Policies & Accessibility

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The Garden State Film Festival is dedicated to developing, monitoring, and maintaining a safe, accessible, and respectful environment for the Garden State Film Festival guests, volunteers, filmmakers, crew, staff, and board of directors. We work to coordinate services and programming that will provide equal access to the widest possible audience, acknowledging race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, creed, and disability as aspects of diversity.

The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) is committed to accessibility and offers free admittance to individuals who use wheelchairs, mobility aids, and/or other power-driven mobility devices and their aide/partner, making it the only event some individuals attend each year due to accessibility and/or financial barriers. GSFF does not receive any funding to offset the cost of those ticket prices. In addition, we are leading the way by encouraging our filmmakers to subtitle their films even if they are in English to accommodate our hearing-impaired patrons adding an under-served senior population to our attendee base. The COVID crisis helped further our accessibility goals as we presented virtually to people who could attend form their own homes. We hope to set a standard that others in our industry will replicate. Providing American Sign Language (ASL) is available with prior notice but providing CART or Real -Time Captioning for deaf- hearing communication, requires additional funding.

ADA POLICY (Americans with Disabilities Act)

The Garden State Film Festival does not discriminate on the basis of disability or diversity in admission or access to, treatment of, or employment in its services, programs, or activities. Upon request, accommodation will be provided to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in Garden State Film Festival services, programs, and activities with at least two weeks prior notice.

The Garden State Film Festival has a designated coordinator to facilitate compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as required by Section 35.107 of the U.S. Department of Justice regulations, and to coordinate compliance with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

While the above laws mandate equal access to people with disabilities, The Garden State Film Festival makes it a priority to establish a workplace and environment that embraces the spirit of the law ensuring an optimal experience for all.

Upon request, information will be made available in alternative formats such as Braille, large print with at least two weeks prior notice.

Please contact us at 877-908-7050 or [email protected] at least two weeks prior to a screening and we will hold it at the venue for you.


The following information applies to in-person, and virtual Garden State Film Festival events and screenings:

ASL – American Sign Language – We provide ASL when requested 2 weeks in advance.  Please contact us at 877-908-7050 or [email protected] to let us know which venue(s) you plan to attend, and every attempt will be made to accommodate you.

Assistive Listening Devices – Assistive Listening Devices are available with at least two weeks prior notice, in some venues for our annual festival. Please contact us at 877-908-7050 or [email protected] to let us know which venue(s) you plan to attend, and every attempt will be made to accommodate you.

Braille – Braille programs are available for our annual festival. As part of our green initiative, Braille programs will be created on demand with two weeks prior notice. Please contact us at 877-908-7050 or [email protected] at least two weeks prior to a screening and we will hold it at the venue for you.

Large Print – Large Print programs are available for our annual festival. As part of our green initiative, Large Print programs will be created on demand with two weeks prior notice. Please contact us at 877-908-7050 or [email protected] at least two weeks prior to a screening and we will hold it at the venue for you.

Subtitles – Since many of our films come from non-English speaking countries around the world, many of our films are subtitled. All subtitled films are designated as such in our printed program and online film information. **Please note that GSFF creates entire film blocks for our hearing-impaired friends that include subtitles in all the films in the block and are designated as such in our program, website.

Venues – The Garden State Film Festival presents in ONLY ADA compliant venues.

Website – Garden State Film Festival is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and in doing so adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines. This website endeavors to conform to level Double-A of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly for all people. This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards compliant HTML/CSS code means any future browsers will also display it correctly. Whilst www.gsff.org strives to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website. We are continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. In the meantime, should you experience any difficulty in accessing www.gsff.org website, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 877-908- 7050 or [email protected]

Wheelchairs, Power-Driven Mobility Devices, and Walkers – Wheelchair and other Power-Driven Mobility Devices seating is available on a first come first serve basis in each venue. All Wheelchair and other Power-Driven Mobility Device users are admitted FREE along with one helper. Ushers will assist those with walkers to their seat. Walkers must be stored in the lobby until requested at the conclusion of the performance.

