This is the 12th year that the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders is sponsoring the Passaic County Film Festival. The Festival is a juried exhibition of student and independent filmmaker's work. The festival will showcase a wide range of short film projects (music videos, short films, documentaries, Public Service Announcements) created by students and independent filmmakers who live, attend school, or work in Passaic County, NJ. ENTREES MUST BE FROM FILM MAKERS WHO LIVE, WORK OR GO TO SCHOOL IN PASSAIC COUNTY NEW JERSEY USA IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE.
The objective of the Film Festival is to support student and independent film makers by providing a public forum in which to showcase their work and provide an opportunity to interact with members of the television and filmmaking community.

FILM & VIDEO CRITERIA: All entries must be the sole creative and technical effort of the individual(s) submitting the work. Film must be produced, directed, edited, etc. by High School Students, University Students or Independent Filmmakers only.

*There is NO entry fee!

The Passaic County Film Festival is held at;
The Fabian 8 Theater
Center City Mall
301 Main Street – Upper Level
Main Street and Ward Street
Paterson, New Jersey

Screening begins at 10 AM - Awards Presentation Follows

*Admission to the Film Festival is Free
*Free Parking vouchers (for limited time from the beginning to end of film festival) will be available at the Festival sign-in desk in front of the theater.

THE COSTELLO AWARD (named in honor of Passaic County's Lou Costello) - will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners from High School entries (Music Videos, Short Films, Documentaries, Public Service Announcements); and the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners from College Student/Independent Filmmaker entries (Music Videos, Short Films, Documentaries, Public Service Announcements).

ONE GRAND PRIZE for the Best Film of the Festival is selected from all films entered and will also be awarded THE COSTELLO.

* The highest ranked entries in each entry class (High School, College Student/Independent Filmmakers) selected by judges (members of the Passaic County Film Commission) will be provided an opportunity to screen at the festival.

*To celebrate the 12th year of the festival, North Jersey Federal Credit Union (NJFCU) is offering a special award of $1,000 to one film maker selected by representatives from the North Jersey Federal Credit Union from the highest ranked entries to the Passaic County Film Festival. 

We welcome the submission of 10-minute short films, documentaries, PSAs, and Music Videos from High School, College/University Students and Independent Filmmakers who live, work or attend school in Passaic County, New Jersey USA.
*Passaic County NJ Filmmakers are allowed more than one submission - but each entry must be submitted separately.

Film entries must be 10 minutes in length or less and fall into the following film categories:

1. General Short Film
2. Public Service Announcement
3. Documentary Short Film
4. Music Video
(One Grand Prize will also be awarded as the best film of the festival.)

Please note that the Passaic County Film Festival will accept films that adhere to the Motion Picture Association of America Ratings Board.
Rating System for the following 3 ratings:

All Ages Admitted. A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Film Commissioners, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures. Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scene or drug- use is present in the motion picture.

Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Film Commissioners, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children. The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture.

Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG- 13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG- 13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Film Commissioners may rate a motion picture PG –13 if the context or manner in which the words are used, or because the use of those words in the motion picture, is inconspicuous.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some material may be Inappropriate for Children under 13.
Any film or video containing R-rated material, nudity, graphic violence, or in the exclusive opinion of the Passaic County Film Festival Commission glamorizes drug use or drug references, or alcohol or cigarette consumption WILL NOT be accepted for screening.

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Each film will be evaluated utilizing the following criteria:

Overall Creativity and Originality: 10 points
Technical Merit (i.e. sound and lighting quality, photography): 10 points
Editing including Special Effects: 10 points
Onscreen Performance of Actors: 10 points
Direction: 10 points
Bonus Points for Music Videos:
An extra 5 points will be awarded to music videos which use original music

The highest score a film can receive is 50 points (Music videos: 55 points).
The film with the highest score in each Category and Class will be declared the first place winner. The film with the second highest score in each Category and Class will be declared the second place winner. The film with the third highest score in each Category and Class will be declared the third place winner. The film with the highest overall score will be declared the Grand Prize winner for the best film of the Festival.

Awards will be presented at the Film Festival to be held Saturday, April 23,2016 @
Center City Mall
301 Main Street
Paterson, New Jersey

Filmmakers MUST complete these steps for proper submission.

In addition to your online submission you MUST provide us with the signed application form which can be downloaded from our website:, or provided by student's high school and a DVD or Flash Drive of your submitted film, by mail to the Passaic County Film Festival at the address listed below!

* Your submitted online screener is for JUDGING PURPOSES ONLY and the requested materials listed above are required for the Festival Screening.

Please provide one film per disk.
*Format of the short film must be in two formats:
1. DVD or on a Flash Drive
2. Accepted digital formats are: .mov or .mp4

(Please check that the DVD or Flash Drive works!!! )
No DVDs or Flash Drives will be returned to the film maker.
Please do not use copy protection on your submissions. Copy protected material cannot be technically processed to screen at the festival.

Be sure to include on materials:
Title of Short Film:
Filmmaker's Name:
Date Completed:
Length of film:

All Film entries, printed applications & screening materials must be submitted by 01/29/2016 to:

Passaic County Film Festival
Passaic County Department of Planning and Economic Development
Division of Economic Development
Suite 250
930 Riverview Drive
Totowa, NJ 07512