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 10th 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. 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.

Overall Rating
  • Very warm atmosphere. Mr. Cullen was very professional. I enjoyed the experience very much. The award ceremony mirrored one of the grand award ceremonies in Hollywood. What an experience!

    May 2019
  • Dan Gregory

    A cool film festival with top notch talent in a comfortable environment. Brightside is a A + experience!

    May 2019
  • I've been going to The Brightside Film Festival for several years now and I've always enjoyed each time. They have a good selection of films, plus you get to meet other filmmakers during their networking parties. Each year gets better. I'm glad that my film The Hunted won Best Horror/Thriller during the festival's ninth season. Can't wait for next season.

    March 2019
  • Awesome festival! Although I was unable to attend, it was incredibly easy for my mom to navigate the festival and the awards ceremony!

    March 2019
  • I was very happy to be part of this incredible festival. I highly recommend all independent filmmakers enter & enjoy this wonderful experience. I will be submitting more projects in the near future.

    March 2019