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Garden State Film Festival comes to AC

Whether you’re a filmmaker or critic, movie buff or movie extra, cinematic connoisseur or simply someone who’s fond of entertaining indoor festivals, you must save this date: March 19-22, 2015–the 13th Annual Garden State Film Festival, New Jersey’s premiere independent film festival now in Atlantic City.

Call for entries:
Submission deadline for movie entries, screenplays and movie music is November 1, 2014

Preview (Expect to find)
  • Festive parties, entertaining events, industry professionals and movie stars
  • More than 170 independent films from over dozen countries
  • An open talent casting call
  • Panel discussions, workshops and educational programs

Synopsis of Festival:
Finalists and winning entries (as reviewed and selected by a panel of professional judges) include: Feature Length films, Shorts, Documentaries (short and feature length), Animation (short and feature length), Music Videos, PSAs, Commercials, Trailers; student films and “Home Grown” films from any category in which 75% of the principal photography is shot in New Jersey.

Co-founded in 2002 by New Jersey natives Diane Raver and Robert Pastorelli the Garden State Film Festival was created to celebrate the independent film genre and promote the art of film making on all levels. After 11 independent film festivals in Asbury Park., the 12th annual Film Fest made its first appearance in Atlantic City, April 4-6, 2014, where it featured almost 180 films from 17 countries.

The Audience Choice Award selected by attendees casting e-Ballots with smart phones was introduced at the last festival to encourage moviegoers to text in after a screening. – not only to New Jersey but to all film festivals everywhere.

Besides films Raver said organizers of the event also scour the state looking for the best up-and-coming star to present with the prestigious Robert Pastorelli "Home Grown" award. Look for Jersey Shore native Paul Castro, Jr., the 2014 winner, on the big screen as Eric in The Skeleton Twins.

Latest News:
The 2014 festival was the first competition of its kind in film festival history to recognize achievement in movie music. To date, it remains the only independent film festival to recognize composers, artists and producers of scores, soundtracks and theme songs judged solely on their own merit. Submissions for original movie music are due by Nov 1, 2014.

Entries are also accepted for the Garden State Screenplay competition, coordinated with the New Jersey Screenwriter’s Network. The winning screenplay will be read by professional actors at the festival and mentioned at the Awards Dinner.

Tickets will be available for purchase at each venue or online. Prices are expected to vary from $12 to $125 for a single screening block, a weekend pass and event passes and are required for the Opening Night cocktail party, Black Tie Awards Dinner, workshops and professional Q&A discussions.

Expected to attend the 2015 Garden State Film Fest are Princeton native Bebe Neuwirth, Laura Dern, Dara Brown & Ronnie Marmo. Previous attendees have included Ed Asner, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Diane Ladd, Scott Neustadter, Glenn Close, Paul Sorvino, Frank Vincent, Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen, Lainie Kazan, Batman producer Michael Uslan, Austin Pendleton, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Budd Schulberg, many of whom are New Jersey natives

Director: Diane Raver, GSFF executive director, film industry veteran and New Jersey native, said, “We are thrilled to showcase these remarkable films and so many others–from across the world and around the corner.”

Reviews Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up
When the first Garden State independent film festival debuted in 2003 it was immediately deemed a huge success. That success continues to grow–with more movies attracting larger crowds and the move to Atlantic City, the GSFF can only continue to garner more praise, earn more respect and attract hundreds of thousands more attendees.

We hope to see you in Atlantic City March 19-22 for a wonderful weekend of cinematic display!