The Garden State Film Festival was born in 2002 after a chance encounter in a Sea Girt, New Jersey grocery store by film industry veteran Diane Raver and the well known Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli. Through their deep ties to Hollywood, Mr. Pastorelli and Ms. Raver were able to bring an all encompassing event to the State of New Jersey. It premiered in 2003 and was immediately deemed a huge success.
Since that time, industry notables such as Glenn Close, Frank Vincent, Batman producer Michael Uslan, Austin Pendleton, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Budd Schulberg, Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen, Lainie Kazan, Diane Ladd, Laura Dern, Bebe Neuwirth, Armand Asante, Sally Struthers and our biggest supporter Ed Asner as well as others have lent their support.
Since 2003, thousands of films have made their public premiers, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have attended; and the total infusion of cash to local businesses since inception exceeds $5 million. It was held in Asbury Park, in and around the Convention Center complex. From 2014 to 2017, it was held in Atlantic City. Beginning in 2018, it will return to Asbury Park.
Our event is held on an annual basis in the Spring of each year. In addition, GSFF provides a wide range of outreach and educational programs throughout the entire year. The GSFF is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.