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 14th 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
  • Giorgi Tkemaladze

    Thanks you, the Brightside film Festival!
    Good luck with your team and your beautiful beautiful!!

    July 2021

    Original date was postponed due to pandemic - but Brightside did everything they could to make it a great experience. It was fun to talk to the organizers before hand via online interviews and watch the online blacks and award show (I know a few were able to attend in person and thought it was fun, easygoing atmosphere). Thanks

    June 2021
  • Robert Husted

    Brightside is a BLAST! Chris and Chris are two truly wonderful souls who run an awesome festival - we were lucky enough to have been selected last year, and although the fest had to be understandably postponed, throughout the difficult pandemic period, the two Chris's both truly kept the torch of optimism going, sending and posting an amazing amount of regular updates that made all of us filmmakers feel like we were at the best ongoing fest party ever. Although we sadly couldn't make it in-person this year, the live festival itself looked amazing and we were lucky enough to play alongside some truly wonderful films (they even held the fest virtually, too!). Their kindness and enthusiasm extends to the community around them as well, including student and college films in their selections - they truly build a spirt of infectiousness for filmmaking and cinema-going in general that made us all feel so happy to have been a part of it! (and we were also lucky enough to win several awards, but we'd be writing the same review even if we hadn't - those were just a wonderful bonus we're very grateful for!) Definitely submit to this fest, you won't be sorry!

    May 2021
  • Have attended this festival many times. This year it was virtual. The warmth and support at this festival is tremendous. Cannot wait to have it back in person. Congratulations to the organizers.

    March 2021
  • Vanessa Powers

    Brightside has been in amazing communication, and, though they haven't happened yet due to COVID-19, have treated filmmakers with regard and respect. I am grateful to be a part of this film festival and will certainly submit again. As with so many of the festivals, I hope to attend in person someday.

    August 2020