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2017 Rahway International Film Festival to Host Opening Gala This Friday

2017 Rahway International Film Festival to Host Opening Gala This Friday

The Rahway International Film Festival (RIFF), presented by Big Dreams & Silver Screens, will open its fifth annual celebration on Friday, September 22, 2017.

The weekend of short and feature films, seminars, and discussion panels will begin at 6:30 pm with a Gala Cocktail Hour at the James Ward Mansion in Westfield, NJ. Actors Daniel Dexter, Jr. and Zayna Allen will be gracing the red carpet as the evening's Red Carpet Correspondents, interviewing attending filmmakers and guests as they arrive.

The night's film presentations will follow at 8:00 pm. The Opening Night Feature Film, "Life Hack," is a humorous and cautionary tale about privacy and cyber threats in the digital age. The ensemble comedy, written and directed by Sloan Copeland, has won numerous awards including best screenplay (Brooklyn Film Festival), best film (DefCon 2017), and best story (Long Island International Film Expo). The feature will be preceded by the short film "Helping Hands," a mockumentary about the life of a film Production Assistant, written and directed by Mike Jacobson.

Following the film screenings, there will be a Filmmakers Q&A moderated by Mahogany Reynolds, actress and founder of Just Be You Performing Arts. Filmmakers in attendance will include Sloan Copeland and Jessica Copeland, writer/director and producer/actress of "Life Hack," and Mike Jacobson, Justin Guerrieri, and Merritt Reid, writer/director, producer, and producer/actor of "Helping Hands."

An Opening Night After Party will be held at 10:30pm at 16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro, located one block from the James Ward Mansion. THE AFTER PARTY will include complimentary appetizers and live musical performances by music duo, The Constant. Access to THE AFTER PARTY is included in the Opening Night ticket price and is exclusive to RIFF attendees.

RIFF is currently offering a 10% discount for Gala Tickets using code RIFF51709 on EventBrite.

Previous articles had mentioned that Gala tickets were advance sale only. Tickets will now be made available at the door as long as supplies last.

For the full weekend schedule, synopses and trailers for each film, and ticket information, visit

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