“Jersey native brings her film back home”

Ashley/Amber just got a great write-up in the Jersey Shore Metromix. Full text:

International appeal
Jersey native brings her film back home
By Alex Biese
May 31, 2011

After taking her latest film, the dark dramadey “Ashley/Amber,” overseas to the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, Maplewood native Rebecca R. Rojer is bringing her work home: the film will be screened June 10 as part of the New Jersey International Film Festival.

“(The film) hasn’t been seen by that many people, here, at least. A lot of people saw it in Berlin and it was exciting to show it to a more international audience,” Rojer said. “But really, it’s just been seen by friends, family and some students, so I’m looking forward to the New Jersey Film Festival screening to get more reactions.”

Written, directed and edited by Rojer, who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., the short film tells the story of Ashley, a young woman mourning the death of her soldier boyfriend who stars in a racy online video. After delivering an impassioned speech at a poorly attended anti-war rally, Ashley’s two identities are connected and her story becomes a viral sensation.

Discussing the film’s reception in Berlin, Rojer said, “I was worried about language issues, because I didn’t have time to get subtitles, and there was a little bit of that, but I found the understanding of the film is more of a difference between the generation gap than between Europeans and Americans, for instance.

“So a lot of stuff about something going viral online and the sort of commonplace-ness of Internet porn are less familiar with people maybe of my parents’ generation, whereas youth cultures in both countries seem to get it immediately.”

Discussing Rojer and her film, New Jersey Film Festival curator Al Nigrin said, “You can just tell that this is a person who, if she stays with it, will be an important filmmaker. I mean, it’s one of her first films, but it’s shot on film, it looks like an old film from the ’60s. I think she has everything going for her.”

“Ashley/Amber” is one of a number of films screening in this summer’s crop of NJFF films that looks at current events through the filter of sex: on Saturday, the festival will screen “Virgin Alexander,” a post-recession sex comedy about a pair of young adults who open a brothel to solve their financial woes.

“(For the festival), there’s a short film jury, there’s a long film jury, there’s a documentary jury, and it’s just funny how they all end up picking films that have common themes,” Nigrin said. “They’re out there and I think … people are looking for escapism, and yet they still want to deal with the heavy issues and they find a way to provide avenues for both.”

The New Jersey International Film Festival Summer 2011, June 3 through June 19, Voorhees Hall, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick. Admission is $10 general; $9 students and seniors; $8 Friends of the Rutgers Film Co-Op/NJMAC 732-932-8482; http://www.njfilmfest.com


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