Welcome To Our 

NJ State Film Festival

NJ State Film Festival is a huge attraction cinephiles. With every passing year, the NJ State Film Festival is attracting a larger audience. We meticulously select and showcase films created by highly talented and passionate filmmakers.

What the media had to say about the first New Jersey State Film festival

Well-organized Venue

There is usually great order and clarity at the venue of the NJ State Film Festival. The film festival staff members are quick on their feet and ready to provide the necessary directions and instructions.

Overwhelming Success

All the halls in the NJ State Film Festival are usually packed with people. There is an open embrace of many creative and bohemian ideas. There is also a profound exchange of talent and experience among filmmakers and film students.

Cultural Events

The NJ State Film Festival is known for having some of the best cultural events with plenty of food and drink. The cultural elements are eye-catching and colourful.

Our Services

Film Festival Schedule

The NJ State Film Festival has a well-planned and precise film festival schedule. It usually takes place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Festival of Independents

The NJ State Film Festival place where freedom and independence are deeply cherished values. We have independent filmmakers and enthusiastic film students flocking the festival.

Young Filmmaker's Workshop

Weekend bootcamp introduction to filmmaking, from script to screen. For high school age students. Best films will be shown at the Festival of Independents.

Susan Sarandon Kicks Off 2nd Annual
Cape May NJ State Film Festival

Susan Sarandon played to a packed Congress Hall ballroom Thursday afternoon,
as she kicked the 2nd annual Cape May NJ State Film Festival.

Call For Festival Tickets!!

Limited seating for some events. Reserve tickets
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Happy Reviews

“The NJ State Film Festival is one of my top three favourite film festivals. I am always in admiration of the selection of movies made every year and I get a truly enriching experience.”
Marilyn A. Hatley
“It was my first time at the NJ State Film Festival. I have been to many film festival venues but I had the most fun on this one. The events were full of life and the films were very artistic.”
Eric D. Brown
“The NJ State Film Festival has great entertainment and educational value to offer. I recommend it to every film student out there who wishes to be inspired and motivated.”
Leighann R. Hill

Latest News & Events

The Basics Of Going To A Film Festival

Film Festival

Going to a film festival can be one of the most fun experiences in life. You can see new movies, meet interesting people and travel to exciting places. The downside is that it’s expensive; you’ll need to pay for transportation, lodging and food (and maybe even some entertainment).

But as long as you do your research and plan ahead, going to a film festival can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Don’t miss any films you’re interested in seeing by showing up too late

If you’re going to the festival, be there when it starts. You might think this goes without saying, but it’s a little more complicated.

film festival

First of all, if you’re attending any event or festival where tickets are involved and have been sold out for months now (like Sundance), they’re probably not going to sell more tickets just because you showed up late and missed the first half hour or so of whatever film you wanted to see based on its trailer alone.

Second of all: even without tickets involved, if you plan to show up at the venue on opening night and try your luck with whatever shows are selling tickets at will call—it’s not going to work out that well for you most times.

Research the films you’re thinking about seeing in advance

Besides the obvious—be sure to research the movie you’re interested in seeing in advance—there are a few other things worth looking into.

Look up the directors and producers, as well as the actors involved with each film, and read their bios. You may get an idea of what kind of person they are from their history or their quotes on the website. This can give you insight into what kind of movie this might be based on who made it!

Check award nominations and wins at festivals like Sundance or Cannes (or any other festival), which will help guide your decision about which ones might be good to attend yourself someday soon!

Understand the basic rules of etiquette at film festivals, like turning off your phone and shutting up while a movie is playing

You might be tempted to use your phone while crowded in a theater with hundreds of other people. Don’t do it. You will annoy everyone around you, including the people who are putting on the film festival and might someday hire you as an actor or filmmaker.


Similarly, if someone else is talking loudly during the movie, let them know that they’re being disruptive so that everyone can enjoy themselves more. And please don’t eat popcorn or any other food during a film—the last thing we need is for our audiences to be distracted by crumbs flying through their air and landing on their clothes or laps (we’ve all been there).

