Honorary Chair

GSFF is proud to announce Dr. David Stout as the 2019 Honorary Chair. 

Dr. David Stout currently serves as President of Brookdale Community College.  Prior to his selection as the College’s 7th President, David served in various roles at Brookdale over 21 years, including Vice President for Student Success, Dean of Enrollment Development and Student Affairs, Dean of the Freehold Campus, Department Chair and Professor of Psychology and Human Services, Student Development Specialist, and Learning Assistant.  

As President, Dr. Stout has enacted strategies to predict and influence enrollment trends, address facility needs, analyze and control expenditures, update major institutional strategic plans, build financial reserves, and develop programs that address the needs of Monmouth County residents. 

President, Brookdale Community College


Independent Spirit Award

GSFF is proud to award August Diehl with the Independent Spirit Award

August starred in Stefan Ruzowitzky’s THE COUNTERFEITERS which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007. He is best known for his stand out performances in Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and SALT opposite Angelina Jolie. He has most recently been seen as one of the leads in Stephen Poliakoff’s CLOSE TO THE ENEMY for BBC1 and in cinemas in Robert Zemeckis’ ALLIED for Paramount with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. August can next be seen playing lead roles in Raoul Peck’s LE JEUNE KARL MARX which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and in Terrence Malick’s highly anticipated RADEGUND. He has just wrapped on the independent features, THE BIRD CATCHER and Thomas Vinterberg’s KURSK.

Lifetime Achievement

GSFF is proud to announce Siobhan Fallon Hogan as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

Siobhan Fallon Hogan – actresswill be seen this May on Fox TV’s new seriesWayward Pines as Matt Dillon’s secretary. Some of Hogan’s many films include Men In Black, Forrest Gump, The Negotiator, Holes, Dancer in the Dark, Charlotte’s Web, The Bounty Hunter, Fools Rush In, Dogville, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Funny Games and New In Town. Her many television credits include SNL. Seinfeld, 30 Rock and Law & Order. She is a member of the Atlantic Theatre in NY, and has performed with the NY Shakespeare Festival in Central Park as Phoebe in As You It.  Hogan has an MFA in Acting from the Catholic University of America and a BA from LeMoyne College. She is married to builder, Peter Hogan and they reside in Rumson, New Jersey with their three children Bernadette, Peter & Sinead.


Spirit of New Jersey

GSFF is proud to award Brian O’Halloran with the Spirit of New Jersey Award.

Brian O’Halloran was born on December 20, 1969 in New York City, New York, USA as Brian Christopher O’Halloran. He is an actor and producer, known for Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995) and Clerks II (2006).

 Brian has been working in film and theater industry for over 30 years. He
started performing in live theater in high school but it was with his first film role
being Dante Hicks in Kevin Smith’s 1994 cult indie hit Clerks, it is the role he is
most noted for.
Brian has worked with some of the film industry’s best such as Matt
Damon, Ben Affleck, George Carlin, John Leguizamo, Rosario Dawson, Ally
Sheedy. Brian has been in over 30 film productions such as Kevin Smith's :
Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Vulgar,
and Clerks 2. The Canadian film and LIIFE award winning Drop Dead Roses.
He worked with director M. Night Shyamalan on The Happening and
director James L. Brooks comedy How do you know?. He also worked on
director Steven Mena’s film Brutal Massacre – a comedy also a LIIFE award
His work on television includes Kevin Smith’s TV show on AMC Comic
Book Men and Clerks the Animated Series on ABC. He has also been a voice on
the Pokemon cartoon TV and movie series.
Brian has attended numerous film festivals around the world, including
Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto. He has be a jury member and awards host at
the Nashville, Long Island, Humboldt, and Phoenix film festivals.
As well as being involved in the development of a number of new plays
and films in the past few years he has jumped on the other side of the camera
producing independent films.
He currently has three films in post-production. As well as working with
Jason Mewes on Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, he worked with Jason on and looks
forward to the release of Jason's directorial debut of Madness in the Method.
He also continues to work with productions companies to produce and
perform in theater productions.
When not working on films or plays he can be seen around the world at
various Comic Cons and Comedy clubs. You can follow his Twitter & Instagram
is @BrianCOHalloran

