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New Jersey and Roma – A Cultural Bridge

The Count Basie Center for the Arts’ Teen + College Film Festival has announced a collaboration with Italy’s John Cabot University and Rome’s Accademia di Belle Arti. The partnership, which will culminate in an event called “JerseyFest,” features screenings of winning student films from 2019’s Basie Center Teen + College Film Fest, plus an exclusive screening of filmmaker Tom Jones’ “Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll” and a post-screening question and answer with the director.

“Filmmaking is universal, so it makes sense that winning films in the Basie Center’s Teen + College Film Fest will be seen by an international audience,” said Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “The opportunity to showcase these films at the Accademia di Belle Arti, one of Rome’s oldest cultural landmarks and creating this sister relationship with John Cabot University, expands the reach of our successful student film initiative.”

“Rome has seen a lot of spectacle, but the Count Basie Center’s Teen + College Film Fest is sure to hold its own,” said Cornelia Lauf, Visiting Professor of Art History, John Cabot University. “We’re looking forward to hosting these award-winning student films in the Eternal City and with the Accademia di Belle Arti. The presentation of the Tom Jones film on Asbury Park closes the circle on a cycle of films ranging from amateur to professional. The Rome audience will receive an introduction to what may seem as an American but is ultimately a global language of art, music, film.”

Now in its sixth year, the Count Basie Center Teen + College Film Fest seeks to discover and showcase the Garden State’s best student filmmakers. Hundreds of students have entered in the competition and festival, with entries originating from all 21 New Jersey counties and graduates of New Jersey high schools studying in film schools across the nation.

Founded in 1972, John Cabot University is an independent, four-year liberal arts university offering undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and study abroad programs to English-speaking students from all over the world. The college is named for Giovanni Cabato, a skilled Italian navigator and 15th century explorer who forged a link between Italy and the Americas that has lasted for more than 500 years. Students who graduate from Cabot are accepted at prestigious graduate schools worldwide including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics to name a few.

Tom Jones is the founder and principal of the Halo Group, a creative and multi-media creative consultancy based in Los Angeles. The Halo Group has worked on a wide range of exciting projects, from broadcast television to corporate communication, internet development and museum design. “Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll” tells the story of the town and how the power of music united a divided community. The film returns native sons Southside Johnny, David Sancious, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt to the legendary Upstage, the after-hours club where they got their start.

The Accademia di Belle Arti originated from ” Accademia di San Luca,” which began at the end of the 16th century and became Papal Seat for artistic studies. It became a prestigious meeting place for artists and an educational role model for similar developing institutions.