North Hudson’s international film festival

Audience members choose favorite local and international films

At the 4th Annual NoHu International Short Film Festival on Thursday night, audience members were asked to view and vote for their favorite entries from the 21 short films chosen by a panel of judges for screening.
The event included a pre-screening red carpet, film screenings, and an award ceremony. The venue was the new William Musto Cultural Center, located at 420 15th St.

“The event is open to everyone.” – Commissioner Lucio Fernandez.
The festival was created four years ago by James Fakuda, a Weehawken resident, and the city of Union City.

The parameters

There were no special categories for entries at the NoHu Film Festival. All submissions were accepted as long as they complied with the festival’s parameters: no pornography, no strong language, and no extreme violence.
“The event is open to everyone,” said Commissioner Lucio Fernandez, explaining that the organizers didn’t try to censor the films but participants had to be cautious of the parameters given. The maximum length for all films was 20 minutes. The deadline for submissions was Friday, Sept. 23 at no cost to participants.
Once the deadline closed, four judges chose the finalists to show on Sept. 29. The judges were Commissioner Fernandez, his wife Megan Fernandez, Amy Smith, and Larry Piscitelli.
“We picked the best ones, the most artistic ones. They don’t necessarily have to have the best production, we judged based on quality,” said Fernandez. The judges watched the films separately.
At the festival, the audience members were to be given the opportunity to screen 21 films chosen by judges, and made a final vote to decide on the winners.

Screenings at the festival

The 21 finalists for the 2011 NoHu International Short Film Festival were:
• “Crush,” directed Gloria La Morte
• “Cold Desert,” and “Sunnyside Down Productions,” written and directed by Julius B. Kelly
• “The Weather Reporter,” a film by Abby Levine and Craig Radhuber
• “Boor of No Importance,” directed by Joe Paul
• “Roma Sub Rosa, The secret under the tree,” produced by Jim Thalman
• “Mo(u)rning (an excerpt),” written by Adrian Rodriguez
• “Winter Guayabera,” written and directed by Arian Blanco
• “Victim: The Kristen Aubin Story,” directed by Ruben Rodriguez
• “Denial,” directed by Ruben Rodriguez
• “Ghost of Chance,” directed by Brit Godish
• “Faust,” directed by Ruben Rodriguez
• “The Psychology of Madison,” directed by Ruben Rodriguez
• “Le Chat Noir,” by Tristan Colver
• “Rituals of Beauty,” by Jonfaber Monsalve
• “Ali and the Ball,” by Alex Holmes
• “Ice Cream,” by Alexandra Fisher
• “Massacre in the Woods,” written and directed by Lucio Fernandez
• “Ulster County Firefighter,” by Detective John Falcone
• “An Ulster County Winter,” an Aaron Peck film
• “Mask of Solitude,” an Elmer Salmeron film
“We [chose] one terrific entry called ‘Crush’, a screenplay that won HBO’s Short Film Script Competition in 2011,” said Commissioner Fernandez. “It was the crown jewel of the NoHu International Short Film Festival.”
“Crush” was directed by Gloria La Morte, who was born in Colombia and came to the U.S. when she was 7. She was raised in Hackensack and currently lives in Union City with her husband Joseph.
Both husband and wife began their careers in 1999. They have directed, written, and produced many films including “Details,” “Entre Nos,” “Autumn’s Eyes,” “Woven Waves,” “Love and Laundry,” “Washington Heights” and “About Fathers and Sons.”

Surprise screening

Following the awards presentation, the festival was scheduled to hold a special screening of “The Way He Makes Me Feel” and a question and answer session with one of its producers, Joelle Arqueros.
The documentary chronicles the lives of Michael Jackson fans, and how the late pop star impacted the world in so many unexpected ways.
The William Musto Cultural Center is the first of its kind in Union City. Named in honor of former Union City Mayor and State Sen. William V Musto, the center opened last summer. It houses a Museum of Art, the Union City Police Museum, an Art Gallery and Concert Hall, the Union City Museum of History, and a senior citizen center.

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