DEI POLICY (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)

It is the commitment of the Garden State Film Festival to provide, support and advance a culture of inclusion. Our organization celebrates and promotes the diversity of our world through international, independent filmmaking.

No person, in whatever relationship with the organization, shall be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, nationality, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, civil union status, domestic partner status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability, or other protected categories or activity (i.e., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in the complaint process). Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender discrimination and, likewise, will not be tolerated.

We hold it as our priority and responsibility to foster an inclusive and respectful environment, and product, that remains discrimination and harassment-free, throughout all components of our festival, and the planning thereof, for our filmmakers, patrons, supporters, employees, and the communities we represent.

We value and embrace the differences of all our stakeholders, including but not limited to our employees, volunteers, patrons, vendors, consultants, and partners, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, cultural background, native language, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical and mental ability, education, experience, family or marital status, socio-economic status and BIPOC in all aspects of the organization.

Our staff and board of directors will continue to develop and evaluate comprehensive plans to maintain accountability around diversity and inclusion.

This includes:

  • Our establishment of a designated committee and chairperson to facilitate an open-door protocol to receive and assist with any questions or concerns surrounding our policy practices.
  • Access and encouragement to participate in ongoing training in areas of opportunity equality, trust building, discrimination awareness and harassment awareness.

It is our continued effort to create a platform for the diverse voices and perspectives of our artists, and constituents, that will break systemic barriers, and strengthen our ability to make a productive impact locally, nationally, and internationally.

ADA Grievance

This procedure is meant to provide an internal mechanism for the Garden State Film Festival, to be used in the event of a complaint received from its public, regarding accessibility. This procedure will also assure commentary in reference to the organization’s policies concerning ADA compliance. Every effort will be made to satisfy the complainant at the earliest stages of interaction, based upon the organization’s increasing capacity to provide for full physical and programmatic access.

Initiating a Complaint
All persons have the right and are encouraged to report immediately regarding suspected violations of the organization’s Nondiscrimination Policy to the ADA Coordinator.

Information Gathering

The Access Liaison (Venue Czar) will communicate with the complainant to determine the nature of the complaint, and create an open dialogue with the complainant.

Depending upon the location of the complaint, other staff may be involved in this initial process. The goal of this exchange is to address the complainant’s need as quickly and positively as possible, within the scope of the organization’s ability to meet that need, and to use that information to assess future needs determinations. The Access Liaison will document all information received.

Complainant Unsatisfied

Following the Initial Interview, if the client is not satisfied by the initial information gathering process/interview, the Access Liaison will encourage the complainant to participate in additional mediation which would include the Garden State Film Festival Director of Operations.

If the client is not satisfied by the above additional mediation, the Access Liaison will assist the client in preparing a written description of the problem, which will be presented for review to the organization’s ADA Advisory Committee (This will need to be developed, and should contain at least the Board Chair or other legal representative, and the Vice President of Programming and Operations). This complaint must include:

  • Name, Address, telephone number of complainant
  • Detailed description of complaint, including date and time
  • Location of access barrier
  • Client’s recommendation for resolution
  • Written Complaint

The Access Liaison will assure the complainant that the purposes of the Advisory Committee’s review is to ensure that a solution is devised that will meet the needs of the client to the best of its ability. This will be done within established programs and facilities, and the committee will consider establishing new policies, programs and facility improvements to ensure this success.

Reviews of Written Complaint

Review of the complaint will take place within 30 (thirty) days after receipt of written complaint. The committee will consider:

Is the complaint valid? Was access denied?

What were the circumstances of the denied access? Is this a standard or unusual condition?

Was lack of access a result of policy, and if so, is a new policy warranted? What must happen for access? Are there possible alternatives?

Are there any mitigating factors that would limit resolution to the problem?

What is to be done to assure success in the future? Will the solution demand funding? If so, how will it be funded and on what timeline?

What follow-up should be done with complainant and by whom?

The complainant must be assured that the recommendations of the committee will be presented to the Board of Trustees of State Theatre. The complainant is required to sign the recommendation(s) as acceptable to him/her, agreeing that if the recommendation is followed, the matter is therefore closed.

