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International film festival coming to Newark this weekend

NEWARK, N.J. — More than 150 films from around the world will be screened this weekend in 12 locations throughout downtown Newark. Workshops, classes, free headshots, stunt exhibitions and Q-and-A sessions will be offered. All kids get in free.

More than a third of the films screened are by young people from 30 different countries, according to festival founder Kenneth Gifford.

"Newark is the birthplace of celluloid film,” said Gifford.

“In 1887, a Reverend named Hannibal Goodwin invented celluloid film on Broad Street in Newark at the Plume House. He invented celluloid film as a way to teach his Sunday school kids a better way to learn the Bible and get their lessons and project them on the wall.”

Newark students are invited to learn from film once again this weekend, and directly from the filmmakers and screen actors themselves.

Tobias Truvillion, who plays D-Major on Empire, is the festival’s celebrity ambassador. Cinematographer Alex Fernback will host a master workshop. Executive producer Samad Davis will orchestrate an interactive master acting class.

The weekend will be capped off by an awards ceremony on Sunday night at NJPAC. There are 15 categories, including the Hannibal Goodwin Award for Innovation in Filmmaking in homage to Goodwin’s pioneering contribution to film.