Garden State Film Festival 2022 a Triumph

The Garden State Film Festival’s Twelve-Day event took place in Cranford, Asbury Park, New Jersey, & Virtually March 23-April 3rd, 2022

Thousands of people attended New Jersey’s Premier Independent Film Festival, the Garden State Film Festival’s much-anticipated twelve-day event in Cranford, Asbury Park, and Virtually March 23-April 3rd, 2022.

The five day in person event welcomed over 18,000 attendees, celebrities, honorees, film industry execs and movie fans to multiple iconic venues. The Festival included networking opportunities, industry workshops, informative panel discussions, winning screenplay reading with an in-depth celebrity talk back, star-studded red-carpet gala and entertaining parties – all in addition to the screenings of 197 films from seventeen countries around the world. The weekend culminated with the 2022 Garden State Film Festival Awards Gala Dinner event on Sunday evening March 27th, where this year’s honorees were recognized, and Festival winners were announced.

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The Garden State Film Festival concluded its 20th season in triumph. “It was an enormous success,” declared Diane Raver, the Festival’s founder, “and our attendance was huge as well.”

Lauren Concar Sheehy, Garden State Film Festival Executive Director, describes this year’s Festival as being “absolutely impressive” with “filmmakers and fans from around the world networking and enjoying themselves. We promote student creativity, make the arts accessible to underserved populations and preserve heritage arts. The Festival benefits the local community in far-reaching ways. It brings people, venues, businesses, and organizations together around a shared goal. It also brings social value for our economy, culture, heritage, and well-being.”

Vice Chair, Heather Brittain O’Scanlon boasts, “Attendees took advantage of the networking opportunities and educational panels throughout the twelve-day event. Overall, everyone really seemed to enjoy the films and the workshops and parties… It was a lot of fun! Thank you and congratulations to all the participants, and especially to this year’s honorees and winners.”

The Festival’s founder Diane Raver adds, “We are so impressed by the thousands of entries we receive for the Festival each year, and this year was no exception! Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating our ‘20th Anniversary. We hope to see you next year for our 21st annual Festival.”
First Lady Tammy Murphy acted as Honorary Chair. Other honorees included Broader Vision Award Recipient is Dawson’s Peak- Project Seven For Soldiers and Educator of the Year is Louis Libitz.

The GSFF winners covered over forty categories and the 2022 winners are:

Bud Abbott Award for Feature Length Comedy
“Redemption of a Rogue”
Emma Foley, Tamryn Reinecke Producers
Philip Doherty, Director

Narrative Short
“I’m a Vampire”
Sofia Garza-Barba, Juan Jose Montes Iglesias, Producers
Sofia Garza-Barba, Directors

Narrative Short Student High School
“The Shoes”
(Windward School)
Andreas Rothbart, Director

Science Fiction Short
“Welcome to Forever”
John Gray, Melissa Jo Peltier, Producers
John Gray, Director

Lou Costello Award for Comedy Short
Brad Jayne, Stephen Moffatt, Producers
Bonnie Discepolo, Director

Comedy Short Student High School
“Plan for the Pastrami”
(Light House Studio)
Eli Lerdau, Steven Meyer, Jackson Snead, Solomon Goluboff-Schragger, Director

International Comedy Short
“Game Uber”
Ferdi Çelik, Producers
Fokke Baarssen, Director

Short Student University
“You’re Now Beyond Hope, Arizona”
Ethan Lazar, Wade Cicierski, Producers
Nick Dugan, Director

International Short Student University
“The Writing Box”
(Italy, United Kingdom)
Tijana Mamula, Monica Ioana Lungeanu, Natalie Di Giorgio, Producers
Tijana Mamula, Director

Short Animation
“Barking Orders”
Ringling College of Art + Design, Producer
Alex Tullo, Director

Short Animation Student – University
(DePaul University)
Yadid Hirschtritt Licht, Producer/Director

International Short Animation
Ronald McDougall, Producer/Director

Short Animation Student – High School
“Finding Purpose”
(Fordham Preparatory School)
James Kirby, Director

Emanuel “Manny” Berlingo Award for Best Feature Length Documentary
“Absolute Power: Nasdaq Exposed”
Bryan O’Connell, Steve DeVore, Alexander Urazov, Producers
Bryan O’Connell, Director

Short Documentary
“Shiny Objects- The Conductor With ADHD”
Gillie Richards, Marion Barschel, Producers
Gillie Richards, Director

International Short Documentary
“The Girl with The Accent”
(United Arab Emirates)
Nadia Durry, Producer/Director

Short Documentary Student – University
“Yellow Panther”
(Chapman University)
Orion Huang, Producer/Director

“Thank You Big Brother”
Eric Sanchez, Producer
Erix Mercedes, Director

Web Series/New Media
“Scratch This the Series”
Jessica Alexandra Green, Producer
Jody Lauren Miller, Director

Web Series/New Media – International
“The Communist’s Daughter”
Lauren Corber Executive Producer
Natalie Novak, Producer
Leah Cameron, Director

“Mt. Mystic Rangers”
Jeremy Dunlap, Mindy Lopez Dunlap, Seth Dunlap, John David Harris,
Cory Quintard, Robyn Quintard, Beta Angarole, Producers
Jeremy Dunlap, Director

