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
  • 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
  • Brightside hasn't happened yet for this summer due to COVID-19, but I've been super impressed with the communications and can't wait for the fest to take place. I've heard nothing but great things from colleagues who've screened there, too.

    August 2020
  • Jeremy Brown

    Had great communication throughout the process with CJ, and they definitely know how to treat independent creators. Will definitely submit (and hopefully attend) in the future.

    August 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks but you may want to hold off on the reviews until after the festival. We are holding off to have this live. As soon as we are allowed to do so it will be happening. Hopefully November but it is worth the wait to have it live if we can.

  • Gary Henry

    Great film festival and happy to be a part of it

    March 2020