The Garden State Film Festival was founded to promote the art of film making on all levels by showcasing a wide variety of film, video and animated works, as well as to provide educational programs in the creative arts to the public by industry leaders. Our goal is to present films of the highest quality in both production value and content.

Founded to celebrate the independent film genre, The Garden State Film Festival, a not for profit organization, offers independent filmmakers the chance to exhibit their work and gives New Jersey audiences a chance to experience new, cultural, and artistic endeavors through the medium of film.

The Garden State Film Festival's professional jury will select winning films in the following categories: Feature, Documentary in both short and feature length, Animation in both short and feature length, Short film, Music Video,Commercial, PSA and Trailers. There are separate awards for student films (please state on notes which kind of student you are if it applies - Graduate, College, High School or younger) as well as the "Home Grown Awards" for films where 75% of principle photography is shot in the State of New Jersey.

This event has returned home to Asbury Park, New Jersey, commencing with an opening ceremony and reception and ending with a Gala Awards Dinner where the "Best" in various categories of films and celebrity honorees are recognized.

In addition to the screenings, Professional Panel Discussions will be headed by industry professionals at posted times. The festival will hold these discussions to unite celebrity filmmakers with aspiring screenwriters, directors, and actors. Representatives from respected film distribution companies will be invited to attend, as the festival will provide access to new talent and product available for worldwide distribution.

Youth workshops for hands on sessions with industry professionals will take place throughout the festival at pre-scheduled times.

Please note that GSFF does NOT pay a screening fee. All feature length films must be a New Jersey premiere, and for all other films a premier in the GSFF Region (Monmouth, Mercer, Ocean and Middlesex Counties) is preferred, unless it is a student film, which may have been shown at school/on campus, or special arrangements have been made with the Festival.

GSFF was also the first festival in the world to introduce the MOVIE MUSIC TRACK COMPETITION. Please alert your music composers about that category!

Awards & Prizes

In addition to awards for various categories, there is an audience choice award "Pick of the Flicks".

Rules & Terms

*** Please note we prefer DVD entries NTSC DVD ( region 0 or 1). If accepted, filmmakers must supply two discs, DVD (NTSC, Region 1 or 0) or Blu Ray (NTSC, Region A), within two weeks of notification. Notification is made approximately by mid to late January 2017.

1. The Garden State Film Festival (“GSFF” or “the Festival”) Entry Fees are non-refundable.

2. AAll feature length films must be a New Jersey premiere, and all other films must be a premier in the GSFF Region (Monmouth, Mercer, Ocean and Middlesex Counties) unless it is a student film, which may have been shown at school/on campus, or special arrangements have been made with the Festival.

3. All films must be in English or subtitled in English.

4. Web Series compilations may be submitted as short or feature films as long as the compilation meets the short or feature requirements.

5. Filmmaker may upload a screener or send a discs, DVD (NTSC, Region 1 or 0) or Blu Ray (NTSC, Region A), which is preferred.

6. Sending your disc(s) to: GSFF, 1 Page Avenue, Allenhurst, New Jersey 07711. DO NOT require a signature. If you would like acknowledgement of receipt of your disc (in addition to FilmFreeway acknowledgment), please enclosed a self-addressed stamped postcard that will serve as acknowledgment of receipt.

7. Discs must be labeled with the following:
 Title
 Format and Region
 Length in Minutes
 FilmFreeway Tracking Number
Please test your disc thoroughly before sending. Must play on standard US commercial player.

8. If you are submitting more than one entry, a separate submission is required for each film, although they may be mailed together. Submissions will not be returned unless a self-addressed postage paid envelope is provided with the submission.

9. Once a Project has been submitted for consideration it cannot be withdrawn.

10. All entries must be shipped prepaid. Do not declare a value on your submission, as this will hold it up in customs. Do not send materials in fiber-filled envelopes or "jiffy packs," since fibers will damage both disc and playback equipment. Please use other types of envelopes or containers. The title of the work, FilmFreeway number and running time must be on all mailing containers.

