We're back. After being forced to take a year off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Atlantic City Cinefest returns this October for a shortened festival October 22 and 23. For this year only, we are limiting submissions to New Jersey filmmakers or films with New Jersey as the subject.
We also intend to bring back some of our New Jersey alumni to screen the best of their work.
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.
In past years, we gave out trophies for a variety of categories, but this year, we may do without awards or do so on a limited scale.
RULES FOR FILM SUBMISSIONS 2021
• 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
• Filmmakers must be from New Jersey or films must be set in New Jersey
• All genres accepted
• All films must be submitted to FilmFreeway in digital format
RULES FOR TRAILERFEST 2021
• Your film does NOT have to be completed.
• Time Limit: 2-3 minutes maximum
• All genres are welcome
• Categories: Shorts, Features, and Documentaries
• Select the category
• Submissions close: September 15
• Acceptance notification: October 1
Response from festival:
Thank you for your critique, Lisa. We are not without our faults, and one of those faults is waiting half a year to respond. I'm sorry you felt like an outsider. It's true we try to create a family atmosphere and it's also true we have repeat filmmakers year after year. And it's true that some filmmakers have several films n the festival, while other have one. Our goal is to give every film an award, so long as there is someone from the film in the audience. We tried limiting them one year and we heard plenty of backlash. So if you have four films you get four awards and only one person is in the house, that person accepts the award for the ones absent so it looks like the same filmmaker wins all these awards. We haven't figured out how to correct that.
We will correct the badge situation and have screenwriting badges available. Wee rarely put names on the badges anymore because when we did and people don't show up like they said they would - happens too often - we've wasted a badge.
I'd say we do get more film submissions from New Jersey but that is not by design. There has been a lack of diversity in who gets honored, but as far as filmmakers, that is not the case. We do not discriminate against women or people of color in the submission process.
In the past, we've had awards for LGBTQ entrants. But that needs to be fleshed out more.
Hope that answers your concerns.