Newark Film Festival 2011

The 2011 Newark Film Festival has a new program this year. It's called OUTflix, and it's a selection of LGBT films, or films that are geared for gay and lesbian audiences. A dozen or so LGBT films will play when the festival kicks off on September 8.

The NFL season kicks off the same day with this year's Super Bowl winner, the Green Bay Packers going up against 2010's champs, the New Orleans Saints. News also recently broke that President Obama will give a speech to Congress that same evening, but people will have plenty of opportunities to see these independent films. The festival runs to September 15.

There will be a diversity of movies, movies you won't catch at your nearest multiplex. There'll be arthouse films, foreign films and documentaries. Festival organizers describe them as "movies that matter." The festival will have pure entertainment for sure, but mostly movies to open and educate minds.

The festival features the premiere of Delaware filmmaker Anthony Spadaccini's latest comedy Beach Bums, which plays Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7PM. Beach Bums is made in the style of 1920s silent films like those of Charlie Chaplin.

The festival is also hosting Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's critically and financially most successful film in decades. If you want to laugh, there's also the British road movie The Trip as well as Will Ferrell's dramedy Everything Must Go about a man dealing with the common theme of joblessness.

The Newark Film Festival also proudly presents The Tree of Life, the winner of the Palm d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, one of the few American films to receive that honor. The Tree of Life stars Brad Pitt as a challenging father in 1950s Texas. Sean Penn co-stars as his son in the future looking back on their existence.

The Oscar-nominated Incendies stands atop of the films from around the globe. The Canadian film involves adult twins uncovering family secrets in the wake of their mother's death, secrets that take them to the Middle East. Audiences can also get some thrills from the Norwegian monster movie Trollhunter.

The most praised documentaries of the year are available at the festival. Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams is an exploration that reveals an unknown piece of human history. James Marsh's Project Nim is the real-life story of a chimp-experiment gone awry, and Errol Morris' controversial Tabloid is about a woman accused of kidnapping.

As far as OUTflix, the movies represent a wide range of stories. A septuagenarian finally comes out of the closet in Beginners. A lesbian deals with Don't Ask, Don't Tell in A Marine Story, and if you're in the mood for a cross-dressing, transsexual, Spanish musical, check out 20 Centimeters.

Here are my reviews of a selection of Newark Film Festival 2011 choices...

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Cedar Rapids
Edie and Thea
Finding Me: Truth
Midnight in Paris
The One
Rejoice and Shout - Review By Carlos Holmes
The Tree of Life

For more information on the Newark Film Festival, including showtimes and tickets, go to:


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