11. The Festival disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any failure to contact the Applicant using the contact information provided in FilmFreeway. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the contact information provided in FilmFreeway is correct through the end of the Festival period.

12. If the disc does not play in an commercial player, the Festival will attempt, but is under no obligation, to contact the applicant from the contact information provided to obtain a replacement. If a replacement is not available, the Festival reserves the right to disqualify the film without refunding the submission fees.

13. The Festival will attempt, but is under no obligation, to view a submission that arrives after the designated deadline without refund of the submission fee.

14. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any film for non-payment of the submission fee. The Festival will attempt to contact the applicant with the information on the application form to resolve the non-payment status, but is under no obligation to do so.

15. The Festival is under no obligation to, and does not, provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film to the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted Film. The Festival will not be held responsible or liable for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding any submitted Film obtained by the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted film or any third party.

16. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted Film. The GSFF will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted Film. The GSFF reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials.

17. Successful applicants to the Festival will be notified through the contact information provided in FilmFreeway. The Festival will notify all applicants by the beginning of February, and will be required to submit screening copies within two (2) weeks of the date of the notice. The contact information on the application form must be kept valid from submission to the end of the festival. The Festival will not be held responsible for the failure to contact the Applicant using the contact information provided on the submission form.

18. GSFF reserves the right to adjust screening schedules of films at the discretion of GSFF without any notice.

19. The Filmmaker agrees that GSFF will be held harmless for delays due to equipment failure, shipping delays, and or condition the prints delivered which may prevent screening. GSFF cannot be held liable for your exhibition materials which are lost or damaged.

21. GSFF does not pay screening fees.

22. Filmmakers or screenwriters accepted and attending the Festival are responsible for travel, lodging, and all other expenses.

23. All jury decisions are final and will be announced at the Festival Awards Dinner and will be posted on the GSFF website shortly thereafter.

24. All stated information, eligibility and submission guidelines, terms and conditions of entry, and entry information are subject to change by the GSFF, without notice.

25. By making the submission to the GSFF, the submitter warrants that it/they have the legal right to enter film work to GSFF own all rights to all elements of their film, or are authorized to use all elements in the film, and are authorized to submit for the film for exhibition and related uses by the GSFF. Furthermore to, jointly and severally, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Garden State Film Festival (“GSFF”), its officers, directors, committee persons, agents, volunteers, and all other connected with or providing services to, whether paid, in-kind or volunteered (collectively “Indemnitee”), from liability, damages, costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, that such Indemnitee might incur relating to, arising out of or existing by, whether by act or omission, including negligence, by reason of (1) the decision or act to exhibit or not exhibit a Submission submitted to GSFF by the Submitter; (2) the advertisement, publicity, or exhibition of said Submission; or (3) the other use of said Submission by the GSFF.

26. By submitting a film, I freely and voluntarily give and express my full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these General Rules and the Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances of any kind, and no representations, inducements, promises or assurances not set forth in these General Rules or the Terms and Conditions, below, have been made to me or the Film’s Owners by the GSFF or any Indemnitee.

For more information about the MOVIE MUSIC TRACK COMPETITION, please go to: www.gsff.org

13 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Terry Leary

    I loved this festival, it was friendly. My only regret is that I couldn't have seen more films. Thanks to all that put this on.

    July 2017
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    Michael Raso

    Thank you Garden State Film Festival for screening our film. I'd encourage any film maker to make their next submission to them. Very well organised.

    May 2017
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    Daniel Mills

    GSFF is a wonderful event. Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

    April 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you.

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    Seven 13

    The Garden State Film Festival is one of the best festivals we have been to. They offer a lot of opportunities to network and the screenings are always fun to be apart of. The communications was well done, informative and very helpful. They are very welcoming to the filmmaker. This festival was a true pleasure to attend.

    April 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you

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    Andrew Schwarz

    Great festival!! Amazingly nice people, great films, great parties. Some screening venues were a little out of the way and some technical problems but other than that flawless festival! Thanks so much to Diane and Margaret for their fabulous awards dinner and a great weekend in Atlantic City. Definitely worth the submission!

    April 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much.