The Garden State Film Festival is New Jersey's Premier Independent Film Festival®.
The Garden State Film Festival [GSFF] is a global destination festival that enhances the quality of life in New Jersey by stimulating economic growth through the arts (over 9 million), investing in the creativity of students, making the arts accessible to undeserved populations, and preserving heritage arts.
(GSFF) showcases premier films, renowned and emerging artists, empowering global connectivity between creators, innovators and audiences.
GSFF 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 various categories. Submission categories are for administration purposes only. There are separate awards for student films as well as the "Home Grown Awards" for films where 75% of principal photography is shot in the State of New Jersey.
Students- You MUST state on notes which kind of student you are if it applies - Graduate, College, High School or younger.
You must enter all contact info.
This event takes place in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and consists of a gala ceremony and reception and ending with a black tie preferred Awards Banquet 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 premiere 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.
GSFF was also the first festival in the world to introduce the MOVIE MUSIC TRACK COMPETITION. Please alert your music composers about that category!
www.gsff.org for more information about our events.
Awards are given in various categories and are presented at the Black Tie Awards Banquet on Sunday night of the festival. All juried awards are at the discretion of the judges. Winners need not be present to receive an award.
Attention films with an animation component, thanks to our friends at Jam Room Communications, a special "Jammy Award" will be instituted this year. For criteria and rules please see here: https://www.jamroomcommunications.com/gsff-jammy-award.html
1st Place-Winner receives:
Winners certificate, two (2) VIP passes to the festival, and an abridged reading of the winning script by professional actors. (*“abridged” version means “the entire screenplay” as written will not be read.)
A prize package of one (1) InkTip Script Listing and one (1) InkTip Magazine listing for your grand prize winner of the GSFF Screenwriting Award and a prize package of one (1) InkTip Script Listing for your top five (5) finalists to assist in providing them exposure for their scripts. InkTip Script Listings provide writers with the opportunity to get their scripts read by InkTip’s extensive network of producers, reps, manager, agents, and other qualified industry professionals.
Honorable Mention-Two (2) VIP passes for finalist 2-5, plus (1) InkTip Script Listing for finalists 2-5 to assist in providing them exposure for their scripts. InkTip Script Listings provide writers with the opportunity to get their scripts read by InkTip’s extensive network of producers, reps, manager, agents, and other qualified industry professionals.
MOVIE MUSIC COMPETITION:
Winning music of the Movie Music Competition is played before and after all film screenings during the festival.
ALL SUBMITTING FILMMAKERS ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE FOLLOWING SUBMISSION RULES & TERMS PRIOR TO SUBMITTING.
***NOTE TO FILMMAKERS-The Garden State Film Festival seeks to make the arts accessible to everyone.
GSFF encourages all filmmakers to include subtitles even if your film is in English to accommodate our hearing impaired audience members.
Help us reach our goal of being accessible to everyone.
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 2020.
Failure to timely supply discs can lead to disqualification.
There is a possibility your film may be screened digitally during the festival.
Once we know which venues will be digital, we may contact you for a digital file of your film. Pro Res 422 is the required file format right now.
1. The Garden State Film Festival (“GSFF” or “the Festival”) Entry Fees are non-refundable.
2. All feature length films must be a New Jersey premiere,
and all other films must be a premiere 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. With the exception of Web Series, film may not be online prior to screening in the
5. Filmmaker may upload a screener or send a discs, DVD (NTSC, Region 1 or 0) or Blu
Ray (NTSC, Region A).
6. Sending your disc(s) to: GSFF, 711 Boston Blvd., Sea Girt, New Jersey 08750.
DO NOT require a signature.
If you would like acknowledgement of receipt of your disc (in addition to
please enclosed a self-addressed stamped postcard that will serve as
acknowledgment of receipt.
7. Discs must be labeled with the following:
Format and Region
Length in Minutes
FilmFreeway Tracking Number
Please test your disc thoroughly before sending.Must play on standard US
commercial USA Blu Ray player. NOT on a game station.
8. If you are submitting more than one entry:
A separate submission is required for each film, although they may be mailed
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
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
12. If the disc does not play in an commercial Blu Ray 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
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
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
21. GSFF does not pay screening fees.
22. Filmmakers or screenwriters accepted and attending the Festival are responsible for
all 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 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org