The best way to avoid these problems is always to arrive early and sit in the back rows—it’s much easier to quietly slip out of one’s seat when needed than if one were in an aisle seat right next to another row!

However, if your schedule doesn’t allow for this planning ahead (or maybe even if it does), try asking someone else sitting near where you want to sit whether they mind giving up their spot so that you can sit there instead!

Things You Can Expect From A Film Festival

Film Festival

An important link in the web of the world’s cinema culture is the film festival. The front lines of a world that are becoming more divisive are being helped by film festivals. They allow you to hear a great array of opinions from the split territories because they speak multiple languages. Here are some things you may expect from a film festival.

Maintain your professionalism

Your natural tendency may be to approach the film festival as a victory party because seeing your movie accepted into a festival can appear like the ultimate prize after a protracted and difficult creative process. Yes, it is this, but keep your composure. Having your movie screened at a festival is a possibility for your career, so you should handle it as such. Avoid being the person who disrespectfully leaves during a movie or who gets too intoxicated at social events. Small details count because the connections you build at film festivals will last throughout your career, so be careful to make the right impression.

Be prepared in advance

No matter the size or reputation of the festival you’re contemplating, guarantee your presence and begin making plans as soon as possible. You will typically receive some form of a bonus if your film is selected for the festival, like one or two freebies for your production members and a limited discounted passes for family and friends. Since passes frequently sell out quickly throughout this procedure, be sure to account for everyone in your group. Always ask about housing possibilities for filmmakers, as certain festivals do offer them on occasion.

Have a thought-out plan

Since film festivals are hectic, if you don’t go into them with a strategy in mind, you risk missing out on some excellent opportunities. Many people are unaware that you still require a ticket for every movie even if you have a festival pass, which might result in standing in line for more than hours before each screening. The films you desire to see should be highlighted in the festival’s schedule. You can find this challenging as a filmmaker because of your mandated responsibilities. You won’t leave a festival with unmet expectations if you go in with the understanding that you won’t be able to engage in everything.

Do not presume that everyone is experiencing the same thing

Everyone attends film festivals with a different viewpoint on the event, so it’s vital to keep this in mind even though you’ll meet lots of interesting creatives and appreciate a diversity of programs. Some folks won’t be able to reach the same level of fresh excitement as you do. Don’t be offended by these things, then: Some attendees won’t be trying to make acquaintances because they have been going to festivals for years. Film festivals thrive because of your passion, but remember to be considerate of other people’s energy levels as well.

The Importance of Film Festivals

Film Festivals

Film festivals serve as gathering points for filmmakers and those who are curious about the world and its diversity, and various lifestyles, and film as a creative form, medium, and means of social expression. Film festivals provide filmmakers a foundation to implement their tasks and debate things used in the movie as well as the movie-making process. Hence film festivals inspire and create communication between people. Here are some reasons for the importance of film festivals.

Film Festivals Provide Community

A festival’s programming is frequently tailored to the interests of the local population or with the intention of generating conversation during a Q&A session after the film. To replicate the feeling of attending a film festival screening in real and being able to pose a question straight to the filmmaker, organizers are planning more interactive Q&A talks online this year. The experience of viewing a movie with a large group of people is thrilling. It’s a terrific approach to advance community discourse by letting people examine other opinions and viewpoints on both art and subjects. Festivals provide a vital community where filmmakers and other creatives can discover allies and partners.

Film Festivals Are Individualistic

Festivals are all about sharing the wonderful experience, taking in the distinctive and thoughtfully curated film lineup, and exchanging energy and emotions. To enable people to patiently communicate and experience things, whether it be art or a concept conveyed through a documentary film, is the goal. The prevalence of film festivals all around the world is evolving from a weakness to a strength as a future vision of festival cooperation supports the alternative, cordial distribution of filmmakers’ work. Festivals are similar to receiving personalized advice from the organizers and screening committee.

Film Festivals Foster Community Pride

Only a carefully organized, legitimate celebration can actually inspire a sense of pride, despite the fact that many commerce chambers around the nation may organize a festival to draw prominence to their area or promote tourism. Future opportunities to screen more high-profile films increase with respect.  The film festival is the ideal medium for bringing people together to discover different cultures and celebrate innovation, which will always be vital. The best experiences are shared at film festivals so we may learn from them. Film festivals serve to motivate viewers and maintain the interest in cinematic experiences.

