URB 202 Student Films Premiere to a Full House

by Sara Vantournhout, University Administrative Fellow

Close to two hundred Princetonians and Trentonians braved the stormy weather on the night of Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to attend the premiere of The Trenton Project’s student films at Trenton Artworks.

The Fall 2016 undergraduate course URB 202, “Documentary Film and the City,” culminated in six student documentaries for The Trenton Project, a partnership between Princeton University and Trenton residents, institutions, and community partners that aims to document how the past, present, and future are interwoven in Trenton’s tapestry. The Fall 2016 theme “The 1960s: Looking Back, Moving Forward” takes us back to the city in the 1960s, and, more specifically, to the aftermath of the violence that erupted in April 1968 in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That event radically altered the fabric of the city.

Under the guidance of historian Alison Isenberg and filmmaker Purcell Carson, the URB202 students collaborated on six documentary shorts that explore the ways in which Trentonians built and sustained lives and communities while navigating barriers of gender, race, and class in the 1960s. Isenberg and Carson are also working on a longer piece to be finished this spring.

The January premiere at Princeton Artworks featured all six documentary shorts, followed by a Q&A with students and project directors, and a reception. All six films received a warm and enthusiastic response from the audience, though one film stood out and swept the jury and audience awards. The winner was “A Game of Inches” by Andie Ayala ‘19 and Tylor Johnson ‘19, which portrays the story of three female Trenton High School alumni—Jo Carolyn Dent-Clark, Maria Jones, and Zarinah Shakir—and how gender, race, and class affected their education and future.


To read more about The Trenton Project and watch the films, go to http://www.thetrentonproject.com/.

(Photo credited to Fotobuddy Photography)