The Turnpike Film Festival was started in order to find emerging filmmaker voices for the new digital age, as well as to provide a showcase for established independent filmmakers.

Provided COVID compliance allows, Turnpike Film Festival is planned as a one-night event held in central NJ, with after-party where attendees can celebrate and network with other filmmakers, talent and film fans. We anticipate that by the time the festival event date arrives, there will still be COVID compliance issues, such as reduced audience sizes, therefore the festival will also host an online component to ensure that all Official Selections will have an audience.

All genres are welcome to submit to the Turnpike Film Festival, pricing is determined by the length category as per the Deadline schedule.

Turnpike Film Festival gives out both Jury and Audience Awards in all four film-length categories, and Student category.

Turnpike Film Festival accepts narrative (all genres), documentary, animation and experimental films.
Entry fees are non-refundable.
We do not accept free submission/entry waiver.
All films must be in English or have English subtitles.
There is no limit on number of submissions or production date (except for Student films)
All films must have an online screener.
Filmmakers retain the rights to their films.
Filmmakers are responsible for acquiring copyrights, licenses and releases for media used in their films.
Competition categories are open to the United States and International entries.
Films must submit preview screeners via Any other method must receive prior approval from the festival.
Film must be of high-quality.
Filmmakers must submit promotional stills for marketing purposes.
Open to all nationalities and ages.
Open to all filmmakers.
We accept films already submitted to and/or selected to other film festivals.
We don't discriminate against any films that have been published online via a video hosting website. Open to all films that have not had a theatrical distribution.
If officially selected, it is the responsibility of the submitter to send the festival their film for digital download. Most formats are acceptable.
The Festival has the right to screen any film or projects submitted.
In order to receive your trophy or certificate, the project's producer or director must be present, unless a physical festival is not held.
Judges' decisions are final.

Submission categories are as follows:
Feature Films (longer than 40 minutes)
Short Films (5:01 to 40 minutes)
Super-Short Films (61 seconds to 5 minutes)
Ultra-Short Films (up to 60 seconds, including opening and closing credits.) - *This category is NOT eligible for the Best Film of the Festival Award.
Student Film (under 40 minutes) Films must have been filmed, wrapped, edited, and completed between the months of September 2019 and March 2021 by HIGH SCHOOL or COLLEGE students.

Overall Rating
  • JoeBert Entertainment

    Due to COVID the festival was held both online and a screening was held for local filmmakers which we felt was the best scenario given the circumstances. The intimate gathering of the in person screening was great for networking and the Q&A was handled really well. Thank you. We'll be submitting again.

    August 2021
  • Chris Cullen

    Great time will submit again.

    August 2021
  • You have a great festival on the go! Thank you for your awesome communication and for supporting our film!! We will be submitting more work to your festival in the future! Very professional and great communication – I highly recommend!

    July 2021
  • Marc Kornblatt

    The communication from the Turnpike Film Festival was excellent. Thank you, Robert for being so responsive. Under such trying circumstances, you did an fine job of keeping things together.

    June 2020
  • Brett Eidman

    This was a great festival. The festival directors did an amazing job and it was an honor to be part of it. I'm looking forward to returning next year. Thank you! Brett

    June 2020