Film Festivals
CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been created using a tilt shift lens) Robin Campillo, Pawel Pawlikowski, Yorgos Lanthimos, Alice Rohrwacher, Enki Bilal, Maimouna N’Diaye, Kelly Reichardt, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Elle Fanning attend the opening ceremony and screening of “The Dead Don’t Die” during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Film Festivals Provide Opportunity

The thrilling opportunity to see numerous films in advance of their general public commercial release is available at film festivals. Yes, staying ahead of the curve is a self-satisfying status symbol, but viewers can also contribute to the culture by promoting the movies to friends or discussing them on social networks. Meeting the film’s creators is another possibility presented by festivals. Festivals work to get these visitors to the film festival in person or at the very least digitally via a screen, whether they be the filmmaker, the screenwriter, the members of the cast, or the protagonists of a documentary.

Why Are Film Festivals So Crucial To Your Professional Life?

Film Festivals

Film festivals are the occasion when local filmmakers come together to share and present their yearly productions. Filmmakers get the chance and platform to present their storytelling and filmmaking talents at festivals. It serves as a means of expressing their worldview to their viewers. Here are a few reasons why film festivals are essential for your professional or career life.


Networking and connecting

Any firm or filmmaker’s capacity to properly link and connect with other market players will determine how successful they are. Networks underpin the film industry. Several activities serve as the foundation for these linkages. Festivals are filled with meeting and greeting events and get-togethers. Over cocktails or supper, people can converse. It’s common for people to meet for commercial purposes and even an ideal strategy for enlarging one’s network. The main focus of the events is on the art, talent, and ability of filmmaking. Celebrity pomp and spectacle are frequently present.

Exposes independent filmmakers to a wider audience

Independent and small-scale cinema and filmmakers are frequently eclipsed and put out of business by the powerful forces behind mainstream films, who use expensive marketing and promotion. This reduces the exposure that these small businesses receive. Because they lack the resources to effectively compete with the larger well-known businesses, it causes that good movie to go ignored. They are given a voice and a stage at film festivals to share with the world about themselves. They are the ideal venues for promoting your movie and raising awareness of your brand and business.

Movie marketing and promotion

Film festivals serve as crucial marketing and promotion tools. All filmmakers must raise awareness of and attention for their work. Big stars frequently engage in extensive marketing and public relations efforts to support their films. The availability of this for indie filmmakers is less. Thus, festivals allow them the opportunity to do so on a much smaller scale. The festivals also assist them by arranging interviews with the appropriate media, providing much-needed reviews, and marketing the films to executives searching for the next big picture to invest in. Three ways that film festivals will help filmmakers with marketing:

  • Interviews and reviews
  • Awards
  • Selling movies

film test screenings

Create a venue for film test screenings

For filmmakers, this represents a significant advantage. They have venues to test their films in front of spectators at film festivals. The audience’s reaction to the film will determine if it can be released as is or whether certain edits and adjustments need to be made to make the movie better. This is a fantastic approach to examine the work’s quality before publishing it. It enables the director to fix any mistakes or poor footage by bringing them to their attention.

5 Reasons To Attend A Short Film Festival

Film Festival

No matter your interest in film, there’s no better place to be than at a short film festival. These events showcase a wide variety of films from different genres and filmmakers worldwide in one location. Here are five reasons why attending a short film festival is worth it:

Watch Something New

Short films are less expensive to make than feature films. This means you can see more new material without breaking the bank.

Short films are usually faster than feature films. They’re also often more experimental and creative, making them great for those who like independent art or want to see something different from what Hollywood delivers every week or so.

short film festival

Short film festivals are a chance to watch something new! What better way to cultivate an appreciation for cinema than watching short movies?

See An Exciting Variety Of Films

Short films are an exciting way to see an exciting variety of films. They can be funny, sad, scary, or inspiring. Short films are often more experimental and creative than features. There is a wide range of genres, including horror and science fiction, as well as dramas and comedies.

