New Jersey Film Festivals

Popular Independent, Non Studio Film Makers


New Jersey Film Festivals


The NJ Film Festivals showcase quality production and content from independent, non-studio film makers.

The NJ film festivals are a popular attraction for students, emerging film producers, directors, performers and film buffs.

These film festivals are themed and cover a wide range of creative arts on Super 8mm/8mm film, Digital video, and 8mm video formats on a variety of themes including: educational, cultural, documentary, non-mainstream, spiritual, animation, music video, local, national, and international.

Note: This information is provided by event sponsors as a free service to our viewers. Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.

The Newark Black Film Festival
June 29 until August 3, 2016
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF)is one of the nation's defining voices on behalf of independent film. The festival is a showcase for films that focus on the experiences and concerns of contemporary African Americans, as well as an outlet for films about the African-American experience from earlier eras. The six-week festival is free to the public and provides emerging filmmakers, writers, directors and producers with a high profile outlet for their work.

Asbury Park Erotic Film Festival
August 5 - 7, 2016
The Showroom Cinema &
The Parlor Gallery
Asbury Park, NJ
The theme of this film festival is a Celebration of the Senses. It features film presentations, live events, discussion, and art. A downtown-wide event with many merchants also presenting special events and offerings centered on our theme: 

Northeast Film Festival
September 9 - 11, 2016
The Teaneck Cinemas
503 Cedar Ln.
Teaneck, NJ
The Festival is very Jersey-centric with Festival Directors The Festival showcases top independent films and TV pilots from celebrated filmmakers, as well as new talent. The diverse array of films, selected by a committee, includes features and shorts from all genres, as well as documentaries.

Rahway International Film Festival
September 20 - October 2, 2016
The Union County Performing Arts Center
360 Hamilton Street
Rahway, NJ
Website & Tickets
The mission of the film festival is to promote equality and understanding in the community. As a women-led festival in a primarily male-dominated industry, they are dedicated to showcasing an equal ratio of films by female and male filmmakers in keeping with equality. The program is for independent filmmakers and fans of film in New Jersey and the surrounding area. They annually showcase short films, feature films and music videos while offering seminars and networking opportunities to those interested in the film industry.. Submission deadline: May 30, 2016 

The Golden Door International Film Festival
September 22 - 25, 2016
April 12, 2016 - Late entry Deadline
Jersey City, NJ
Golden Door International Film FestivalThese films are not Capra-esque platitudes. Nor are they antagonistic cant. They reflect the process of creativity and the striving that shapes our wonderful reality. They are as varied as our community, one of the most densely populated cities in the world and one of the most diverse. The showings will be held in venues within the ultra-hip downtown area of Jersey City as well as uptown at the Loew's Landmark Theater. Set amidst the backdrop of the beautiful NYC Manhattan skyline, Golden Door Film Festival is recognized as being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established filmmakers and directors. In our first 3 years, the festival has screened over 200 films from over 40 countries and has attracted more than 10,000 attendees and generated renewed interest in Jersey City. The Selection Committee is comprised of a distinguished panel of officers of the Board of Directors of the Golden Door International Film Festival some of whom are actors and filmmakers. Each and every film is evaluated by a selection committee and evaluated for possible competition in the Festival. April 12, 2016 - Late entry Deadline

The Downbeach Film Festival/Atlantic City Cinefest
Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16, 2016
Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City downbeach film festivalThe Downbeach Film Festival, is rooted in the celebration of film and the creation of a forum where independent filmmakers can exhibit their work. They plan to devote a day to screening films that appeal to audiences over 50, as well. They are planning to bring at least one person from Hollywood/New York as an honoree. Past guests have included Kevin Smith, Robert Downey, Sr. Terry Winter, William Forsythe, Chris Mulkey, Tom Malloy, Louis Mandylor and Dominique Swain. Awards & Prizes
August 15, 2016 Late Deadline

11th Annual Teaneck International Film Festival Activism: Making Change
Thursday, November 3 to Sunday, November 6, 2016
at three venues in Teaneck, NJ
The film festival has developed a niche in the film festival circuit  by establishing Activism/Making Change as a permanent theme.
The festival features compelling and imaginative feature-length films, documentaries and shorts -- from a variety of cultures; foster cross-cultural connections; and to honor talented young Bergen County filmmakers. Held in venues throughout the Teaneck area.

Cape May Film Festival
November 11-13, 2016
Cape May Film Society
The West Cape May Borough Hall and Banquet Hall
732 Broadway
West Cape May
This weekend film festival is committed to the presentation of creative, challenging, ground-breaking work by New Jersey filmmakers and films with New Jersey or World Premiere status. It's a juried festival, showing only the best of dozens of entries. The film festival is a three-day event celebrating the best New Jersey films and filmmakers, screening a full day of short films, features, documentaries and local films. Along the way, attendees have the pleasure unique to film festivals of meeting face-to-face with the directors, actors, producers, screenwriters, and composers who are the makers of these films.



Past New Jersey Film Festivals

October 2015 New Jersey Film Festival


New Jersey Film Festival - Fall
Friday, September 11, to Sunday October 18, 2015
Rutgers University
Voorhees Hall (adjacent to the Zimmerli Art Museum)
Free parking in Lot 9
71 Hamilton Street/College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, New Jersey
New Jersey International Film Festival
The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies present the New Jersey Film Festival Fall showcasing new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals, and cutting-edge documentaries.