Resolution of Complaint

At the next appropriate Board of Directors meeting, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee for resolution are presented, and a decision is made based upon that recommendation to allocate existing funds and resources and/or to include the recommendations as part of ongoing resource development.

All staff are then notified by the Access Liaison of the nature of the grievance and its resolution. The recommended solution is implemented.

Delivery Standards & Refund Policy

Delivery Standards:

GSFF will make every reasonable attempt to deliver items in the shortest time frame possible. GSFF can not be held responsible for delays caused by USPS and other carriers.

Return/Refund Policy:

GSFF has a no return, exchanges, or refund for delivered items (includes all tickets) policy.


Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the continuing policy of the Garden State Film Festival to provide equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental handicap/disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or other classifications protected by applicable law.  Specifically, employment opportunities are and shall be open to all qualified applicants solely on the basis of their experience, aptitudes, abilities and training.  Advancement is and shall be based on the individual’s achievement, perform­ance, ability, attitude and potential for promotion.

The Garden State Film Festival is committed to providing reasonable accommodations where necessary, feasible and required by applicable law.  Employees seeking an accommodation must bring their request to the Lauren Concar Sheehy, Executive Director.  When an accommodation is requested, the Executive Director will meet and discuss the situation with the employee and attempt to reach a mutually agreeable, reasonable accommodation.

GSFF is committed to act in compliance with all pertinent state and federal EEO regulations including but not limited to: the Fair Labor Standards, the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Privacy Policy

Thank you for choosing to be part of our community at Garden State Film Festival (“Company”, “we”, “us”, or “our”). We are committed to protecting your personal information and your right to privacy. If you have any questions or concerns about our policy, or our practices with regards to your personal information, please contact us at [email protected]. 

When you visit our website www.gsff.org, and use our services, you trust us with your personal information. We take your privacy very seriously. In this privacy notice, we describe our privacy policy. We seek to explain to you in the clearest way possible what information we collect, how we use it and what rights you have in relation to it. We hope you take some time to read through it carefully, as it is important. If there are any terms in this privacy policy that you do not agree with, please discontinue use of our Sites and our services.

This privacy policy applies to all information collected through our website (such as www.gsff.org), and/or any related services, sales, marketing or events (we refer to them collectively in this privacy policy as the “Sites“). 

Please read this privacy policy carefully as it will help you make informed decisions about sharing your personal information with us.  



















Information automatically collected 

In Short: Some information – such as IP address and/or browser and device characteristics – is collected automatically when you visit our Sites.

We automatically collect certain information when you visit, use or navigate the Sites. This information does not reveal your specific identity (like your name or contact information) but may include device and usage information, such as your IP address, browser and device characteristics, operating system, language preferences, referring URLs, device name, country, location, information about how and when you use our Sites and other technical information. This information is primarily needed to maintain the security and operation of our Sites, and for our internal analytics and reporting purposes.

Like many businesses, we also collect information through cookies and similar technologies.

Information collected from other sources 

In Short:  We may collect limited data from public databases, marketing partners, and other outside sources.   

We may obtain information about you from other sources, such as public databases, joint marketing partners, as well as from other third parties. Examples of the information we receive from other sources include: social media profile information; marketing leads and search results and links, including paid listings (such as sponsored links).  



In Short:  We process your information for purposes based on legitimate business interests, the fulfillment of our contract with you, compliance with our legal obligations, and/or your consent.  

We use personal information collected via our Sites for a variety of business purposes described below. We process your personal information for these purposes in reliance on our legitimate business interests, in order to enter into or perform a contract with you, with your consent, and/or for compliance with our legal obligations. We indicate the specific processing grounds we rely on next to each purpose listed below.  

We use the information we collect or receive:     

To send you marketing and promotional communications. We and/or our third party marketing partners may use the personal information you send to us for our marketing purposes, if this is in accordance with your marketing preferences. You can opt-out of our marketing emails at any time (see the “ WHAT ARE YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS ” below).         

Fulfill and manage your orders. We may use your information to fulfill and manage your orders, payments, returns, and exchanges made through the Sites.                

