We have been doing film series events at the Brightside Tavern and decided to turn it into a festival. Filmmakers Chris J. Cullen and Chris Capaci have come together to create this 11th season event, which now runs twice a year. We will be celebrating the short film in many different categories on two screens with a fun award show at the end of the night. We wanted to make a small shorts fest in Jersey City at a great venue where people can meet up, screen their films and celebrate their work as well as making it affordable. We are known as a big networking event where many people meet up and end up working together as they return the next year with a new film and new friends. We now have a much bigger event with more days. We are in Jersey City and would love to have a number of NJ and NY filmmakers to join us for this special day as well as filmmakers from all over the world We made the fees affordable for everyone and we have a great venue for the short films. This season we are celebrating the student filmmaker with special screenings and awards the day before as well as having some new things planned as we grow.

We will have awards for different short film categories as well as other surprises.
Best Short Film
Best Comedy Short
Best Horror/Thriller
Best actress in a short drama
Best actor drama
Best actress in comedy short
Best actor in a comedy
Best Director
Best NJ Short film
Best Student Film
Best short script-not produced
Best Cinematography
and more additional awards for student film night

The entry fee is different in each category. Submissions that are in other languages should have subtitles or dubbed in English. We prefer online submissions but if you need to mail it to us send us an email first.
For filmmakers since it is a small venue with limited seating we will give two free passes to your films block.
No refunds on submission fees once completely submitted and in the judging process.

Overall Rating
  • Jeffrey Sutton

    We love this festival and have been fortunate to have had a few of our films selected since it’s beginning. This year we are excited that our short, Break In was selected! It is such a fun atmosphere with a variety of great films. CJ Cullen and gang really do a tremendous job.

    January 2020
  • Great festival! Worth submitting to and attending!

    September 2019
  • This festival team has put in a lot of hard work and it shows. This is a very exciting and cool festival. The communication with the submissions team was terrific and responsive. The set up was organized and the day was a truly enjoyable experience.

    September 2019
  • Kelsey O'Brien

    I love the Brightside Film Festival!😍 it’s run well, always well attended and they have a wonderful community within their filmmakers that have attended.

    August 2019
  • Philip Kral

    Great venue and event! We go every year, lots of support from fellow filmmakers. Great opportunity for film makers just starting out as well as seasoned vets!

    August 2019