2019 Rising Star Award Winner

Actress and singer

Actress and singer Allison Strong can be seen starring alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the Netflix original feature THE WEEK OF, released on April 27th, 2018. She is currently recurring as Talia Goldstein in Season Two of the Emmy-winning Amazon Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  Strong’s television credits also include NBC’s THE BLACKLIST and Nickelodeon’s DORA AND FRIENDS. As a teenager, Strong made her Broadway debut as an ensemble cast member of BYE BYE BIRDIE. She has since gone on to perform in the Broadway cast of MAMMA MIA, while simultaneously completing her studies as a Musical Theater Major and honors student at Montclair State University. She also starred as Ado Annie in Daniel Fish’s OKLAHOMA! at Bard Summerscape. Ben Brantley of the New York Times called her performance “captivating.” Strong’s theater aspirations began at age 9, when she became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s chorus and appeared in productions of CARMEN and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Strong is an alumna of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project and ASCAP’s Pop Songwriter’s Project. In 2014, she released her debut album MARCH TOWARDS THE SUN and was featured in Diego Luna’s Fusion Network documentary series BACK HOME, filmed in her family’s native Colombia. She continues to record original music in English and Spanish, and will be releasing a new single in early 2019. Strong celebrates her Colombian heritage and was born and raised in Hudson County, New Jersey.


Director, producer, actress and long time GSFF supporter and friend, Kim Waltrip started her career as a model in New York City. Her projects have premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and Palm Springs Film Festival. She has been the catalyst to bring GSFF some of its favorite films as well as VIPs. Congratulations, Kim for all you have accomplished and thank you for your continued support of GSFF.

Broader Vision Award Winner

The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® has been selected as the Garden State Film Festival Broader Vision Award!


 The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preventing drunk driving deaths and injuries by promoting the use of responsible designated drivers. The HERO Campaign was established by the family of Navy Ensign John R. Elliott of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in July, 2000, two months after graduating from the United States Naval Academy.


The Campaign is saving lives throughout New Jersey and surrounding states in partnership with law enforcement; schools and colleges; federal and state highway safety organizations; the licensed beverage industry; and professional sports teams including the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Football Giants, the New England Patriots, and Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky.


Since 2000, the HERO Campaign, has grown into a major movement, receiving numerous state and national awards. A Stockton University poll in southern New Jersey found that over 40 percent of those polled said they had served as designated drivers due to the campaign, which has contributed to a 20 percent reduction in alcohol-related fatalities and incidents in the state over the past decade.

Educators of the Year

Erin Gomez has over 20 years teaching experience within the state of NJ.  After receiving her BA in Education from East Stroudsburg University, PA, she started her  career as a Kindergarten teacher at St. Jerome School in West Long Branch, NJ. Five years later she began working in the Keansburg School District as a 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.  During this time period, Erin earned her MA in Education with a Reading Specialist Certification from Georgian Court University. For the last 15 years, Erin has been instructing the Gifted and Talented Program.  She enjoys working with the G&T students in grades 2-8 and providing enrichment to the first grade students of the district. She is an active member and Secretary of the Shore Consortium for the Gifted and Talented, an organization dedicated to providing curriculum-driven enriching opportunities to Gifted Students in some of Monmouth County’s smaller school districts.

Linda Krebs has over 20 years of experience in public education in New Jersey. Starting out as a teacher for the Gifted & Talented, Linda went on to teach middle school language arts and then became a school library media specialist, taking on additional roles as enrichment coordinator, technology coach, and returning to her roots as a teacher of the gifted and talented. Currently Linda is the school library media specialist at HW Mountz School in Spring Lake, a position she loves. She has experience in the public school environment working with students from preschool through grade 8. Linda received her BA in American Studies from Drew University; an MA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming; completed graduate education courses through Kean University, and holds a Master of Library & Information Science from Rutgers University. Linda is an active member of the Shore Consortium for the Gifted & Talented, an organization dedicated to providing curriculum-driven enriching opportunities to smaller school districts.