While many short films have limited budgets and resources compared to features, they tend to have more unique stories that cover diverse topics such as immigration and human rights issues.

Support Local Artists

There are many ways to support local artists. One way is by attending their film festival, and another is by purchasing their movie on DVD or streaming it online. Another way is by donating to their film festival.

The best part? You don’t need much time or money to attend one!

Short Films Are More Accessible (And Awesome) Than You Think

Short films are cheaper to make than feature films. The average budget for a short film is $5,000 to $20,000 (according to Film Shortage). This is because short films have much less overhead than full-length features.

They don’t need expensive equipment or locations; they don’t require as many actors and crew members; they don’t take as long to shoot; and they can be produced in a shorter amount of time.

Attending a short film festival is a rare opportunity to discover something new

Short films are a great way to discover new talent. Many of today’s most famous filmmakers started out making short films, and many more are still making them today. While you can find plenty of long film festivals with renowned directors like Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, there aren’t as many opportunities for up-and-comers to be seen by the masses.

Short films are often more accessible to the average person. You don’t need an expensive ticket or a membership card to watch shorts ovies at your nearest theater or festival venue—you need cash!

It’s easy to forget the magic of film festivals in today’s digital age. But if you want to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new, a short film festival is the place to go. You can watch something shot right in front of you, support local filmmakers while they’re still just starting, or discover an amazing new talent before they become famous.

Film festivals are a great way to spend an evening with friends or family without spending too much money (or even leaving the house). So why not check one out?

Making the Most Out of Your Indie Film Audition: Tips From Experts

Film Audition

The audition process can feel like an intimidating one. You might be wondering if you’re prepared or whether you have what it takes to make your mark in the film industry.

These questions are natural, but they don’t have to hold you back from making the most out of your audition. Here are some tips and tricks for getting through the audition process so that you can truly shine:

Don’t memorize your lines too early

Memorize the first line, then the second, then the third. Do not commit more than two or three sentences to memory at a time before you start shooting. This will help prevent you from overthinking your material and becoming too self-conscious about it.

Prepare as much material as possible

Having a lot of material to choose from is often better than having only two or three things memorized. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare material; make sure you’re not overdoing it so much that your audition feels dull or rehearsed (unless your character would naturally be very formal).

Bring a good attitude and calm energy

In addition to the usual advice of being prepared and ready to work, the best actors have a certain attitude that gets them through each audition. It’s important to bring a good attitude and calm energy.


The casting directors are looking for people who can engage with others relaxedly. If you come off as too intense or overly focused on getting the part, it could make you seem unapproachable or challenging to work with.

But don’t be afraid to show emotion

Remember that emotion makes a performance memorable. It adds depth and layers to your character, but you must be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want the director or casting director to think that you’re simply being emotional just for being emotional; they need to know that this is how your character would act in this situation.

For them to understand what kind of range of emotions you can convey, you need to show some restraint and be honest with yourself so that you can make sure all those feelings come through on camera when they’re needed.

Don’t play the role like other actors have played it before you

There are two common mistakes actors make when reading an indie film. The first is playing the role like all of the other actors before they played it. This happens more often than you think, and it’s not a good idea.

The director may have already seen a dozen people play this role, and if you throw in the same performance as everyone else, you won’t stand out from the crowd.

The second mistake is being afraid to try something new because you’re worried about making mistakes or looking bad on camera.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that auditioning for an indie film is a collaborative process. You have the opportunity to bring your unique vision and interpretation of the role to life, whether that means getting your sense of humor or emotional depth, or angry intensity.

Events That Take Place At The Film Festival

Film Festival

Have you been to a movie or film festival before? If so, you probably believe you are an expert on the internal workings of festivals of this nature. Most likely, this is untrue. The majority of people will never realize how thorough film festivals are. One aspect of the puzzle is being an audience member. You’ll have a lot of duties as a director or presenter. Discover more about typical events that occur at film festivals in the section below.



