Honorary Chairs


Excellence in Animation Award


Laika Films

Founded in 2005, LAIKA has grown to occupy a unique and distinctive place in American cinema by continuously expanding the boundaries of the 120-year-old technique of stop-motion animation. Their accomplishments include the  2009’s Oscar®-nominated Coraline, followed by the Oscar®- and BAFTA-nominated ParaNorman in 2012. The Boxtrolls hit theaters in 2014, garnering the studio its third straight Oscar® nomination. Their fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, was also an award winning film.

Broader Vision Award

Coming Soon


GSFF  Rising Star 2016


Camrus Johnson

The Garden State Film Festival proudly presents the 2017 Rising Star Award to Camrus Johnson. He graduated from high school with honors at which time he received a remarkably heavy Thespian Gold Medal. Johnson got 14 college callbacks at the Thespian Conference, however, he decided to head to New York City to pursue his career. Camrus has worked with the Rockettes, the cast of Jersey Boys, Marvel’s Netflix series, Luke Cage and various others.  Camrus’s undeniable passion and work ethic has gotten him to where he is today. When asked advice for other young talent he replied, “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”. Congratulations, Camrus from your GSFF family! 


Garden State Film Festival – Donna Lisa Rothstein Screenplay Competition was instituted to recognize the importance of the writer as the foundation for a really great film. Coordinated by our friends at the New Jersey Screenwriter’s Network, our goal is to shine a spotlight on this year’s winning screenplay, host a live stage reading by professional actors, and create an atmosphere conducive to industry professionals attending and supporting this great script.