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. GSFF was also the first festival in the world to introduce the MOVIE MUSIC TRACK COMPETITION. Please alert your music composers about that category! Finally we also host a screenplay competition for Feature as well as short scripts.

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 correct contact info. PLEASE DO NOT USE AN EMAIL THAT NO ONE CHECKS.

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.

www.gsff.org for more information about our events.
https://try.seedandspark.com/film-festival-pledge/

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.

FILMS- Winners certificate and possibility of other prizes TBD.

SCREENPLAY COMPETITION:
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.

Sponsor:InkTip
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.

Terms and Conditions:
The undersigned, the authorized representative of the project named below (hereafter called the "Project") to The Garden State Film Festival (hereafter called the “GSFF”) for consideration for the 2021 Garden State Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”), hereby acknowledges the following:

ALL SUBMITTING FILMMAKERS ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE FOLLOWING SUBMISSION RULES & TERMS PRIOR TO SUBMITTING.

*** The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) has full intention of presenting
a live, in-person event in 2021 but should federal, state, local mandates or global conditions make it necessary, all entrants hereby agree to allow their film to be included in a secure live digital event. Your film submission to GSFF confirms acceptance of these terms and conditions. ****

Help us reach our goal of being accessible to everyone.
NOTE TO FILMMAKERS-The Garden State Film Festival seeks to make the arts is accessible to everyone. GSFF encourages all filmmakers to include subtitles even if your film is in English to accommodate our hearing-impaired audience members.

If accepted, filmmakers must supply a digital file of your film. Pro Res 422 is the required file format, NOT DCP.

To ensure your film is screened, you also need to provide 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.

Failure to timely supply discs can lead to disqualification.

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, Music Video and Pilot, films may not be online prior to screening in the festival.

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 Once a Project has been submitted for consideration it cannot be withdrawn.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

IF PROJECT IS ACCEPTED
1. GSFF reserves the right to adjust screening schedules of films at the discretion of GSFF without any notice.

2. 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.

3. GSFF does not pay screening fees.

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

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

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

7. 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.

8. 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 info@gsff.org

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • We were blown away by GSFF! Communications were great, they have their own APP for filmmakers to connect! We were so excited to attend and then COVIF happened. THEN they became the "first film festival in the world to pivot to an online, secure festival as origianlly scheduled and in a less than a two week turn around!" Programming and press were great. Live Q&A with audience on facebook streamed to festival page was great. Really hope we can attend again when it happens in-person!

    October 2020
  • I've been involved with the Garden State Film Festival for 5 years now. Initially as a filmmaker and, now, as Vice-Chair. I couldn't be more proud of this organization or honored to work with our incredible Board and production staff. This group of people truly celebrates independent film and loves our filmmakers. I've made lifelong friends through connections made here, and several new film projects have been born as a result of those friendships. The wealth of talent and creative hearts that GSFF attracts - from all over the world - is incredible. I look forward to seeing a lot of new faces (in person!!!) in 2021 and beyond!

    May 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our cause.

  • Chris Brenner

    Always a great event- this year they adapted to go virtual and did a great job under the circumstances

    April 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Chris! We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for being a part of the journey with us during the pandemic.
    LOVE, GSFF

  • GSFF was the first to adapt to the current CV19 situation and take their festival virtual. It was handled extremely well and was a great experience!

    April 2020
  • They made a great pivot into an online festival this year - they did a great job and I can't wait to enter another film next year. Wonderful lineup of films and a fantastic staff.

    April 2020