A Statement from Big Dreams & Silver Screens/Westfield International Film Festival:

We regret to report that we will not be hosting either the Westfield International Film Festival or the Big Dreams Youth Film Festival in 2020.

We believe in transparancy and would like to share the reason for our hiatus.

The festival first began seven years ago as a small one night only event in Rahway. It has since grown to the four day affair that you have come to know and love. Gina Marie Rodriguez (Founder/Festival Director) and Stacy Ignacio (Assistant Director) have personally and annually funded the majority of the event since its inception.

Our move to Westfield has afforded us remarkable new opportunities, for which we are very grateful, but with those opportunities have come increased costs. As additional fundraising efforts have not yielded the necessary funds, we are no longer able to continue funding this production, nor the Big Dreams Youth Film Festival.

We are speaking with the Town of Westfield and our venue, The James Ward Mansion, with aspirations of returning next year, in 2021.

We appreciate the support of our existing sponsors, filmmakers, and patrons and hope that we have made you proud these last seven years.

If you are still owed deliverables at the time of this statement, please know that we are working towards finalizing all open projects. You may feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

With the greatest thanks and appreciation,

Gina & Stacy

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Big Dreams Youth Film Festival is an annual film festival exclusively for New Jersey students in Grades 1 through 12! Selected films will screen at our 4th Annual Big Dreams Youth Film Festival at the James Ward Mansion in Westfield, NJ on May 11, 2019.

Are you a New Jersey student? Do you have a story to tell? Share it with us!

Documentaries, Narratives, Animation are all welcome.

Submissions are FREE, FREE, FREE!

Parents and/or teachers may submit on the behalf of students. All contact will be conducted with whomever submits the film.

PLEASE BE CERTAIN TO CHECK YOUR E-MAIL. This is how festival directors will communicate with all accepted filmmakers.

**This festival is for students in New Jersey, USA ONLY! Applicants must submit to ONE category only. All others will be disqualified.

For more information, follow our website at https://www.bigdreamsandsilverscreens.org/youth-festival.

The grand prize winners will have their film screened at our main event, Westfield International Film Festival (a Big Dreams and Silver Screens production) and will receive a trophy for their accomplishments.

Eligible students: Grades 1-12. Must be a resident of New Jersey, USA.*.

**This festival is for students in New Jersey, USA ONLY! Applicants must submit to ONLY ONE category. All others will be disqualified.

Films must be under 15 minutes in length.

Movies may be filmed on a smartphone, digital camera, camcorder, or other device.

NO foul language, violence, or sexual content. - Applicants who ignore these requirements will be disqualified.

Deadline: No films will be accepted after April 15, 2019.

By submitting through our FilmFreeway platform, parental consent is implied. Links to YouTube or Vimeo will be accepted.

Hi Res digital files only - we will not request a DVD or Blu Ray for submission or acceptance.

Parents and/or teachers may submit on the behalf of students. All contact will be conducted with whomever submits the film.

PLEASE BE CERTAIN TO CHECK YOUR E-MAIL. This is how festival directors will communicate with all accepted filmmakers.

Submissions to this festival are free however, selected filmmakers will be required to purchase a ticket to attend.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Chris Cullen

    Love this festival, they always do an amazing job and support the students so much. Will submit again next season.

    May 2019
  • The festival was awesome!!!! There was a red carpet, interviews, and free popcorn!!!!

    June 2018
  • Carli Platt

    Great Festival for NJ kids! Nice venue, good screening, with professional projection and sound. Well organized, with red carpet interviews and photos.

    May 2018
  • JAMES DOWD

    Awesome fest. Kids enjoyed it. Can’t wait until next year.

    May 2018
  • I loved this festival. I had so much fun. They had really nice people working at it and it was over all a great experience.

    May 2018