Music Video
“The Big Apple Grind”
George Kostopoulos, Producer
Bruno Taniguchi, Director

The Garden State Film Festival would like to recognize films shot in the State of New Jersey with the following winners in the “Home Grown Award” categories:

Kevin Smith Award for Home Grown Feature
Thomas Ryan, Producer/Director

Home Grown Documentary Feature
“Some Guy Named Bill”
Enrico Bolognino, Producer/Director

Home Grown Short
Robert Palumbo, Tom Slevin, Christopher Pasi, Producers
Matt Servitto, Director

Home Grown Narrative Short Student – High School
“The Love That Remains”
(Middletown South High School)
Maura Collins/Darla Matches, Director

Home Grown Drama Short Student – High School
(Metuchen High School)
Michelle Tang, Director

Home Grown Romance Short Student – High School
“Miss Fortune”
(High Tech High School)
Samiksha Thakur, Director

Home Grown Sci-Fi Short Student – High School
(Blair Academy)
Gabi Berstein, Director

Home Grown Comedy Short Student – High School
“A Fistful of Pasta”
(Middletown High School South)
Joseph Guzzone, Tyrone Shields, Tom Hernandez, Director

Home Grown Documentary Short
“Wood Vibrations”
Gavin Shwahla, Brian Sienkiewicz, Producers
Gavin Shwahla, Director

Home Grown Documentary Short Student – High School
(Perth Amboy High School)
Alanna Rivera, Director

Home Grown Music Video
“Shelter by Patrizsha”
Patrizsha, Producer
Arthur Saken, Director

Home Grown Student Short – University
(Rutgers University)
Abigail Weinick, Producer/Director

Home Grown Student Short – High School
“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”
(Howell High School)
Amanda Katz, Director

Home Grown PSA
“Water Spirit”
Abbey Koshak, Director

New Jersey Hometown Documentary Short – High School

“Turning Iron Into Art: The Boonton Story”
(Boonton High School)
Dylan Visioli, Director

1st Runner Up “Submergent Music – A Guy Named Pete”
(Middletown High School South)
Maura Collins, Jay Fielding, Grace Wilson, Erika Ridgway, Isabella Campion, Alicia Aponte, Stephen Sassano, Joseph Costa, Gigi Maiorana, Directors

The Garden State Film Festival Movie Music Competition Winners

Best Homegrown Pop Song
“I Need Your Love”
Composer: Paul Perrina
Performed by: Pat Guadagno

Best Song from Homegrown Short
“Start Again”
Composer: Griffin Berger
Performed by: Griffin Berger

Best Song from a Feature Film Drama
“Somewhere New”
Composer: Eddie Tadross
Performed by: Eddie Tadross

Best International Short Documentary Score
“The Last Minute”
Composers: Alfred Phakathi and James Bassingthwaite
Perform ed by: The Mzansi Youth Choir of Soweto, South Africa

Best Main Theme from a Feature Documentary
“The Red River Flood”
Composer: Brian Katona
Performed by: Brian Katona; Featuring Samantha Tomblin

Best Homegrown Country Song
“How Long”
Composer: Karen Phillips
Performed by: Karen Phillips, Jeff Levine ,Gary Oleyar,
Mike Mizwinski, Paul Avrutin, Joe Chirco

Best Orchestral Theme
“Ashley’s Theme”
Composer: Benjamin Krause
Performed by: Benjamin Krause
Garden State Screenplay Competition Winners
Feature Length Screenplay
“Shelter In Solitude”
Siobhan Fallon Hogan

Short Length Screenplay
Penny Jackson and Melissa Skirboll

Garden State Acting Award Winners
Best Actor – Feature Film
Aaron Monaghan
“Redemption of a Rogue”

Best Actress – Feature Film
Mariette Hartley
“Our almost completely TRUE STORY”

Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film
Kieran Roche
“Redemption of a Rogue”

Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film
Rhea Pearlman
“Marvelous and the Black Hole”

Best Actor – Short Film
Tosin Morohunfola

Best Actress – Short Film
Anna Camp

Best Supporting Actor – Short Film
Conner Marx
“Bernard Checks In”

Best Supporting Actress – Short Film
Elyse Mirto
“You’re Now Beyond Hope, Arizona”

Best Ensemble Acting– Feature Film
William Baldwin, Ben Begley, Boti Bliss, Challen Cates, Keli Daniels, Pamela Dunlap, Jamison Jones, Roland Kickinge, Rigan Machado, Rob Norton, Robert Pine, Terri Polo,
Taja V. Simpson, Mena Suvari
“Fourth Grade”

The official call for entries for the 2023 Garden State Film Festival will start on May 1st this year, with the entry deadline set for November 1, 2022 For more information, please visit the Garden State Film Festival website at or call 877-908-7050.

Please note that selection of any and all published winners is at the sole discretion of the Garden State Film Festival (“GSFF”) judging panel. The GSFF reserves the right to not select a “winner” or award for a particular category in any given year. The GSFF is under no obligation to award a category. By participating in the GSFF, the participant acknowledges this disclaimer and waives his/her/their right to contest any decision by the judging panel to award or not award in a category.

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