Request Feedback. We may use your information to request feedback and to contact you about your use of our Sites.                  

To protect our Sites. We may use your information as part of our efforts to keep our Sites safe and secure (for example, for fraud monitoring and prevention).                          

For other Business Purposes. We may use your information for other Business Purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Sites, products, services, marketing and your experience.                             



In Short:  We only share information with your consent, to comply with laws, to protect your rights, or to fulfill business obligations.   

We may process or share data based on the following legal basis:

  • Consent: We may process your data if you have given us specific consent to use your personal information in a specific purpose. 
  • Legitimate Interests: We may process your data when it is reasonably necessary to achieve our legitimate business interests. 
  • Performance of a Contract: Where we have entered into a contract with you, we may process your personal information to fulfill the terms of our contract. 
  • Legal Obligations: We may disclose your information where we are legally required to do so in order to comply with applicable law, governmental requests, a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process, such as in response to a court order or a subpoena (including in response to public authorities to meet national security or law enforcement requirements). 
  • Vital Interests: We may disclose your information where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding potential violations of our policies, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety of any person and illegal activities, or as evidence in litigation in which we are involved.

More specifically, we may need to process your data or share your personal information in the following situations:   

  • Vendors, Consultants and Other Third-Party Service Providers. We may share your data with third party vendors, service providers, contractors or agents who perform services for us or on our behalf and require access to such information to do that work. Examples include: payment processing, data analysis, email delivery, hosting services, customer service and marketing efforts. We may allow selected third parties to use tracking technology on the Sites, which will enable them to collect data about how you interact with the Sites over time. This information may be used to, among other things, analyze and track data, determine the popularity of certain content and better understand online activity. Unless described in this Policy, we do not share, sell, rent or trade any of your information with third parties for their promotional purposes.   
  • Business Transfers. We may share or transfer your information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company. 
  • Third-Party Advertisers. We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit the Sites. These companies may use information about your visits to our Website(s) and other websites that are contained in web cookies and other tracking technologies in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you.
  • Affiliates. We may share your information with our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this privacy policy. Affiliates include our parent company and any subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that we control or that are under common control with us.       
  • Business Partners. We may share your information with our business partners to offer you certain products, services or promotions.       



In Short:  We only share information with the following third parties.  

We only share and disclose your information with the following third parties. We have categorized each party so that you may be easily understand the purpose of our data collection and processing practices. If we have processed your data based on your consent and you wish to revoke your consent, please contact us.  

  • Affiliate Marketing Programs
  • Amazon Affiliation
  • Communicate and Chat with Users
  • Constant Contact
  • Content Optimization 
  • Google Site Search, YouTube Video Embed, Google Fonts and Socio
  • Functionality and Infrastructure Optimization
  • Vultr, Cloudflare, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud CDN, StackPath
  • Donation Platforms
  • PayPal and USAePay
  • Social Media Sharing and Advertising
  • Facebook social plugins
  • Web and Mobile Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • Website Performance Monitoring
  • Pingdom and Detectify
  • Event Scheduling Service
  • Socio



In Short:  We may use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect and store your information.  

We may use cookies and similar tracking technologies (like web beacons and pixels) to access or store information. Specific information about how we use such technologies and how you can refuse certain cookies is set out in our Cookie Policy.



In Short:  Yes, we use Google Maps for the purpose of providing better service.  

This website, mobile application, or Facebook application uses Google Maps APIs. You may find the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service here. To better understand Google’s Privacy Policy, please refer to this link 

By using our Maps API Implementation, you agree to be bound by Google’s Terms of Service. We may use information about location in conjunction with data from other data providers.         



In Short:  We are not responsible for the safety of any information that you share with third-party providers who advertise, but are not affiliated with, our websites.   

The Sites may contain advertisements from third parties that are not affiliated with us and which may link to other websites, online services or mobile applications. We cannot guarantee the safety and privacy of data you provide to any third parties. Any data collected by third parties is not covered by this privacy policy. We are not responsible for the content or privacy and security practices and policies of any third parties, including other websites, services or applications that may be linked to or from the Sites. You should review the policies of such third parties and contact them directly to respond to your questions.        



