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2017 Golden Door International Film Festival To Screen Over 175 Films
originally published: 09/25/2017
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The Golden Door International Film Festival (GDIFF) – founded by Jersey City native Bill Sorvino, and voted as as the Best Film Festival in the state in the NJ Stage Awards two years in a row -- is known for star-studded red carpet galas and for bringing the best of independent filmmaking to audiences, as well as its mission to raise autism awareness through cinema. This year’s festival will screen more than 175 movies at venues throughout Jersey City over four days – from Thursday, October 5 - 8.
The Opening Red Carpet Gala will kick off at the JC Landmark Lowe’sTheatre on Thursday, October 5 with the film, The Girl Who Invented Kissing starring Dash Mihok, Vincent Piazza, Suki Waterhouse, Michael Buscemi, Luke Wilson and Abbie Cornish. “Every town needs a savior, but not every town can be saved” is the film’s tagline. Director Tom Serchio, a Bloomfield NJ native, will be in attendance along with the film’s stars Dash Mihok and Michael Buscemi. Also slated to appear is Giants lineman David Diehl, who narrated a PSA for the film festival on Sirius XM Radio.
The Landmark Lowe’s is also the venue for the Friday Nite Red Carpet Event starting at 7:00pm on Friday, October 6. Featured will be the documentary “Five Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History” based on Helene Stapinski’s true-life national-bestselling memoir about growing up in a family whose 4 generations of murderers, swindlers, bookies, corrupt politicians, and mobster wannabes made their way in Jersey City, New Jersey, the poster child for 20th century urban sleaze. Stapinski will be attending and signing books. Attendees that night will also get to see “Derek’s Friends” – a narrative short written and directed in 2016 by Jersey City filmmaker Joseph G. Sexton, who was only 14-years old at the time. The Rhode Island International Film Festival jury awarded Sexton’s movie the First Prize-Kids Eye International Film Award that same year. Friday’s evening gala will round out with documentary filmmaker Greg Schultz’s look at the complex history of the Jersey City Medical Center, now reimagined as “The Beacon in JC.”
Saturday’s Red Carpet Event features the movie “Almost Paris” directed by Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, who calls the film “a very complex financial story told in personal terms.” In addition to the director, in attendance will be cast members Abigail Hawk, Adrian Martinez, Susan Varon, Adam LeFevre, Wally Marzano Lesnevich, and Michael Sorvino, along with actor Gary Pastore (currently starring in The Deuce on HBO) who served as a producer in this film.
Sunday’s Closing Nite Awards Gala –The Fort Lee Film Commission presents the screening of a recently discovered silent film made in New Jersey, “The Grocery Clerk’s Romance” (Keystone Studio, 1912). Also performing will be the Gotham Easy Jazz Band.
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Festival judges include actors Christian Keiber (Bluebloods), Kerry McGann (Blood Runners), Gary Pastore (The Deuce), Yvonne Maria Schaefer (Happy Birthday), Maureen Van Zandt(The Sopranos), and legendary French film actress Monique Inzinna, along with Casting Director Donna McKenna and Emmy-winning producer Gary Donatelli.
All evenings events are sponsored by Carepoint Health, Norman and Bettina Roberts, and Tito's Vodka along many others.
There will course be much more than just the evening events list above, including movies that further the festival’s philanthropic mission of raising awareness about autism. Please visit goldendoorfilmfestival.org for information on their autism awareness film program and the many other independent films screening throughout Jersey City during the festival.
