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

They are typically 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.

Upcoming New Jersey Film Festivals

West Orange Film Festival
Annual West Orange Classic Film Festival
Sunday, January 5, 2020 through February 23, 2020; @ 2pm 
AMC Theatre at Essex Green
West Orange, NJ
Website / Schedule
The West Orange Classic Film Festivalprovides lovers of cinema a chance to experience their favorite films as they were meant to be seen— on the big screen. This year's festival looks back at highlights of their first decade and a half, with each film followed by a discussion led by a local film scholar/critic. Three of the feature length films to be presented won the Academy Award for Best Picture for the year of their release, and were selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

Yiddish Film Festival
Third Annual Yiddish Film Festival
January 12 until February 9, 2020; 2pm - 4pm
The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County
310 Mounts Corner Drive
Freehold, NJ 07728
Sponsored by The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, the films support theit mission of promotion of public awareness of Monmouth County's Jewish heritage for the education and enjoyment of both children and adults.

New Jersey Film Festival Spring
New Jersey Film Festival Spring
On select evenings between January 24 – February 23, 2020
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. DEADLINE for the RECEIPT of entries is Friday, November 8, 2019 at Noon Eastern!

Black Maria Film Festival
39th Annual Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival
The 2020 Festival Premiere Weekend Events begin on Friday, February 7th, 2020 @ 7:30PM, and Saturday, February 8th, 2020 @ 7:00PM
Both at the James Stewart Film Theater, Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ, and continue on Sunday afternoon February 9th @ 2:00PM at the AMC Dine-In Theater, Essex Green 9, West Orange, NJ.
Tour Schedule
The Festival is an international juried competition open to all genres and filmmakers across the globe. Their national tour premieres at Princeton's James Stewart Film Theater annually on the second weekend of February. Subsequently, the Festival will travel to more than 60 museums, cultural centers, art house cinemas, and universities throughout the United States and abroad until December 2020.
Their focus is on short films – narrative, experimental, animation, and documentary - including those, which address issues and struggles within contemporary society such as the environment, public health, race and class, family, sustainability, and much more. These exceptional works range from animation, comedy, and drama to the exploration of pure form in film and video and are the heart and soul of the Festival.
In partnership with the Hoboken Historical Museum, the Thomas Edison Black Maria FIlm Festival presents a monthly film series at the Hoboken Museum, 1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ. Many of the screenings include guest filmmakers. Each Hoboken film program is presented in person by Festival Director, Jane Steuerwald.

New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
20th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
March 19 - March 29, 2020
New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
Maurice Levin Theater
760 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ
These are films you cannot see anywhere else in our area! They 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.

Garden State Film Festival
18th Annual Garden State Film Festival
March 25 - 29, 2020
Multiple venues (Paramount Theatre, The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, The Asbury Hotel & The House of Independents, Jersey Shore Arts Center)
Asbury Park, NJ
Website & Tickets
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.
Seating is on a first come, first serve basis with online pre-sale ticket holders for each individual block entering the theater first. Weekend passes enter next and then, if any seats are available, tickets will be sold for the remaining seats. Screenings are general admission only. It's always best to buy your tickets online a head of time!** *** Print at Home tickets can be purchased up to an hour prior to the screening and ALL VENUES SELL TICKETS AT THE DOOR!!
Entries accepted until December 1, 2019

Trenton Film Festival
The Trenton Film Festival
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, March 26, 27, 28, 29, 2020
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. Submissions accepted until December 2, 2019.

Princeton Environmental Film Festival
Annual Princeton Environmental Film Festival
April 13 - 19, 2020
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. Environmental Film Festival entries accepted until January 15, 2020

Asbury Park Music & Film Festival
Asbury Park Music & Film Festival
April 23 - 26, 2020
The Paramount Theatre
and other local venues
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
This annual event features musical performances, film screenings and panel discussions.
The Festival has already welcomed many music and film heavyweights which include Bruce Springsteen, Danny DeVito, Wyclef Jean, The Farrelly Brothers, David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Don Cheadle, John Densmore, Stevie Van Zandt, Jakob Dylan (The Wallflowers), Tracy Edwards (Maiden documentary), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Warren Haynes, Michael Franti and Cat Power.
In the coming months announcements will be made on the Festival's official website. APMFF will benefit underserved children in Asbury Park and its surrounding areas by providing music education, instruments and social connection opportunities.
Proceeds from this event will benefit underserved children in Asbury Park, specifically three programs including Hope Academy, The Hip Hop Institute, and the Asbury Park Summer Recreation Music Camp.

NJ Young Filmakers
2020 New Jersey Young Filmmakers' Festival Premiere
May 30, 2020; @ 6:00PM
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
211 Main Street
West Orange, NJ.
Admission is free and open to the public
At 6:00PM in the Visitor Center, Honorable Mention winners will be screened. At 7:00PM under the main tent, all filmmakers will receive their awards and refreshments will be served. At 8:00PM, the NJYFF Premiere program will be screened featuring the top prize-winning filmmakers. The Festival's gala premiere will feature a program of winning selections chosen by a jury including accomplished filmmakers and media professionals including Jane Steuerwald, Executive Director of the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium.


Have a comment about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.