2019 Garden State Film Festival Celebrated Honorees, Winners And The Film Festival's 17th Anniversary

By: Apr. 01, 2019

2019 Garden State Film Festival Celebrated Honorees, Winners And The Film Festival's 17th Anniversary

Thousands of people attended the Garden State Film Festival's 17th annual celebration in Asbury Park last weekend (March 27-31, 2019).

The spectacular event spanned FIVE DAYS for the first time in the Festival's history, and welcomed over 26,000 celebrities, honorees, film industry execs and movie fans to multiple iconic venues throughout Asbury Park. In honor of the recently restored New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program, state VIPs Governor Phil Murphy and Secretary of State Tahesha Way helped to launch the Festivities at GSFF's elegant star-studded Red Carpet Gala Networking Event and Cocktail Party.

The Festival included networking opportunities, industry workshops, informative panel discussions, open talent casting call, live screenplay reading, star-studded red carpet gala and entertaining parties - all in addition to the screenings of over 245 films from over 20 countries around the globe.

The weekend culminated with the 2019 Garden State Film Festival Awards Gala Dinner event on Sunday evening, where this year's honorees were recognized and Festival winners were announced. This was also the first year GSFF recognized actors with awards.

Several of the more notable winners at this year's

Garden State Film Festival were:

Narrative Feature

"Burning Kentucky"

Bethany Brooke Anderson, Ben Fuqua, Elsa Ramo and

Ryan Lacen, Producers

Bethany Brooke Anderson, Director

International Narrative Feature

"The Bird Catcher"

Lisa G. Black and Leon Clarence, Producers

Ross Clarke, Director

M. Carroll Raver Award for Cinematography

John Christian Rosenlund

"The Bird Catcher"

Horror Feature

"Clinton Road"

Steve Stanulis, Richard Grieco and Noel Ashman, Producers

Steve Stanulis and Richard Grieco, Directors

Narrative Short


Niels Neeskens and Fokke Baarssen, Producers

Fokke Baarssen, Director

Science Fiction Short

"The Beacon"

Chris Staehler, Christopher P. Purdy and

Thomas Haley-Hermiz, Producers

Chris Staehler, Director

Lou Costello Award for Comedy Short


Keith Armonaitis and Fokke Baarssen, Producers

Fokke Baarssen, Director

International Narrative Short

"Are You Volleyball?"


Nima Rabiei, Producer

Mohammad Bakhshi, Director

International Comedy Short



Ivan Perekatov and Natalia Bannikova, Producers

Ivan Perekatov, Director

Emanuel "Manny" Berlingo Award for Best Feature Length Documentary

"Funny You Never Knew"

Andrew Hunt, Producer/Director

Short Documentary

"One Less Flight"

Jennifer Hahn and Alan Goldsher, Producer

Jennifer Hahn, Director

International Short Documentary

"Portrait of the Milliner as yer man himself"


Godfrey Jordan, Producer/Director

Animated Short

"Two Balloons"

Mark C. Smith, Producer/Director

Teresa Darling, Naomi Fish, Wendy Fuller, Beth Gavigan, Javan Ivey, Misha Klein, Sihanouk Mariona, Vanessa Pridgen, Bartiek Prusiewicz

and Suzanne Twining, Animators


"Art of Play"

Dan Buck and Dave Buck, Producers

Homer Liwag, Director

Web Series/New Media


Brittany Portman, Producer

Anthony Patellis, Director

Music Video

"Waiting Tables"

Sakinah Iman, Producer

Evan Seplow and Sakinah Iman, Directors


"Shady Glen"

Ron Harner, Director

Feature - College


(DePaul University)

Elliott Lonsdale, Lucy Lola Manda and Gregory Dixon, Producers

Gregory Dixon, Director

Narrative Short - College

"The Chrysalis"

(Quinnipiac University)

Matt Kravitsky, Richard Olsen and Ross Cohen, Producers

Matt Kravitsky, Director

Documentary Short - College


(Rowen University)

Montana Marose, Peter Chamalian and Tyler Kubicz, Producers

Peter Chamalian, Director

International Narrative Short - College

"Toward the Sun"

(London School of Film)

Rosa Santis, Producer

Monica Santis, Director

Narrative Short - High School

"Grab Him by the-"

(Interlochen Arts Academy, MI)

Lane McKenna, Director

Documentary Short - High School

"Inclusion on the Air"

(Mamaroneck High School, NY)

Eli Canter, 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:

Home Grown Feature

"The Incoherents"

Alex Emanuel, Jared Barel, Jeff Auer and Jordan Barel, Producers

Jared Barel, Director

Home Grown Documentary Feature

"Roadie My Documentary"

TJ Hoffmann, Producer

Andy Strohl, Director

Home Grown Short


Alison Hale, Jo Sanford, David Ramirez and Spencer Bacon, Producers

Alison Hale, Director

Home Grown Comedy Short


Mark Ward and Shannon Meehan, Producers

Mark Ward, Director

Home Grown Documentary Short

"First Steps"

Lou Marillier, Chloe Mamelok and Sara Obeidat, Producers

Lou Marillier and Chloe Mamelok, Directors

Home Grown Music Video

"Everybody Said"

