Atlantic City Cinefest returns October 13 to 15. Party Friday night. Saturday filmmaking panel. Ursula Ryan Memorial Honoree. A good time will be had by all.

Submissions will be open for anyone in North America, about any subject. That said, we like to screen our share of New Jersey-based films.

And we'd like to have a block of films focused on social injustice, a broad enough topic.

The screenwriting competition will also return for 2022. Again, any subject matter, but scripts that celebrate the arts would be welcome.

In the past and again in subsequent years, we consider ourselves an independent festival which screens films from North America, but still pays special attention New Jersey movies. We like to bring at least one person from Hollywood/New York as an honoree. Past guests have included Kevin Smith, Robert Downey, Sr. Terry Winter, Peter Dobson, Blanche Baker, Bonnie Bedelia, William Forsythe, Christopher Mann, Chris Mulkey, Brian O'Halloran, Garry Pastore, Scott Schwartz, Al Sapienza, Tom Malloy, Louis Mandylor and Dominique Swain.

Trophies for best of this and best of that. Cash for screenplay winners unless you prefer a trophy.

• We accept short and feature length films, narrative and documentary

• Shorts must be under 60 minutes; features no more than two and a half hours

• All genres accepted, but we are seeking films by NJ filmmakers and films that celebrate social injustice.

• All films must be submitted to FilmFreeway in digital format

• Must be 2 to 10 minutes

• All genres are welcome

• Must not be vulgar, according to MPAA standards

• Short and feature length scripts accepted

• Short scripts must be 45 pages or less

• Feature scripts must be 130 pages or less


• Submissions close: September 1

• Acceptance notification: September 15

Overall Rating
  • Nick Lanciano

    I was very excited to be selected to be in this festival. The people were very nice and the venue was also very nice. I did have some issues that I think the organizers should work on for the next festival. First, we didn't even know that we were selected. We were never notified until a day before the festival. Drove all the way from Philly to drop off DVD's that were never used and when we arrived, not a single person was in the audience. Also to this day, there has not been a listing of the winners. None that I know of anyway. This could be a great festival if there were better communication.

    January 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your response. And you are right on these issues. We are working to address our shortcomings. It's easier said than done.

  • Such a professional, well run festival for independent filmmakers! With the great venue, I was glad to be part of such a professional film slate.

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, David. We look forward to hosting you and your next film.

  • This is one of my favorite festivals. I've been multiple times and I love that many of the same filmmakers keep coming back. Enjoy AC and network!

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Doug.

    We always look forward to seeing you again and especially seeing your films.

  • Atlantic City Cinefest was great! Both of our films looked and sounded amazing. There was plenty of opportunities to network with other filmmakers. The festival was really well run.

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words.

  • Victoria Bruce

    We would have liked to attend the film festival and were honored to be a part of it, but the short notice time gave us no time to addend or do publicity for our screening. I appreciate all festivals and this one as well, but I'm afraid that I don't really have any information on how our screening was attended or how the festival went other than there were not issues with our thumbdrive playing the film. I would suggest that the the organizers give a longer lead time to film teams in order to get the most out of the screening. Since this was our NJ premiere, it would have been very helpful to have more time to do a more robust preparation. I hope we at least had a few people see the film.

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Victoria for your recommendations. We did not provide enough lag time. In the future we will strive to have decisions on acceptance four weeks in advance of the festival, not two. We should also keep better tabs on attendance per film block. And increase efforts to draw filmgoers beyond the friends and relatives of the filmmakers.