At a film festival, you may be sure that you will hear some talks. Watching movies is one of the events. Listening to the creator and participants of the movie is another aspect. You could not comprehend the director’s intentions after watching a movie. It’s possible that you don’t grasp the message. The director will probably address the crowd and discuss the film during the festival. The actresses and actors are free to follow suit.

Film screenings

A film festival’s main goal is to provide viewers with the opportunity to see a fresh film. Depending on the festival, independent films typically make up the majority of the films shown. If you’re a filmmaker, you should be prepared to discuss your movie after it’s finished. You must conduct yourself courteously and with respect while watching the movie as an audience member. Three, four, and more screenings are common at festivals. Additionally, it should be mentioned that each film will require a ticket from the audience.


You’ll probably witness interviews if you go to a film festival. You might be stopped by journalists, bloggers, or podcasters if you’re a director or actor. They might wish to do a brief interview with you. Utilizing this chance is a sensible decision. A video interview with a blogger is really a great approach to promote your newest movie. When you’re interviewed, it is a good idea to thank everyone in an email for their support of your movie.

film festival

Engage with the audience

During a film festival, the majority of actors and filmmakers will be able to interact with viewers. When they’re not looking for a distributor, they’ll want to build a relationship with the audience. If they can accomplish this, they will be able to convert passing admirers into devoted followers. That is an effective technique to win over fans and persuade them to see all of your films. You can also acquire feedback from fans by listening to them. Their perspective can be able to aid you in creating superior concepts.

Autograph sessions

For die-hard fans, there is nothing finer than a film festival. Fans have many opportunities at these events to obtain the cast members’ autographs. Depending on the length of both the line, you can ask for a customized message in addition to the celebrity’s signature. For any fan, the mixture would be priceless.

Things to Know Before Attending Your First Film Festival

Your first film festival is an experience that you will always fondly remember and cherish. Before you attend your first film festival, it helps to know exactly what you are getting into. It can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially on your first day. Here are some things you will want to keep in mind before you attend your first film festival:

Research About the Film Festival

It is vital to take your time and decide whether the film festival is worth attending in the first place. Have a look at whether it’s done well in the past and if it has received enough film coverage.

Make sure to learn about the jury members, panelists, and filmmakers that will be present at the film festival. This will help you make the most of your networking efforts. Also, have a look at their editorial policy.

The Film Festival Must Offer Opportunities for Learning

Film festivals usually don’t just have movies, but they also have plenty of interesting workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics. You will get to learn a great deal about filmmaking, distribution, and networking skills.

It is Best to Have a Companion

If it’s your first time attending a film festival, it is strongly recommended that you go with a companion, preferably someone who’s been to a few film festivals. Otherwise, there are chances of becoming confused about the venue and not knowing where to go.

The last thing you want is to be late for your own film screening. Otherwise, you can end up losing a precious opportunity to interact with the audience and receive opinions from filmmakers.

Have a Clear Schedule

The list of movies and events on the day of the film festival can be enough to make you dizzy! Hence, it helps to have a clear schedule and prioritize your activities. You will want to be prepared to make sacrifice a good movie or two in order to attend a helpful workshop or make the best of a networking opportunity!

film festival

Don’t Forget Your Business Cards

Chances are that you will find plenty of people who will show great interest in your work and will want to be in touch with you. Hence, they may ask you for your business card. If you haven’t gotten your business cards done, make sure to have them done in a visually attractive and clear way and carry them to the festival.

Don’t Miss the Parties

Lastly, remember that film festivals are all about having fun! You will find plenty of great after-parties to attend, where you will find many interesting people. Some of these parties will even have free food and drink. So, make sure to lighten up and have a good time!

What’s the purpose of film festivals in the 21st century

Film festivals

We must have seen the staff work tirelessly for the annual film festival. But, seeing the stress of organizing the event, we might often ask why they are investing time and effort in organizing such a stressful event. Is it worth all the time that is invested in it? If you are trying to find answers to these questions, you may look into this article to learn the importance of film festivals in the 21st century.