2018 Westfield International Film Festival To Take Place September 20-23 (WESTFIELD, NJ) -- Anybody can go to a movie theater to watch a film, but the Westfield International Film Festival is bringing movies to the mansion with its sixth season at the James Ward Mansion in downtown Westfield from September 20 - 23, 2018! The festival will span a four day weekend and will include Q&A sessions with actors and filmmakers, networking opportunities, and red carpet parties.JCTC FILM Premiers DEKA-LOG, New Series Depicting Contemporary Urban Life (JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- A new anthology web-series by an up and coming, Jersey City-based filmmaker, premiers at Merseles Studios on August 23rd when Jersey City Theater Center presents DEKA-LOG: a Finding Me story. Doors are at 6:30pm, screening at 7:00pm. Admission is $10.The Newton Theatre Presents a Silent Film Halloween With A Live Orchestra (NEWTON, NJ) -- The Newton Theatre presents a trio of ghostly silent films paired with the original historic orchestral scores on Saturday, October 27 at 3:00pm. Travel back to the early 1900s to cheer and hiss with Buster Keaton in The Haunted House (1921), Laurel and Hardy in Habeus Corpus (1928), and Charlie Chaplin in One A.M. (1916). Between the films, enjoy the rollicking rhythms of the early 20th century as played by The Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra, featuring favorites by Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, and more! Fun for the whole family!A Look At New Jersey Film Festival's Fall 2018 Lineup (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The 36th Bi-annual New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2018 will take place at Rutgers University in New Brunswick from September 14 - October 26. The festival showcases new international films, American independent features, animation, experimental and short subjects, and cutting-edge documentaries through over 30 film screenings. The Festival will run on select Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. The festival is presented by Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies.Montclair Film and Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center To Hold Free Screening of "MILK" (MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Montclair Film and Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center will present a free screening of MILK (2015) on Wednesday, August 29th at 10:30am at Montclair Film’s Cinema505. The screening, presented in celebration of World Breastfeeding Month, seeks to educate and promote breastfeeding among nursing and expecting mothers.
Newark Black Film Festival Richard Wesley is a playwright, screenwriter, and professor of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and has been involved with the Newark Black Film Festival for well over three decades. A Newark native, he’s currently the Chairperson of the festival’s Selection Committee. The NBFF is currently in full swing, with a screening of Cadillac Records tomorrow, and the biennial Paul Robeson Awards for young filmmakers taking place on Wednesday, August 8. This season’s program also features the films Selma, I Called Him Morgan, The Art of the Journey, Coco, and Hidden Figures. We recently spoke with Wesley about the history and mission of the Newark Black Film Festival, the role it plays in the lives of young filmmakers, and a chance encounter with Sidney Poitier that launched him into the film industry.REVIEW: "Skyscraper" Over the last half century, the concept of blockbuster spectacle has flipped on its head. In the 1960s, big budget spectacle meant Steve McQueen jumping over a barbed wire fence on a motorcycle without the aid of a stunt double, or Julie Andrews screaming her lungs out on a Swiss mountainside. Science fiction was relegated to Saturday morning screenings of b-movies, which parents would use to relieve themselves of their tykes while they went shopping. George Lucas changed all that a decade later, and now sci-fi and fantasy dominates the multiplex, while the only movies featuring practical stunts are those low budget straight to VOD action movies designed to showcase the athleticism of former MMA fighters.REVIEW: "BlacKkKlansman" Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman isn’t a remake of Ted V. Mikels’ infamous 1966 grindhouse staple. Rather it’s based on true events (“Dis joint is based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit,” reads the title card, because Lee is apparently a 12-year-old boy), the story of how rookie cop Ron Stallworth (played here in a star-making turn from John David Washington, son of Denzel) became a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1978, despite being an African-American.REVIEW: "When I Sing" Most of the world learned of Linda Chorney in 2012 when her name was listed as one of the Grammy nominees for Best Americana Album. Her film, When I Sing, not only follows her rise from obscurity to the Grammy Awards, it goes much further. It’s a love story between a die hard Red Sox fan and a Yankees fan; a spotlight on how indie artists survive on the road; and a deeply, revealing portrait of how the media and the music industry turned what could have been a wonderful Cinderella story into a very hurtful experience.REVIEW: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" I recall hearing an anecdote concerning a society of pranksters in 1970s London who would take trips en masse to the cinema, only to walk out when or if the title of the movie in question was spoken by a character. That lot would get their money’s worth with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, as it’s not until the closing minutes that a returning original cast member (in a blink and you’ll miss it cameo) informs us that we’re now living in a “Jurassic World.” It’s the sort of cringeworthy moment that would normally cause me to groan, but I was so broken down by the laziness and ineptitude of this fifth installment in the franchise that I couldn’t even muster a sigh by that late point.