Brian Ostering, Producer

Amanda Duncan, Director

Home Grown Commercial

Nike Spec Commercial "Can't Catch the Dark"- 126 (38)

Jordan Hidalgo, Director

Home Grown Student Short - College



Afrotwin Productions and Paola Ossa, Producers

Poala Ossa, Director

Home Grown Student Documentary Short - High School

"Sonic Highways Middletown"

(Middletown South High School)

Keeley Giblin, Jolene Gianone and Toria Pater, Directors

Home Grown Student Short - High School



Olivia Anton, Writer/Director

Home Grown Student Short - High School Honorable Mention

"The Art of Observation"

(Howell High School)

Annie Fleisch, Director

Home Grown Student PSA - High School

"Are you Enough"

(Communications High School)

Summer Ward, Director

The Garden State Film Festival Movie Music Competition Winners:

Best Theme From A Comedy

He's A Beautiful Boy (Theme from Lil' Balzac)"

Composer: Jan van Oene

Performed by: Jan van Oene, Evan Lincoln, and Shannon Burke

Best Orchestration From A Documentary

World Water Puerto Rico - Main Theme

Composer: Kenneth Blaine

Performed by: Kenneth Blaine

Best Theme From A Home Grown Feature

"The Hospital Room"

Composers: Alan Parness & Larry Weissblum

Performed by: The Stonebridge Jammers

Best Orchestration From An Animation

"Never Give Up"

Composed, orchestrated and conducted by: Sandrine Rudaz

Performed by: Seattle Studio Musicians

Best Musical Score from a Short

"Circus Fantasy"

Composer: Kevin Stahl

Conducted by: Kevin Stahl

Best Musical Score from a Feature

"Fox Medicine"

Composer: Josh Coffey and Otto Sharp

Performed by: Josh Coffey, Otto Sharp, Stephen Montgomery

Home Grown Alternative Rock

"How the Hell Am I Getting Home?"

Composer: Milan Lazistan III, John Busse, Edwin Estevez Jr.

Performed by: Milan & The Sour Goat III

Best Ballad From A Short Film

"Wild One" (The Ballad of Brando)

Composer: Philip Curcuru

Performed by: The Atomik Age Project

Best Pop Song

"Far Away Places"

Composed by: Toni Cornell

Performed by: Toni Cornell

Best Orchestration From An Animated Short

"Skip Rescues Pip"

Composer: Cristina "Trinity" Vélez-Justo

Best Music From a Home Grown Student -Elementary School

"MP News Theme"

Composer: Robert Shiffman

Best Home Grown Pop Duet


Composed by: Marc McBarron

Performed by: Marc McBarron Kessler and Aileen Quinn

Garden State Screenplay Competition Winner

Drew Henriksen

"A Brooklyn Christmas"

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

Best Actor - Feature Film

Jeff Burrell - "Robin"

Best Actress - Feature Film

Sarah-Sofie Boussnina - "The Bird Catcher"

Best Supporting Actor - Feature Film

Jacob Cedergren - "The Bird Catcher"

Best Supporting Actress - Feature Film

Talulah Riley - "The Last Witness"

Best Actor - Short Film

Dan Franco - "The Recursion Theorem"

Best Actress - Short Film

Casey Landman - "Scar"

Best Supporting Actor - Short Film

Matt Riker - "Let Mercy Come"

Best Supporting Actress - Short Film

Michelle Hurst - "Baby Won't You Please Come Home"

Ensemble Acting


Ali Ataeehoor, Salar Daryamadj, Hamed Sheikhi, Saeed Ahmadi, Hesam Kalantari, Meysam Damanze, Sajad Rostami and

Arash Gholam Azad


Honorary Chair

Dr. David Stout

Broader Vision

John R. Elliott Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers


Kim Waltrip

Educators of the Year

Erin Gomez & Linda Krebs

Exceptional Women in Film Award

Lisa G. Black

The Garden State Film Festival Rising Star Award for Acting

Allison Strong

A complete listing of all winners can be found at: https://www.gsff.org/winners/


The Edgewater Fall Bazaar Comes To Edgewater Veterans Field, October 14 Photo
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The Edgewater Fall Bazaar will take place Saturday, October 14th 11am – 4pm at Edgewater Veterans Field. Everyone is invited as there are activities for all ages!

Center Players Presents STEEL MAGNOLIAS This Fall Photo
Center Players Presents STEEL MAGNOLIAS This Fall

Center Players will begin its 2023-24 season with a Signature Series production of the enduringly popular Steel Magnolias. The comedic drama will run weekends October 13-Nov. 5 at Center Playhouse at 35 South Street in downtown Freehold, NJ.

Speranza Theatre Company Presents A CHAIN AROUND THE WORLD And THE NELLIE BLY BOOK CLUB Photo

Speranza Theatre Company presents A Chain Around the World and The Nellie Bly Book Club. A Chain Around the World was written by playwright, Jennie Contuzzi. Performances will run Sept. 16th - 17th at The Apple Tree House.

Interview: Playwright Inda Craig-Galván and WELCOME TO MATTESON! at NJ Rep 9/28 to  Photo
Interview: Playwright Inda Craig-Galván and WELCOME TO MATTESON! at NJ Rep 9/28 to 10/29

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Inda Craig-Galván about her career and the upcoming show at NJ Rep, Welcome To Matteson!

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