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 7th 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.

Awards & Prizes

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

Rules & Terms

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. All other blocks if you would like to attend will be 50 percent off. Films will play in blocks all day long with an awards show at the end. No refunds on submission fees once completely submitted and in the judging process.

34 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Kristian Comer

    Amazing film festival, great people, can't say enough good things about them. Thank you for screening my short

    September 2017
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    Brandi Alyssa Young

    This was a fabulous festival. A wonderful venue with terrific, even gluten free food choices! I think however they may just be starting to out grow this space. It was a bit crowded, especially the awards ceremony. People were sharing chairs and sitting on the floor. They did absolutely everything possible to make us comfortable. It was a wonderful festival. The film choices were terrific and my film won an award and I got the surprise of my life when they did a surprise award and they choose me for their Rising Star Award! I am so thrilled for our little film and all the films at the festivals. some excellent films, I don't think I saw a bad film at all! Thanks so much everyone!

    August 2017
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    Jaime Glover

    This was my second time at Brightside, but the first as a first time Director. The team communicated well through out the process and the venue is very intimate. Everyone is engaging and have a passion for film. Can't wait to do it again.

    August 2017
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    Stephen Newton

    I feel like my short film, "A Free Man," was in good hands at the Brightside Tavern Shorts Fest. Communication was excellent and the venue reminds me of San Francisco's North Beach in the 60s. (I'm 74). I hope to enter part 3 of my "Dark As Night" trilogy next years.

    August 2017
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    Lydia Fiore

    We had such a great experience at the Brightside Festival. The Chrises we the perfect hosts , along with the personable Tommy. We were very proud to be screening with such other great films. Will attend this festival again.

    August 2017