The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center proudly announces the 40th Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival. The festival will be held between January 28 - February 20, 2022 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and will showcase the best in independent film by featuring premiere screenings, special guest appearances by film directors, screenwriters, cast and crew and more. For more information go to, call (848) 932-8482 or e-mail or

Steve Snyder wrote a few years ago in the Newark Star-Ledger that the NJ Film Festival "wants to use movies as a way of building bridges between cultures." Alvin Klein wrote in the NY Times: "The New Jersey Film Festival...represents the first sustained effort at year round art-film programming in the state...and thanks to the the New Jersey Film Festival New Brunswick has become the Mecca for filmgoers in New Jersey, a true cinematheque."

New Jersey has only one media arts center programming year-round -- offering over 100 annual film screenings and events: The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center. Founded in 1982, the Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC draws thousands of viewers from throughout New Jersey by providing an alternative media culture via our Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival and New Jersey International Film Festival. The Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC is dedicated to the noncommercial exhibition of independent, classic, international, and experimental films and videos. Not only do our audiences have the opportunity to view many independently produced films, but also the added benefit of meeting with the filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and other members of production crew. Over the past 38 years we have provided New Jersey residents with many inspiring and provocative programs and activities. Some of these include: over 1170 area and premiere screenings of Independent and International Feature and Documentary Films; over 550 Visiting Directors and Media Artists including established directors/producers like: Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell, Paul Morrissey, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Mira Nair, Todd Solondz, Bill Plympton, Jem Cohen, Mark Rappaport, Sara Driver, Jim McKay, Su Friedrich, Menachem Daum, Ken Smith, Aviva Kempner, David Riker, Sarah Karloff, Michel Negroponte, Gary Null, Tim Kirkman, Joseph Dorman, Ted Sod, Heather McDonald, Veronica Burstein, Peter Sillen, Jason Rosette, Susan Muska, Greta Olafsdottir, Sarah Jacobson, Vlas and Charley Parlapanides, Dustin Grella, David Rick Balcorta, Roger Weisberg, Daina Krumins, Jenny Stein, James LaVeck, Thomas Franklin, Thierry Daher, Carolyn Travis, Yasuki Nakajima, Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno, Jerome Bongiorno, Sanjiban Sellew, Susan Ingraham, Martha Rosler, Mark Berger, Raphael Ortiz, Maureen Gosling, Matthew Brown, Moon Molson, Jave Galt-Miller, Micah Baskir, Paul La Blanc, Thurston Smith, Tim Eberle, Damian Kolody, Nancy O'Mallon, Kathy Foronjy, Joe Coburn, Michael Knowles, Luke Mathany, Donny Moss, Raul Barcelona, Alex Feldman, Joesph Bierman, Paul Andersen, Christopher Maloney, Thomas Florek, Paul Marcus, Ryan Smith, Matthew Lawrence, Beth Toni Kruvant, Nadirah Bell, Emma Kenney, Shinako Sudo, Cassandra Evanisko, Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister-Jones, Augusta Palmer, Jonathan Zelenak, Noemie Lafrance, Julie Tortorici, Jessica Provenz, Sarah Louise Lilley, Augusta Palmer, Jonathan Zelenak, Michael Gartland, Frank Prinizi, Jonathan Bogarin, Marko Vuorinen, Christopher Wells, Dimitri de Clercq, Bestor Cram, Matej Silky, Chris Brown, Jeanie Bryson, David Spaltro, Bobbito Garcia, Joe Amodei, Barbara Vekaric’, Bestor Cram, Frank Prinzi, and many others.

Best of Festival Awards!!

This competition is open to U.S. and International entries. Maximum film age is 24 months. No repeat entries. If a work is selected for public screening entrants are contractually obligated to provide an exhibition copy suitable for screening and cannot withdraw their film from the festival. Entry must be a New Jersey or Area Premiere and must not be available to view in full on the internet! Please note we do not pay screening fees. Only finalists are notified in advance that their work has been selected to be part of the Festival.

Submit a DVD or Blu Ray or an On-Line Screener for pre-screening. If chosen for final judging a high quality region free DVD or Blu Ray disc or Hi Res Digital File (mp4 or mov) must be sent for Festival screening.

LIABILITY: Filmmaker shall indemnify and hold New Jersey Film Festival harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim in connection with the Film involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and/or loss of or damage to the screening videos submitted. In particular, Filmmaker expressly warrants it has obtained all necessary copyright clearances for original works of authorship used in the Film.

REPRODUCTION AGREEMENT: Submission of an entry gives the festival permission to have accepted work exhibited, photographed, locally telecast in part, broadcast on the internet if we cannot hold the Festival in person, and reproduced either in part or whole, for exhibition purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Sam Chegini

    Al Nigrin and the festival team do such a fantastic job in creating a unique atmosphere for filmmakers so they are able to share their films, promote them and connect with a larger audience; enabling them to communicate, engage and share their works and thoughts with an international audience. The media coverage is unique and they are very responsive and in touch with filmmakers with updates on the films before, during and, after the festival. Overall it's been one of the best festival experiences I've ever had. Definitely looking forward to participating again with my upcoming films. Thank you NJFF.

    February 2021
  • Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    A really wonderful festival. I am delighted and honored to show my experimental and avant-garde work here especially because Rutgers is my alma mater (actually I went to Douglass College, an all-women college which is part of Rutgers University.) Thanks for showing my work!

    There is a diverse and wide array of talent on display in a brilliantly curated festival at the New Jersey Film Festival. I appreciated the other films in other categories very much. One of my favorites was the documentary, THE PINE BARRENS; a really gorgeous experimental documentary by David Scott Kessler. I hope it gets wider distribution. It evokes many memories of the beautiful and mysterious Pine Barrens in NJ.

    February 2021
  • Douglas Clayton

    Our short documentaries were featured in 2018 (in person) and 2021 (virtual) at the wonderful NJ Film Festival. Al Nigrin and team do a super job featuring creative films that tell important stories. Looking forward to submitting when we complete our next film.

    February 2021
  • Elizabeth Ahlstrom

    The New Jersey Film Festival is by far the best experience of any other festival in season 2020. Especially, given that we were all dealing with COVID...Professor Albert Nigrin, founder of the festival, did everything possible to make our participation a most meaningful and satisfying experience. Mr Nigrin is personally interactive and responsive before, during and after the festival and has a passion for film and supporting those who make them that is unsurpassed. Thank NJFF and Professor Nigrin!!

    February 2021
  • Thank you Al Nigrin and crew. Everything about this experience was excellent, from the wonderful personal communication to the passion and care focused on us and our film "Joey Skaggs Satire and Art Activism, 1960s to the Present and Beyond". As a bonus, because of the virtual screenings, our film reached an audience that probably couldn't have attended because they're all over the world.

    February 2021