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GARDEN STATE FILM FESTIVAL ISSUES CALL FOR ENTRIES Independent Films, Movie Music Categories, and Screenplays To be Considered for Inclusion in the 2017 Event

March 30- April 2, 2017, in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Garden State Film Festival - The Culture News

Atlantic City, NJ – The globally recognized Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) announces that its annual “Call for Entries” is open now through December 1, 2016. The festival, New Jersey’s largest and most respected film festival, accepts all film genres from children’s and shorts to documentaries, videos, and features. Additionally, submissions are also being accepted for film scoring and music, as well as the “Home Grown” category, which includes offerings where 75 percent or more has been shot in the Garden State. Complete details for submissions and the requirements for consideration can be found on the GSFF website at

As a formal kick-off to the “Call for Entries,” the GSFF invites everyone to attend the Garden State Film Festival 2017 Call for Entries Kick-Off Party. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at New York City’s ultra-cool Le Grande at The Time Hotel, in the heart of the theater district at 224 West 49th Street. Filmmakers industry professionals and fans will mingle with other directors, producers, filmmakers, writers, composers, actors, festival committee people, and industry influencers as we celebrate all things film! There will be a cash bar and light fare and you can see the details at

The GSFF also is accepting recommendations for candidates for the Rising Star award, an honor given annually to one up-and-coming actor, regardless of age or union affiliation. Eligible candidates must have an undeniable passion for the art form and have made their inroads into the industry through hard work and determination. The deciding committee will be looking for a progression of work with experiences in theater, commercials, television, and film.

The Garden State Film Festival will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2017. In 2016, the festival featured 233 films from 17 countries, an open talent casting call, panel discussions, and opening and closing ceremonies with multiple appearances by celebrities and honorees Ed Asner, Sally Struthers, and Al Sapienza.

A panel of professional judges will review all the submissions and will select the winning entries in several categories including the best Feature Length, Short, Documentary (short and feature-length), Animation (short and feature-length), Music Video, PSA, Commercial and Trailers. The Audience Choice Award was selected using new state-of-the-art technology for smartphones called CineBallot, designed by and launched at GSFF.

Additionally, the GSFF was the first festival to create a category to recognize the musical compositions and music’s role in the cinematic arts. It remains the only independent film festival to recognize composers, artists, and producers of scores, soundtracks, and theme songs judged solely on their merit. Producers may submit their works, regardless of whether the film has been submitted or accepted.

Winners of the GSFF Movie Music Track Competition will be recognized at the GSFF Black Tie Awards Dinner to be held on April 2, 2017, at a location TBD. Information about the Movie Music Track Competition is also on the website at

Scripts are also being accepted for the Garden State Screenplay competition, coordinated with the New Jersey Screenwriter’s Network. The winning screenplay will be read by professional actors at the festival, and recognized at the Awards Dinner.

About the Garden State Film Festival:

The Garden State Film Festival was envisioned by 25-year film industry veteran Diane Raver and the late Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli in 2002 and launched the following year. Since 2003, thousands of films have made their public premiers, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have attended, and the total infusion of cash to local businesses since inception exceeds $5 million. Until 2013, it was held in Asbury Park. In 2014, it moved to Atlantic City with financial and operation support from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). GSFF now serves as a major component of the strategic plan to promote arts and culture in Atlantic City to re-establish the resort as the premier Mid-Atlantic entertainment destination. The GSFF is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.

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