Taking independent cinema to the audience

Today, most of the general public’s taste in movies is twisted and shaped by marketing messages. These marketing messages about mainstream movies dictate the public’s decisions and choices. But the films shown in a good film festival are resistant to commercial pressure. These films are the works of real artists who aim to give good messages or introduce new ideas that can change our perspective. Thus, film festivals breathe life into the real ideas of pure art.

A place for test screening

Over the decades, many filmmakers have used film festivals as a platform for test screenings. Based on the audience’s reaction after screening the movie at the film festival, filmmakers tend to edit their films before the commercial release. In addition, since the audience in the film festivals is likely to be more experienced or expert in films, filmmakers are more likely to get objective reviews that can be highly helpful.

Platform for learning

One of the most significant advantages of film festivals is that many offer engaging and exciting master classes that teach various aspects of filmmaking. These classes benefit both the filmmakers and the general public. As for the filmmaker, this is the perfect chance for them to promote their films to the public. And the people will get an opportunity to learn what goes behind the screen and how the film industry operates.

Moreover, many of the learning events organized by the film festival will give us insight into various pressing issues of the time. They may even conduct debates on critical issues faced by not just filmmakers but humanity as a whole. Therefore, this is a perfect opportunity for us to get varied perspectives on an issue and enable us to find a solution.

A place for networking

The film festival will bring together people interested in the field of film from different parts of the world. Attending a film festival will thus be the best opportunity to meet like-minded people, thus expanding your circle of influence. Regardless of your relationship with filmmaking, this is a terrific place to meet new people.

Platform to spot new talent

Film festivals are one of the best places to find pure talent. There are various instances where filmmakers find the perfect talent for a role from the festivals.

Film festivals

Promote tourism and local community

Any community with a film festival will know the artistic, cultural, and commercial development a festival brings. A film festival creates many job opportunities for the people surrounding it. We can understand how it helps the locals by the buzz surrounding the commercial buildings during festivals. Also, we need to mention the crowd in the hotels, restaurants, and snacks used by the attendees.

Thus, film festivals are vital to the industry to keep the spirit of the film experience alive.

Secrets to Entering and Winning Film Festivals

Winning Film Festivals

Although there is no guaranteed way to win in film festivals, you can increase your chances of entering and winning the film festivals by following a few things filmmakers generally overlook, to their own detriment. Here are some secrets to entering and winning film festivals:

A Short Film Can Be More Powerful Than a Lengthy Film

Usually, filmmakers have a lot to say, and they end up making films that span for a long duration. However, if you know how to condense the message you want to share and make an impactful short film that lasts for about 20-25 minutes, you can get easily accepted. However, try not to compromise on the quality of the film when it comes to the editing process.

Short Film

Don’t Rush the Process

Many filmmakers make the grave mistake of finishing their work soon so that they can submit it to film festivals in time. They may even send works-in-progress. However, it is better to be fully confident in what you have done.

By rushing the process, you are less likely to beat the competition. For instance, you will need to ensure that the sound mixing and editing are done right. Even if you have a film with excellent cinematography and dialogue, you are less likely to be accepted or appreciated if you don’t demonstrate enough proficiency in sound design.

Do Not Underestimate Small Film Festivals!

You will find most filmmakers with their fingers crossed, hoping that their work gets accepted into the top 5 film festivals. They usually submit their work early in hopes of getting in but still experience disappointment because of the level of competition.

They often overlook the power of small film festivals. Make sure to do your research, and you are sure to find many small film festivals that will be suitable for the content and theme of your film. Your high-quality work can be recognized and appreciated in these small film festivals, and you can win many awards as well.

Have a Unique Hook

It’s all about standing out in the crowd of filmmakers. You will need to be inventive and make your short film in a way that will impress the programmers at the film festival. Make sure to be careful about the wording in the titles and descriptions of your short film. Film programmers detest clichés, and they look for something that is authentic. Hence, you must have something impactful and personal to say in your work.

Unique Hook

Attend Plenty of Film Festivals

Lastly, your work doesn’t just end with your film getting accepted into the film festival. Make sure to attend as many as you can and carry your business cards with you! You will find plenty of amazing opportunities for networking and learning about the field. You also get to attend plenty of after-parties and have a memorable time.