New Jersey's Newest Film Festival

With its first edition opening on May 21st 2021 in Union City, the New Jersey Independent Film Festival will bring a three-day showcase of global independent films to the city’s Park Performing Arts Center. Not only will the festival bring a diverse selection of cutting-edge films to Union City, but it will also honor the city’s Hispanic population by featuring a special section featuring the achievements and heritage of Latin American filmmakers.

The Park Performing Arts Center will be the hub of the festival. Inside the Arts Center is the newly restored Park Theater, one of the major movie theaters remaining from the early heyday of the North Jersey cultural landscape. With its vaulted ceiling, curtained stage area, and seating for up to 1400 people, this 89-year-old architectural masterpiece is the perfect venue to host a modern festival as diverse as the theater’s history.

The festival will begin on Friday, May 21st with an opening screening and gala. The second day, Saturday, May 22, will include up to 30 films, both short and feature-length throughout the day. The final day will kick off at 10 AM and conclude with a final screening at 12 PM.

CONNECTING CULTURES PROGRAM
New Jersey Independent Film Festival supports the Connecting Cultures Program by The Bigger Screen. Each year, The Bigger Screens select ten countries and grant filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission. From February 2021 until February 2022 included, The Bigger Screen Connecting Cultures Program supports filmmakers based in the following countries: Burundi, Eritrea, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar and Iran.

All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $250. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here: https://www.tarkovski.net/thetarkovskigrant

All selected films are also automatically in the running for Producer's Night.
Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening presented by Cinematory, Tarkovski, and Hollywood producer Bhavani Rao, member of the PGA, will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. The only way to be considered for this by being selected at one of the partner film festivals. New Jersey Independent Film Festival is a proud partner film festival of Producer's Night. More information: www.producersnight.com

Each edition, the festival will also give out awards in the following categories:

Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Music Video
Best New Jersey Film
Best Latin American Film

SUBMISSIONS
The New Jersey Independent Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each.

EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the festival at the discretion of the New Jersey Independent Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, New Jersey Independent Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. New Jersey Independent Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, New Jersey Independent Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the New Jersey Independent Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the New Jersey Independent Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the festival or from claims by any third parties.

LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, the New Jersey Independent Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.

ENTRY LIABILITY
The filmmaker holds the New Jersey Independent Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the festival or from claims by any third parties.

SCREENING FEE
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.

WAIVER REQUESTS
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.