February 2016 New Jersey Film Festivals

35th Black Maria Film and Video Festival
February 3 - 7, 2016
For next years, 2017 festival, entries accepted beginning June 1st
Jersey City, NJ
Contact: 201-200-2043
The festival selects works from the annual collection of 40 to 60 award-winning films and sends them out on a national tour each February. The festival travels to museums, cultural centers and colleges throughout the country, after it's opening in Jersey City


New Jersey Film Festival Spring
January 30 - March 4, 2016
New Jersey International Film Festival

Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
Website (for information and screenings)
The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies present the New Jersey Film Festival l showcasing new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals, and cutting-edge documentaries. The festival provides meet and greet opportunities and Q & A sessions with filmmakers and producers, actors, and screen writers.

Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
March 26 -April 10, 2016
New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
760 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ
A roster of first-run Israeli films that are nothing short of remarkable. These are films you cannot see anywhere else in our area! We will also offer a mix of other Jewish films, the best speakers and commentators available, and several out-of-festival events. The Festival is one gateway for people to explore what it means to be Jewish through a cultural experience that enriches the lives of thousands. For a list of films and venues, please visit the website above.

The Trenton Film Festival
March 30 - April 3, 2016
Mill Hill Playhouse
205 East Front Street (at Montgomery St.)
Trenton NJ
This event is a juried festival that showcases 55 films from 16 countries with submissions by independent filmmakers, including student and local filmmakers. Submission categories include narrative, documentary, animation, and a new category which includes experimental, music video, spoken word and new media. Submission deadline: December 15, 2015

14th Annual Garden State Film Festival
March 31–April 3, 2016
Multiple venues (Dante Hall, Resorts Hotel & Casino, Claridge Hotel)
Atlantic City
The artistic philosophy of the Garden State Film Festival is rooted in the celebration of the independent film genre and the creation of a forum where local and other independent filmmakers can exhibit their work. In addition, our event provides novice and aspiring filmmakers, actors, and others interested in a career in the film business, the opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and mentoring. Past attendees include Glenn Close, Paul Sorvino, Budd Schulberg, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Celeste Holm and Clarence Clemons.

Annual Princeton Environmental Film Festival
April 6-10, 2016
Princeton Public Library
Princeton, NJ
The mission is to share exceptional documentary films and engage our community in exploring environmental sustainability from a wide range of angles and perspectives. Most of our screenings are accompanied by a Q&A with film directors and producers, as well as other talks by invited speakers who visit for the festival or live here in our local community.

Annual Asbury Park Music in Film Festival
April 8 - 10, 2016
The Paramount Theatre and other Asbury Park Venues
Asbury Park, NJ
This three-day festival will feature the rich musical heritage of Asbury Park with filmmakers and industry leaders from around the world. Screenings and live music will take place at The Paramount Theatre, The Wonder Bar, and The Stone Pony. Exclusive after parties, live music and educational workshops will compliment film screenings. The festival will also feature interactive seminars with music and film industry professionals.

Ocean County Library Student Film Festival
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Mancini Hall
Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library
101 Washington Street
Toms River, NJ 08753
Ocean County Library Film FestivalOriginal film productions from high school and college students are being accepted by the Ocean County Library for its upcoming 2016 Student Film Festival. Awards will be presented to the winners in the following categories: animation, commercial, documentary, full feature, news, sports short, commercial, P.S.A, short feature, experimental, and music video. Feature films should be no longer than 20 minutes in length.
The festivals judging panel is comprised of film media educators, artists, librarians and various film industry enthusiasts," the library said in a statement. "Judging criteria is based on several factors including originality, editing, audio quality and whether the film achieves its stated goal."
The deadline for submissions is for submissions is March 25, 2016. All projects must be original work can be no longer than 20 minutes. "Students do not need to attend school in Ocean County to submit a film," reads a library statement. "
Last year, the festival received more than 120 films submissions from national and international independent filmmakers."

Montclair Film Festival
April 29 - May 8, 2016
At multiple venues across Montclair
The festival will entertain film enthusiasts and professionals from across the region and country with seven days of compelling independent films, comedies, documentaries, panels, family events and work by emerging artists. The festival will provide a platform for talented filmmakers from around the world and give special recognition to New Jersey-connected work. Deadline for entries is January 15th, 2016

New Jersey Film Festival - Summer
June 3 - 19, 2016
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
Website (for information and screenings)
New Jersey International Film FestivalThe Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies present the New Jersey Film Festival l showcasing new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals, and cutting-edge documentaries. The festival provides meet and greet opportunities and Q & A sessions with filmmakers and producers, actors, and screen writers. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 1, 2016

Lighthouse International Film Festival
June 9 - 12, 2016
Film showings at a variety of Long Beach Island Venues
(646) 245-8400
The festival will present feature films, shorts, documentaries and family films, as well as panel discussions with leading film industry professionals. Taking place on Long Beach Island, NJ -- one of the East Coast's most popular surfing destinations -- the festival celebrates three days of new, exciting and challenging films in honor of Long Beach Island's historic Barnegat Lighthouse. See above website for information on films, times, and venues.

FilmOneFest 2015
July 16, 2016
Historic Waterfront
Atlantic Highlands, NJ
The "two minute" film festival features the showing local, national, and international films under the stars. This event occurs annually on the 3rd Saturday in July when more than 2,500 people gather by the town's shoreline for this free outdoor event where nearly fifty films are shown. Films come from every state in the nation and nearly sixty different countries around the globe. Festival begins at 6 pm, film screening begins at dark, Free admission, premium seating available to purchase.


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