after witnessing human rights abuses at an ICE detention center for undocumented immigrant children. Director: Andrew Serban (New York City).
Bangkok Barcelona on Foot - LluĂ­s (Barcelona) and Jenn (New Jersey) have traveled the world on foot With this story they rediscover and remind us of something they have long known and learned on other adventures. They sought and found so much universal kindness and ubiquitous hospitality in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways, regardless of a person’s culture, country, race or religion. Director: Quim Badenes
Thoughts - During a routine visit with his high school counselor, Tyler reveals that his friend is planning to do something horrible at school today. Director: Kevin McLaughlin (Seton Hall graduate).
Greenwood: A Dreamland Destroyed - Greenwood, a prosperous black town in Oklahoma, was destroyed, burned to the ground, in 18 hours by a large violent white mob in June of 1921. The history of this massacre has been ignored and hidden for 100 years, another act of erasure in America. This is an experimental documentary that combines dance, poetry, music and film to create a unique documentary experience. Director: Brain Day (Connecticut).
The Sprayer – In the land occupied with the sprayers army, no one has the right to grow any kind of plants either in public or private. Many of the people and soldiers do not even know how a plant grows or looks like, until one day one of the soldiers finds a seed buried deep down in the dust and his curiosity is just the beginning of something extraordinary, something big, something revolutionary. Director: Farnoosh Abedin.

Once I Passed - Many have speculated about Walt Whitman's private life, to this day. Whitman never wrote publicly about his personal relationships. In 1860, he published his poem "Once I Passed Through a Populous City", an aphoristic account of a romantic relationship with an unknown woman. In 1925, the original handwritten copy of the poem was discovered, in which Whitman writes, however, not about a woman but about an affair with a man in an anonymous city, which may have been his first physical experience of love. Director: Martin Gerigk

The Eye Begins in the Hand  El Ojo Comienza En La Mano is a tribute to campesino histories in rural CA through the artwork of an artist largely absent from critical conversations on Chicanx art, Ruben A. Sanchez, as well as an unsentimental reckoning with the fate of many cultural workers that struggle between paying rent and/or creative endeavors. Director: Yahuda Sharim

For questions contact Film Festival Co-Directors Dotti Fucito at or James Suozzo at One can also call Tony Damiano, Guild Executive Director at 201-493-9911. 


FREE World Film Nights at the Ridgewood Public Library, 125 North Maple Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ.

Tuesday 4/18 Human Rights shorts from 7-9pm, in person only. 
Thursday 4/20 REEL VOICES, Blind Ambition: also 7-9pm, in person.
Free Event: Online Panel with Mark Suozzo, Composer for award-winning and Oscar-nominated films. Sunday 4/23 at 7:00pm EDT - Music in Film: Practical, Legal and Artistic Considerations.  Also with entertainment lawyer Lee Morin, Esq. and others. Virtual 60-90 minutes.  Sign-up required to receive Zoom link in advance. 
Free Event: Virtual Networking. Anyone Invited. Monday 4/24 at 8:00pm EDT . Sign-up required in advance to receive Zoom link.  40-60 minutes. 
Free Event: In Person Expert Panel:  The Business of Showbiz: What They Don't Tell You at School. Wednesday 4/26 5pmEDT. This year's panelists are 3-time Daytime Emmy Award Winning actor/director Cady McClain, Award-winning producer Suzanne Ordas Curry and Film Musical Composer Mark Suozzo. Moderated by New York Women in Film and Television's Senior Director of Community and PR, Katie Chambers. In person at Warner Bow Tie Cinemas, Theater 1. 60 minutes. Here are the topics:

Topic: Navigating the Difference Between the Art and the Business
- The importance of knowing yourself as an artist - what you like and what you want
-Setting a strategy to reach your goals.
-An ethical approach to networking. (Hint: authenticity is key)
Topic: How to Produce and Achieve Success in a Changing Landscape
-Going from Development to Production
-The Many Methods of Distribution
-Promotion is Key
Topic: Music in Film
-How to work with filmmakers
-How To Create What is Needed 
-The Business of getting music into films

Free Event 4/26 6 pm EDT at Bow Tie Cinemas Warner Theater: Networking for Filmmakers, Peers, Industry veterans at Warner Bow Tie Cinemas, Theater 1. 30-40 minutes. 
Fundraiser: International Indian Film Academy - Party at Turmeric Restaurant (Ridgewood) June 2, see website for updates.


The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival would like to thank its 2023 Sponsors. This year's Signature Sponsors are Super Cellars and TEEM. Other sponsors are: Park West Tavern, Greater Alliance Credit Union, Coldwell Banker, Columbia Bank, YMCA, Laurie Jordan-Keller Williams, and Steel Wheel Tavern.

About the Guild

The Ridgewood Guild is an organization devoted to revitalizing Ridgewood NJ. It is composed of businesses and individuals. Programs are held throughout the year. For information on the Guild


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