Garden State Film Festival to Welcome Celebrities, Filmmakers & Fans to Atlantic City
The Garden State Film Festival will welcome celebrities, filmmakers and fans to Atlantic City, from Thursday, March 30th through Sunday, April 2nd at Resorts Casino Hotel for the Festival's 15th Anniversary Celebration. The four-day weekend event will feature networking opportunities, hands-on workshops, intriguing and informative panel discussions, and entertaining and fun parties - all in addition to the 225 film screenings scheduled throughout the Festival.The Garden State Film Festival kicks off with a "Meet the Filmmakers" event on Thursday evening, March 30th, at 6 p.m., when attendees can mix and mingle with the filmmakers whose works will be featured throughout the weekend at a cocktail reception followed by a screening of the upcoming films trailers so attendees can make note of the films they are anxious to see during the weekend. On Friday evening, March 31st, the weekend's first film screening (Last Man Club, written and directed by industry veteran Bo Brinkman) will immediately follow a star-studded Red Carpet Gala Networking Event and Cocktail Party which begins at 6:30 p.m. In addition to 225 film screenings scheduled throughout the weekend, other Festival events set for Saturday and Sunday include a hands-on animation workshop presented by Academy Award-nominated LAIKA Studios, several panel discussions, and a live read of the screenplay Dummy. The Festival concludes with the Awards Dinner on Sunday evening. Garden State Film Festival 2017 honorees will be in attendance at the Festival throughout the weekend and they will receive their awards at the black-tie-optional dinner on Sunday, April 2. This year's honorees are:
* Scott Cronick - 2017 Honorary Chair: Cronick is Director of Entertainment Publications for the Press of Atlantic City, and he also hosts a daily radio show on WOND 1400-AM. * Sally Jessy Raphael - Lifetime Achievement Award: Raphael is a TV Talk Show Legend and two-time EMMY winner, in addition to being the first female reality talk show host on TV. The Sally Jessy Raphael Show was the longest-running, female-hosted talk show in television history. In film, she also had memorable cameos in films including The Addams Family and She-Devil. * Brian Dennehy - Beacon Award: A prolific and award-winning actor, Dennehy is a well respected on both screen and stage. His extensive career also includes co-producing, directing and writing several screen productions. * Richard Kind - Spirit of New Jersey Award: Kind, who hails from Trenton, New Jersey, has an extensive resume which includes roles in productions including Inside Out, Spin City and A Serious Man. * Chance Kelly - Wave of Excellence Award: Kelly has more than 70 stage, television and film credits to his name, and he has worked with directors Ridley Scott, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. * Kim Waltrip - 2017 MVP: Waltrip is a long-time friend and supporter of the Garden State Film Festival. She has been the catalyst to bring GSFF some of its favorite films and VIPs. * LAIKA Studios - Excellence in Animation: With multiple ACADEMY AWARD nominations, LAIKA occupies a unique and distinctive place in American cinema by continuously expanding the boundaries of the 120-year-old technique of stop-motion animation. * PEI Kids and Seven13 Films - Broader Vision Award: Each year, GSFF proudly recognizes a deserving organization for filmmaking dedicated to the greater good. Together, PEI Kids and Seven13 Films are dedicated to providing social messages that spark conversation through THE ART OF filmmaking designed to drive education, awareness, and community outreach on important public issues. * Camrus Johnson - GSFF Rising Star 2017: Johnson has worked with The Rockettes, the cast of Jersey Boys, Marvel's Netflix series Luke Cage, and various other productions. When asked to offer advice to other young talent, he says, "It gets really hard at times, but working your way up is the fun part. Mainly because of all the struggles and efforts, we can always look back and see how much we have overcome." Other filmmakers and actors who are attending the 2017 Garden State Film Festival include: Ed Asner, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Steve Wilder, Mike Marino, Heather Brittain O'Scanlon, Langston Fishburne, Morgan Taylor Campbell, Ronnie Marmo, Jay Seals, Garry Pastore, Monika Henreid, and Batman producer Michael Uslan.