The (so-called) Trenton Project Presents: Individually, Together. Student Films Made at Home in Spring 2020

May 20 / 5pm EST / Register in advance for the conversation here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

See the films prior to the discussion; available on Vimeo here

Please join us for a discussion of the short student films students from URB 202. Normally, in this seminar, we hold a lens to Trenton and learn how communities work by examining the lives of Trentonians. This year, from the seclusion of our own homes, we set out to build community by sharing our own stories. Taken together, the films that have emerged these semester – in eight short weeks – suggest that our job as artists and media-makers in this pandemic is to acknowledge the wide range of experiences we’re facing, while also creating what commentator Ezra Klein has called “a collective understanding of what we’re going through individually together.” 

You are cordially invited to watch the films ahead of time – available here -- and then join our online discussion with the filmmakers on May 20 at 5pm EST. Sharing these cinematic experiments with you will allow us to continue, albeit very differently, our project of community-engagement.


  • Anne Alvergue, filmmaker and editor
  • Purcell Carson, The Trenton Project, Princeton University
  • Katharine Reed, ’19, Global History Lab
  • David Sampliner, filmmaker and cinematographer
  • Sadia Shepard, writer and filmmaker, Wesleyan University
  • David Stirk, dean of Butler College 
  • Trisha Thorme, Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship


Lost Spring. Liana Cohen. As Covid-19 ravages New York City, a quarantined former opera singer rediscovers old photographs and materials from throughout her life, sparkling mingled nostalgia and self-reflection.

7,000 Miles. Jimin Kang. Set amidst the uncertainty of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, this film documents Kang, an international student from South Korea, as she spends her days in isolation at Princeton University, trying to stay connected with her family despite being 7,000 miles away.

Are You Happy?  Sanna Lee. Su, an immigrant mother who raised two daughters all by herself, recounts how she’s managed to feed her family on a low paycheck.

Lakeless. Drew Pugliese. A poetic meditation on Packanack Lake—the filmmaker’s childhood home—through a conversation with his mother, as she negotiates her relationship with the community in the context of pandemic.

A First Hand, Reclaimed. Johnatan Reiss. Almost 50 years after her left hand was first tied behind her back to eradicate her left-handedness, Raya decides to draw for the first time in her life. With chalks and pencils, she reclaims her left handedness, and a childhood lived in second hand.

Double Red Flag. Jamie Rodriguez.  A film about surfers and lemmings, two misunderstood populations that engage in dangerous behavior. Surfers have continued to gather despite stay-at-home orders. By following Max Edgerton, a North Carolina surfer, we gain perspective as to why surfers have chosen to engage in such deviant behavior.

Sueños del SARS-CoV-2/Dreams of SARS-CoV-2. Jonathan Romero. The testimonial potential of dreams is deployed in this collection of voices from Germany, Mexico, Ecuador and U.S. Filmed and produced from quarantine in Garland, TX amidst the coronavirus pandemic, this short film essay documents the real concerns of a generation in the face of what some have referred to as “the worst crisis since World War II.”

Dinnertime.  Cheyenne Zhang. As the global pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, we feel far away from so many people we love and care about. But for some families, ironically, social distancing has brought them closer together.