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Garden State Film Festival Announces Virtual Victory and Award Winners

Garden State Film Festival Announces Virtual Victory and Award Winners

The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) presented more than 240 independent films to +15,000 viewers virtually through parallel and dynamic digital streaming in light of the global COVID-19 crisis, and the announcement from the Governor of the State of New Jersey further restricting public gatherings.

See the full list of winners below!

GSFF, a grossly underfunded 501(C)(3) executed what other larger and much healthier funded festivals could not and built its own streaming platform in record time and to present securely and on schedule. One upside to this year's digital experience: Movie lovers around the globe viewed the films. Without delay, the GSFF team worked around the clock to be the first film festival during the COVID-19 Pandemic to live stream over 240 films from around the world to an audience of over +15,000 viewers globally.

The festival, which typically draws more than 25,000 attendees to the Shore town, screens local, national and international movies. GSFF brings the newest wave of indie films but this year our filmmakers were able to reach film lovers all over the world as the data shows we screened in the Netherlands, Ireland, The UAE, The UK, Canada, Italy, Australia, Finland, Belgium, and Croatia to name a few. It brings great joy to the team to have brought a film gathering to your living room at a time when we needed it the most.

Fans who participated in an unprecedented four-day, live-stream event on computers, tablets, and mobile phones found the perfect antidote through innovative entertainment during self-isolation, enjoying popcorn in their PJ's while streaming hundreds of feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, animation, student films, premieres, and more top-quality cinematic showmanship. The fans even had a chance to interact with the filmmakers. Following each screening block, viewers enjoyed filmmaker talkbacks on Facebook and the audience loved being interactive.

Each film played during their scheduled time over the four-day event. GSFF plays a vital part in educating and showcasing the next generation of filmmakers and had over 40 High school films screen on Saturday and Sunday morning. This year, there were more than 50 world premieres, 80 New Jersey premieres, two dozen East Coast premieres and 15 United States premieres. Visit to learn more.

Executive Director, Lauren Concar Sheehy & Vice Chair, Heather Brittain O'Scanlon hosted the Awards Ceremony on Facebook Live by practicing safe social distancing in the comfort of matching pj's, where the best in various categories of films and celebrity honorees were recognized. A list of winners is included below.

Celebrating its 18th anniversary, the artistic philosophy of the Garden State Film Festival is rooted in the celebration of the independent film genre and underscores this spirit through dramatic screenings and unparalleled film collaborations attracting a diverse audience. Each year the Garden State Film Festival presents world premieres, high-profile films, industry panels, and celebrity guests.

Narrative Feature
"Foster Boy"
Andrew Sugerman, Peter Samuelson, Anne-Marie Mackay, Jay Paul Deratany-Producers
Youssef Delara- Director

International Narrative Feature
"Be Good or be Gone"
Les Martin, Declan Mills, Catha Nally, Cainneach McEoin- Producers
Cathal Nally-Director

Family Feature
"Team Marco"
Sam Sandweiss-Producer
Julio Vincent Gambuto- Director

Bud Abbott Award for Comedy Feature
The Bellmen
Jason Adler, Cameron Fife, Kim Waltrip, Ken Schur, Michael J. Wickham, Samantha Herman, Beau Johnson-Producers
Cameron Fife-Director

M. Carroll Raver Award for Cinematography
"Guru Nanak"
Adam Krell
Horror/Thriller Feature

"Dark Harbor"
Edwin P Stevens, Cecilia E Stevens, Cory Pyke- Producers
Joe Raffa-Director

Narrative Short
"Pipe Dream"
Chris King, Heather King-Producers
Chris King- Director

Narrative Short-International
"It's Me"
Andrea Casaseca- Producer/Director

Lou Costello Award for Comedy Short
"Age of Bryce"
Brian Elliott, David Feagan-Producer/Directors

International Student-University
Comedy Short
"The West Kerry Cowboy"
Peter Kilmartin-Producer
Cian O Connor-Director

Family Short
"Tati's Fashion Show"
Stephanie Angel, Amir Arison-Producers
Amir Arison- Director

Emanuel "Manny" Berlingo Award Best Feature Documentary
"STALLONE: Frank, That Is"
Chris May, Emmett James-Producers
Derek Wayne Johnson-Director

Best International Feature Documentary
"Guru Nanak: The Founder of Sikhism - Life and Legacy"
Adam Krell-Producer
Gerald Krell- Producer/Directors

Best Short Documentary
"Tofino is a Place"
James Clower-Producer
Ryan Struck- Producer/Director

International Short Documentary
"Arrival Archives"
Suze Armstrong-Producer
Maya Bastian-Producer/Director

Animated Short
"Burning Bright"
Lisa Benson, Franceska Bucci, Aaron Bierman-Producer
Aaron Bierman-Director

International Animated Short
United Kingdom
"Master Moley By Royal Invitation"
Tony Nottage-Producer
Leon Joosen-Director

International Commercial
"Life is a Beautiful Journey"
Sven Greif-Producer/Director

Web Series/New Media
"Detention Adventure"
Executive Producer(s): Lauren Corber, Joe Kicak,
Carmen Albano & Karen Moore
Director: Joe Kicak
Producer: Ryan West

Music Video
"Slow Dance"
Taylor Bradshaw-Producer
Travis Jones- Director

Kathryn Carmichael-Producer
Jake L. Reid-Director

TV Pilot
Divorce School
Julie Zelman-Producer
Dana Marisa Schoenfeld- Producer/Director

