The Garden State Film Festival’s (GSFF) 19th annual Independent State Film Festival® in New Jersey takes place March 23-28.
Last year the GSFF was the first festival in the world to switch to a purely virtual format. The audience was thrilled. The producers are working with F&S Digital again to make GSFF 2021 a virtual and live hybrid event. This year’s festival offers a mix of selected live events and screenings as well as the virtual screening of more than 300 films, including an incredible variety of feature and short films, thrillers, comedies, documentaries, student films, foreign films, videos and web series, Music and more! Viewers can also virtually connect to the filmmakers’ interviews, question-and-answer sessions, and even the awards ceremony.
“We promise to bring a diverse and carefully selected selection of films, music videos and animated works. There is something for every taste and age. The GSFF is a celebration of independent cinema that you cannot see anywhere else, all from the safety and comfort of your home, hotel room, or in person, ”said Lauren Concar Sheehy, Executive Director.
One of the highlights is the showing of “WBGO Story: The Bright Moments From Newark To The World” on March 25th. In the 1970s, a group of city leaders and community activists seeking positive change in Newark started New Jersey’s first public radio station. WBGO. This small station now reaches millions of jazz listeners around the world.
Friday Night’s official opening film, 7 Days to Vegas, is inspired by a true story about Hollywood’s big shots that will bet on everything. The film features Jennifer Tilly, Vince and James Van Patten, Ross McCall, Eileen Davidson, Danny Pardo, John O’Hurley and many more.
On Saturday March 27th, these three films will be shown among hundreds. Daniel Baldwin presents the documentary “My Promise to PJ” with his brothers Alec, Stephen and William. PJ Raynor was promised that if he stayed sober from heroin for two years he could run with the cops in Pamplona, Spain. PJ sadly fell behind and died, but actor Daniel Baldwin took his ashes and ran with the cops himself to keep his promise.
There’s also the comedy “Reboot Camp,” which is the story of Seymour losing his savings and wife to a self-help guru. Seymour’s mission is to expose false prophets who are fleecing people for money. With David Lipper, David Koechner, Ja Rule, Chaz Bono and Ed Begley Jr.
Another is the HomeGrown feature “Wisper”. Based on a true story of the murder of a middle-class African American family in northern New Jersey in 2016, “Wisper” followed the crime using the victims’ father’s personal videotapes and diaries. “Wisper” plays Christian Barber, recipient of the Garden State Film Festival’s Rising Star Award.
The festival films include appearances by many well-known stars, including: Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), Daniel Baldwin (Hawaii Five-0), Alec Baldwin (The Departed), Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects), William Baldwin (Backdraft), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Forrest Gump), David Koechner (Anchorman), Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell), Ja Rule (The Fast and the Furious), Vince Van Patten (World Poker Tour), James Van Patten (Saw IV), Ed Asner (Eleven ), David Lipper (Fuller House), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Chaz Bono (American Horror Story), Ed Begley Jr. (Pineapple Express), Ethan Suplee (My name is Earl), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Gabriel Rush (Moonrise Kingdom), Sean Young (Blade Runner), Jennifer Tilly (The Bride of Chucky), Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons), Joseph Bologna (Lovers and Other Strangers), Renee Taylor (Lovers and Other Strangers), Edin Gali (Anger), Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy), Kim Wayans (In Vivid Color), Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of the Plane ten of the monkeys), Henr y Czerny (Mission: Impossible), Jason Kravitz (Die Praxis), Abigail Hawk (Blue Bloods), Bo Dietl (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jacob A. Ware (Boardwalk Empire), Anthony Arkin ( The Americans), RJ Brown (The Carrie Diaries), Ross Mccall (Gang of Brothers), Eileen Davidson (The Young and the Troubled), Willie Garson (Sex in the City), Lucas Bryant (The Vow), John O’Hurley (Seinfeld), James Kyson (preacher), Danny Pardo (SEAL team), Don Stark (That 70s Show), Anthony Geary (General Hospital), to name a few.
Many actors, writers, producers and directors from the neighborhood are represented at this year’s events. At the top is Rumson’s Siobhan Fallon Hogan, who will present the trailer for her feature film “Rushed”, which will soon be released in theaters. One of the winners of the GSFF music competition is Rumson’s Kyle Ward’s song “Barbara’s Theme”. Take an early look at this gripping drama. Rumson’s Abbey Koshak is also showing her short documentary “Plastic Pollution & Easy Solutions” and Rumsonite Benjamin Q. Danzi has a mockumentary called “Dangerous Fantasy”.
The youngest filmmaker is Holmdel’s nine-year-old Anna-Sofia DeStefano, a fourth grader at Indian Hill, who does the creepy student short film “The Book”.
This year Chris Brenner from Fair Haven returns with Against the Tide: A Surfer’s Journey.
Heather Brittain O’Scanlon from Little Silver, Nancy Menagh from New York and Lauren Concar Sheehy from Colts Neck have teamed up to deliver the exciting thriller “Victim No. 6”.
Colts Neck’s Jordan Goldstein also shares the student short thriller “Blood is Thicker”.
And of course, Christopher Corey will be showing many of the fantastic student films produced in his film and television production classes at Middletown High School South. Corey received the first ever Educator of the Year award. This year’s winner is Christopher Dudick of Monmouth Beach for his outstanding work on SILAS, software that promotes student mental and behavioral health through social and emotional learning. This recognition will help him achieve his goals of helping children with special needs.
Live events (all limited in size and complying with government mandates) include the Friday Night Gala Cocktail Party with industry professionals, red carpet photos and the screening of the opening film. Other live events include the student films and the final award reception in Asbury Lanes (the award ceremony is a separate ticket). Be sure to check the schedule to see which are hybrid and which are only virtual.
That’s only part of what you will see. You can watch film by film or switch to other events, such as B. to read the winning script live and to industry-related workshops.
On Wednesday March 24th, join a virtual wellness event, meditation, yoga and creativity, with Jillian Pransky from New Jersey. Jillian will have an inspiring conversation with NY Times bestselling author Dani Shapiro. The interview will be followed by a quick exercise for all levels – including the brand new beginner. You will learn a simple technique that you can practice anywhere, anytime in minutes.
We’ll also explain how simple practices can strengthen and nourish your mental and physical health – especially during this time of desire.
While yoga and meditation are often viewed as a tool to help us find ease in the body, calm the mind, and connect with our true nature, it can also help us tap into our creative selves. Meditation and yoga give us access to the depths of our psyche and consciousness that generate creative ideas, while also providing us with tools to work with some of our greatest obstacles as artists. No matter what type of art you call your own, your yoga practice can better connect you with your creative mind, body, and spirit.
You will also hear the award-winning musical compositions from the festival’s film music competition played prior to the screenings and on the GSFF website. There are also special events, after parties and many other surprises. The best deal is the $ 55 virtual multi-pass, which grants access to all virtual movies from March 24-28. Tickets for a single screening block are $ 20.
Visit gsff.org for tickets, screening schedules, and tons of cool information.