In Short:  We keep your information for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this privacy policy unless otherwise required by law.  

We will only keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary for the purposes set out in this privacy policy, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law (such as tax, accounting or other legal requirements). No purpose in this policy will require us keeping your personal information for longer than 2 years. 

When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.



In Short:  We aim to protect your personal information through a system of organizational and technical security measures.  

We have implemented appropriate technical and organizational security measures designed to protect the security of any personal information we process. However, please also remember that we cannot guarantee that the internet itself is 100% secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal information, transmission of personal information to and from our Sites is at your own risk. You should only access the services within a secure environment. 



In Short:  We do not knowingly collect data from or market to children under 18 years of age.  

We do not knowingly solicit data from or market to children under 18 years of age. By using the Sites, you represent that you are at least 18 or that you are the parent or guardian of such a minor and consent to such minor dependent’s use of the Sites. If we learn that personal information from users less than 18 years of age has been collected, we will deactivate the account and take reasonable measures to promptly delete such data from our records. If you become aware of any data we have collected from children under age 18, please contact us at [email protected].  



In Short:  In some regions, such as the European Economic Area, you have rights that allow you greater access to and control over your personal information. You may review, change, or terminate your account at any time.   

In some regions (like the European Economic Area), you have certain rights under applicable data protection laws. These may include the right (i) to request access and obtain a copy of your personal information, (ii) to request rectification or erasure; (iii) to restrict the processing of your personal information; and (iv) if applicable, to data portability. In certain circumstances, you may also have the right to object to the processing of your personal information. To make such a request, please use the contact details  provided below. We will consider and act upon any request in accordance with applicable data protection laws. 

If we are relying on your consent to process your personal information, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Please note however that this will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before its withdrawal.   

If you are resident in the European Economic Area and you believe we are unlawfully processing your personal information, you also have the right to complain to your local data protection supervisory authority. You can find their contact details here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/bodies/authorities/index_en.htm       

Cookies and similar technologies: Most Web browsers are set to accept cookies by default. If you prefer, you can usually choose to set your browser to remove cookies and to reject cookies. If you choose to remove cookies or reject cookies, this could affect certain features or services of our Sites. To opt-out of interest-based advertising by advertisers on our Sites  visit  http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ .        



Most web browsers and some mobile operating systems and mobile applications include a Do-Not-Track (“DNT”) feature or setting you can activate to signal your privacy preference not to have data about your online browsing activities monitored and collected. No uniform technology standard for recognizing and implementing DNT signals has been finalized. As such, we do not currently respond to DNT browser signals or any other mechanism that automatically communicates your choice not to be tracked online. If a standard for online tracking is adopted that we must follow in the future, we will inform you about that practice in a revised version of this Privacy Policy. 



In Short:  Yes, if you are a resident of California, you are granted specific rights regarding access to your personal information.   

California Civil Code Section 1798.83, also known as the “Shine The Light” law, permits our users who are California residents to request and obtain from us, once a year and free of charge, information about categories of personal information (if any) we disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes and the names and addresses of all third parties with which we shared personal information in the immediately preceding calendar year. If you are a California resident and would like to make such a request, please submit your request in writing to us using the contact information provided below. 

If you are under 18 years of age, reside in California, and have a registered account with the Sites, you have the right to request removal of unwanted data that you publicly post on the Sites. To request removal of such data, please contact us using the contact information provided below, and include the email address associated with your account and a statement that you reside in California. We will make sure the data is not publicly displayed on the Sites, but please be aware that the data may not be completely or comprehensively removed from our systems.



In Short:  Yes, we will update this policy as necessary to stay compliant with relevant laws.  

We may update this privacy policy from time to time. The updated version will be indicated by an updated “Revised” date and the updated version will be effective as soon as it is accessible. If we make material changes to this privacy policy, we may notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to review this privacy policy frequently to be informed of how we are protecting your information. 



If you have questions or comments about this policy, you may email us at [email protected] or by post to:

Garden State Film Festival    

711 Boston Blvd

Sea Girt, NJ 08750

United States

Last Updated: February 8, 2019