The globally recognized Garden State Film Festival will return to its original home in Asbury Park beginning in 2018. The return move marks the festival’s “Sweet 16” anniversary and follows a very successful four-year run in Atlantic City.
The 2018 festival dates are March 22 to 25, 2018. More details will follow regarding the locations of the 2018 festival. The call for entries will open July 1.
GSFF Board Chairman, Nicholas J. Falcone said, “We are coming back largely due to the popular and steady demand of our legions of fans. While many factors played a role in our decision to return to our original home, we had to listen to them. This move is in no way is a statement about our four-years in Atlantic City, where we were given an incredible reception and great cooperation.”
Atlantic City has seen the closure of many of its larger properties and gaming/resort hotels, which made locating the multiple mid and large size venues needed by the festival a harder and harder task.
The festival has a well-developed legacy in Asbury Park, a town which has its own rich history as an entertainment hub. Recently voted the “coolest small town in America”, the Oceanside resort has been undergoing a town-wide revitalization, and offers event goers screening locations, a diverse assortment of hotel and restaurant options, NJ transit service, and a bustling nightlife and music scene.
Founder Diane Raver said, “We cannot say thank you enough or more sincerely to Mayor Don Guardian, the city council, leading businesses, casinos and sponsors. We also send a most important thank you to CRDA and especially their Executive Director Chris Howard, who worked so hard to make our stay in town as productive and pleasant as possible. We also thank our many fans and attendees, and our amazing team of volunteers. We maintain a positive relationship with Atlantic City and plans are underway to host the “Best of the Fest” at Stockton University’s Dante Hall and other south jersey locations, in and around the city.”