New Jersey’s Premier Independent Film Festival is celebrating its 21st Anniversary March 23 – 26. The internationally recognized Garden State Film Festival celebrates the independent film genre by bringing a carefully curated selection of original works from locally produced filmmakers as well as from around the world on March 23 to 26.
This year the selection will include the film, “The Jersey Storm” by Asbury Park resident Adam Worth.
“We are extremely proud to present ‘The Jersey Storm: Sandy in Monmouth County’ as a part of our 21st Annual Film Festival, and to share this work with our global audience,” said Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s executive director.
The film will screen March 26 in the screening block from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m. at Asbury Hall in the Asbury Hotel on Fifth Avenue, Asbury Park.
The film features never-before-seen footage taken in the aftermath of Sandy and interviews with the Monmouth County officials, first responders, and residents who lived through it. The film chronicles Sandy and the fortitude of the local heroes who sprang into action in its wake. This film was produced by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, so that these stories from the shore can be preserved as part of the county archives.
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“The upcoming 2023 Festival adds a new venue and a return to an in-person only event to experience 237 films from 23 countries over four days in nine venues hosting parties, professional panels, events, special honors and more,” says Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s executive director.
The entire program of this year’s selections will be presented in multiple venues in the Asbury Park area, with special events and screenings each night. A full day of screenings will also be presented at The Cranford Theater in Cranford Sat., March 25 starting at 10:30 a.m. with the last screening ending at 11 p.m. The film schedule indicates which films have subtitles available for universal-access for the hearing impaired. Free on the website is the GSFF “Cinema for the Ears” series for those with visual impairment. Featured is Daniel Meyer’s epic conclusion to the trilogy Fading Kingdom’s Part Three: The Garden. You can check the schedule at www.gsff.org for showtimes and to see which films are screening at which venue.
Following 2022’s successful event, this year’s 21st Anniversary celebration, will include world premieres, celebrities, industry panels, parties, and networking, along with entertainment for all.
Film Founder Diane Raver said, “The GSFF is action-packed and there is something for everyone. Come one, come all, it only happens once a year and we don’t want you to miss it.”
Asbury Park highlights include the famous red-carpet Gala on Friday, March 24 at the Asbury Lanes. This event includes a cash bar cocktail reception and light fare with industry professionals, red carpet photos and a film screening staring Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction), Elias Koteas (The Thin Red Line), Joel David Moore (Avatar) and newcomer Emma Ho (Code 8) in the action-drama “The Baker.” Tickets to this event are limited and are available on the website www.gsff.org/tickets.
Saturday and Sunday offer a schedule with films for every viewer, plus industry related workshops. Winners of the festival’s Movie Music Competition will have their musical compositions played before the live screenings. You can also listen to the music winners by clicking the playlist here. The festival concludes with a Black-Tie Optional Awards Reception at The English Manor on Sunday, March 26. All events are open to the public.
The Garden State Film Festival offers a variety of ticket packages. The best deal is the Parkway Pass for $95. Pass includes Access to Meet the Film Makers event, Gala Reception, All film screenings and Panels. This special combo must be purchased in advance ONLINE ONLY while supplies last. Friday Gala and Screening for $50, Saturday Day Pass $30, Sunday Day Pass $20. If you want to go to one Film Screening event it is just $18. Panel Discussion Behind the Lens with Ron Vidor $15.
The Festival concludes with a Black-Tie optional awards dinner $135 which includes cocktails [cash bar] followed by a sit-down dinner, where the event acknowledges this year’s best with presentations of awards to winning filmmakers and high-profile honorees in attendance. For tickets and more information about this film and other programs visit www.gsff.org.