Short University Graduate School
"A Home for Curiosities"
Shannon Ryan-Producer
Ben Tobin-Producer/Director

International Short Documentary University
"Amici del Mare"
Jackson Klarsfeld, Anthony Vitale, Benjamin Thomas Ward-Producers
Tara Guaimano-Director

International Narrative Short - High School
"Zoe "
Stjepan Kefelja-Producer
Marta Krunić, Director

Short Animation - High School
"Margo "
(Light House Studio)
Amelia Maxham-Producer/ Director
Libby Slaughter-Producer/ Director
Ben Clark-Producer/ Director
Summers Worthington-Producer/ Director
Johnny Krosby-Groner-Producer/ Director
Jhael J. Rasheed-Producer/ Director
Victoria Stiefvater-Producer/ Director
Conrad Heins-Producer/ Director
Nicholas Tennery-Producer/ Director
Jago Gould-Producer/ Director

Short Documentary - High School
"Dancing on Black & White"
(Metuchen High School)
John Li, Director

NJ Hometown Documentary Short - High School
Barry Rosezweig
(Jackson Liberty High School)
Amber Buckley, Alivia McGarry- Directors

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:

Home Grown Feature
"Exit O"
Gregory Voigt-Producer
E.B. Hughes-Producer/Director

Home Grown Short
Kelsey Combe-Producer
Clayton Combe-Producer/Director

Home Grown Comedy Short
"Yet Another"
Eric Hartmann-Producer
Tim Disbrow-Producer/Director

Home Grown Animation Short
"Country Things"
B.E.F. Oakes-Producer/Director

Home Grown Animation Short Family
"Kazumi Racecar Pig"
David McBride-Director

Home Grown Documentary Short
"Unclaimed Remains"
Ernie Diorio, Richard Gough, Carol Redlund-Producers
Thomas Phillips-Producer/Director

Home Grown Commercial
Bayshore Center Promo
Collin Pritchard-Producer/Director

Home Grown Student Documentary Short - High School
Relay for Life
(Bridgewater - Ridge High School)
Julia Schnarr-Producer/ Director

Home Grown Student PSA - High School
Words Kill
(Washington Township High School)
Jenna Epley-Director

The Garden State Film Festival Movie Music Competition Winners

Best Orchestration from A Documentary
"Determined - Triumphant Theme"
Composer: Steven Chesne
Performed by: Virtual Instruments

Best Rap Song from a Short
Composers: Jeremiah Kaufman
Performed by: Jeremiah Kaufman

Best Americana Orchestration from a Narrative Short
"Jake's Beginnings"
Composer: Cristina "Trinity" Vélez-Justo
Performed by: Virtual Instruments

Best Musical Score from a Historical Drama Short
"Julie's Theme"
Composer: Pancho Burgos-Goizueta
Performed by: Pancho Burgos-Goizueta

Best Blue Grass Orchestration from a Narrative Feature
"Days of Whiskey and Sunshine"
Composer: Cristina "Trinity" Vélez-Justo
Performed by: Virtual Instruments

Best Period Piece
"Henry the VIII"
Composer: Guy Renardeau
Performed by: Guy Renardeau

Best Musical Score from a Stop Motion Short
"Friends With Death"
Composer: Zac Silva & James McCaffrey
Performed by: Zac Silva, James McCaffrey, Kevin Grossman,
Emily Grove & Cody McCorry

End Title Theme from a Feature Documentary
"My Father's Brothers"
Composer: Cristina "Trinity" Vélez-Justo
Performed by: Virtual Instruments

Best HomeGrown Indie Pop
"Bets Against the Void"
Composer: Elizabeth Lehman
Performed by: The Scary Jokes

Best Rap Theme from a Documentary Feature
"I'm a Movement"
Composed by: Intelligenz
Performed by: Intelligenz

Best Orchestration from An Animated Short
"The Ribbon"
Composer: Jonathan Galland
Performed by: Virtual Instruments

Best Orchestration from An International Mini-Series
"Walpurgisnacht - Die Mädchen und der Tod"
Composed by: Mathias Rehfeldt
Performed by: Mathias Rehfeldt

Garden State Screenplay Competition Winner-Short
"Standing in Water"
Kathleen Caprario-Ulrich

Garden State Screenplay Competition Winner-Feature Length
"The Last of the Burly Girls"
John Pisano-Thomsen

The Garden State Film Festival ("GSFF") is proud to announce the winners for its acting awards.

Shane Paul McGhie - "Foster Boy"

Jessica Sipos - "Dark Harbor"

Garry Pastore - "Shooting Heroin"

Jenny-Lee Masterson - "Be Good or Be Gone"

"Foster Boy"
Matthew Modine, Shane Paul McGhie, Lex Scott Davis, Julie Benz, Amy Brenneman
Evan Handler, Louis Gossett Jr., Michael Hyatt, Michael Beach, Dominic Burgess, Jordan Belfi, Krystian Alexander Lyttle

TJ Thyne - "Extra Innings"

DeAnna Toten Beard - "Age of Bryce"

Josiah Schreiber - "Walking Point"

Marta Belenguer - "It's Me"

Honorary Chair

Jack Ford

Icon Award

Linda Hamilton

Lifetime Achievement

Matthew Modine

Patriot Award

Robert Patrick

Independent Spirit

Tara Wood

Home Grown Hero

David Burke

Exceptional Women In Film

Arianna Bocco

Broader Vision Award

Rock And Roll Forever Foundation


Nick Falcone

Educator of the Year

Robin Kampf

Rising Star

Ashley Platz

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