Princeton Community Television will present a premiere screening of two new films produced by local non-profits through its community partners project on Sunday Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. The screening will be held at the former Princeton Borough Municipal Building.
The Films were produced by the ARC Mercer Drama Program and NAMI Mercer. The screening is free and open to the public and is part of the Princeton Seminary Film Festival.
The community partners project teaches documentary video and new media skills to non-profit organizations throughout Princeton and the greater Princeton area. The free program partners non-profits with local professional filmmakers. Princeton TV provides all the instruction, technical assistance, equipment, and other production services needed to complete a documentary.
“A Wonderfully Difficult Journey” follows a group of disabled actors as they navigate the arduous process of creating, producing and performing a live theatrical production. Like most theater courses, the participants go through a series of exercises and activities geared towards expanding their imaginations while teaching them the core principals of stage performance. But as you will witness, the anxiety, joy, and camaraderie are universal themes for all actors working in this particular medium. These performers show that with hard work and dedication, true talent has no boundaries.
“This film is a wonderful and powerful tool for future actors with disabilities who might be hesitant to journey out of their comfort zones because of preconceived notions of fright and failure,” said Kirk Ponton, drama coordinator at The ARC Mercer.
The Arc Mercer Drama Program is a 12-week course that seeks to honor and celebrate the individual, transcending the label of disability. The program facilitates a safe and judgment free environment, encouraging participants to collaborate together as an ensemble as well as discover their individual voices.
“Passage to Hope” by NAMI Mercer recounts the journeys of family members and their loved ones with psychiatric disabilities. In their own words the people featured describe theirtrials, tribulations, and triumphs.
“Our films purpose is to give authentic voice to the family experience with mental illness, so the public can better understand our challenges and support our loved ones as they engage, pursue and achieve recovery,” said Tom Pyle, a NAMI Board member and the film’s producer and director. ”Were also pleased that the films production has itself been a wonderful recovery therapy for the several loved ones and family members involved in our project.”
NAMI Mercer provides education and support for individuals and families affected by mental illness, and advocate for lives of quality and respect, without stigma or discrimination.