Film Festival to debut in Sparta

Sparta. The Sparta Stage will host the premier of the New Jersey Documentary Film Festival from Friday, July 23, until Sunday, July 25. The festival was spearheaded by Joshua and Jessica Nelson.

Hope /
| 20 Jul 2021 | 02:24

The premier of the New Jersey Documentary Film Festival will take place at The Sparta Avenue Stage this Friday, July 23, through Sunday, July 25.

The brainchild of Sparta residents, Joshua and Jessica Nelson, the festival will include all kinds of documentaries of short and feature length from around the world.

“My wife and I have a passion for documentaries,” Nelson said. “We attended a documentary festival in Washington DC and realized there’s nothing like it in New Jersey. Instead of simply leaving it as ‘we should do that someday’ we made it happen.”

The documentaries are divided into blocks and will also include a block specifically for films made by high school students as well as a “Home Grown” section featuring films made by New Jersey residents.

“We’re not actually the owners of the Sparta Avenue Stage, but saw it as the perfect venue for the festival,” Nelson said. “The films will cover a wide range of topics from the war in the middle east to addiction to PSTD to stray dogs to a priest from Camden who turned the whole city around.”

The Festival will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. To see the line up and for on-line registration visit or you can just show up and purchase tickets. Blocks will run for approximately two to two-and-a-half hours, and if you type in “Sparta Independent” in the Discount Code Box at on-line registration, tickets are 50% off.

Hope in the Holy Land, where an American Christian with a deep love for Israel sets off on a journey across the Holy Land searching for the deeper truths behind one of the most perplexing and debated conflicts in the world. (Friday, July 23 at 8 p.m.)

Mustang Saviors, a film that looks at the tragedy of American veterans suffering from PTSD, thousands of whom are killing themselves each year. Yet a remarkable treatment is proving more powerful than ever imagined: Wild mustangs taken straight off the range! Pairing them with veterans is miraculously turning despair into enduring hope! (Saturday, July 24, at 11 a.m.)

Sparta Avenue Stage is located at 10 Sparta Avenue in Sparta.