2023 Winners


Please note that selection of any and all published winners is at the sole discretion of the Garden State Film Festival (“GSFF”) judging panel. The GSFF reserves the right to not select a “winner” or award for a particular category in any given year. The GSFF is under no obligation to award a category. By participating in the GSFF, the participant acknowledges this disclaimer and waives his/her/their right to contest any decision by the judging panel to award or not award in a category.

Narrative Feature
“The Baker”
Nicholas Tabarrok, William G. Santor, Jason Jallet, Producers
Jonathan Sobol, Director

International Narrative Feature
(Cayman Islands)
“Daniel’s Gotta Die”
Nicholas Tabarrok, William G. Santor, Jason Jallet, Producers
Jeremy LaLonde, Director

M. Carroll Raver Award for Cinematography
Brad Ohlund, Greg MacGillivray, Shaun MacGillivray

Narrative Short
“Fight Like a Mother”
Katie Larsen, Ashley Platz, Michelle Lewitt, Olivier Gagnon, Producers
Meagan Noel Fulps, Director/Producer

Science Fiction Short
Mike Demille, Producer
Zachary Karem, Director

Lou Costello Award for Comedy Short
Steve Melone, Justin Guerrieri, Michael DiGioia, Anthony Echo, Producers
Steve Melone, Director

International Narrative Short
Richard Raaphorst, Bram Roza, Producers
Ruwan Heggelman, Director

International Comedy Short
Dženita Čamo, Producer
Sjoerd van Wijk, Director

Emanuel “Manny” Berlingo Award for Best Feature Length Documentary
“Heart & Soul”
Bronwyn Berry, Liz Nickles, Producers
Kenny Vance, Director

International Feature Documentary
“Global Wagner”
Moritz Bundschuh, Producer
Axel Brüggemann, Director

Short Horror
“Angel City Horror”
Josh Murphy, Producer
Matt McWilliams, Director/Producer

Short Documentary
“Fields of Devotion”
Xenia Morin, Dena Katzen Seidel, Producers
Dena Katzen Seidel, Micah Seidel, Directors

International Short Documentary
Shaun MacGillivray, Producer
Greg MacGillivray, Director

Animated Short
“Gene’s Sixth Symphony”
Rick Silanskas, Larry Wilhite, Producers
Jordi Garcia, Director

International Animated Short
“The Sprayer”
(Islamic Republic of Iran)
M.Reza Karimi Saremi, Negah Khezre Fardiar, Producers
Farnoosh Abedi, Director

International Web Series/New Media
“Chateau Laurier -Season 2”
James Stewart, Producer/Director

Narrative Short – College/Graduate School
Rajeev Colton, Producer
Raghav Puri, Director

International Narrative Short – College
“The Thing”
Arad Navizi, Producer/Director

International Animated Short – High School
(Beijing World Youth Academy)
Julie Zheng, Director
International Narrative – High School
“Asset of Teeth”
(Emerging Limerick Filmmakers)
Róisín Leavy-Sahin, Director 

International Short – High School
(Drømtorp VGS)
Adrian Antonsen, Director


The Garden State Film Festival would like to recognize films shot in the State of New Jersey with the following winners in the “Home Grown Award” categories:


Home Grown Feature Award
Honorable Mention
Anthony Edward Curry, Director
Anthony Edward Curry, Producer

Home Grown Documentary Feature
“Strength Through Visibility: Twenty Years of Pride in Jersey City”
Gregory J. Corrado, Producer
Christopher Englese, Director

Home Grown Short
“If We Run”
Millie Dweck, Producer
Anthony Yebra, Director

Home Grown Short Horror
Jason Cicalese, Producer
Tom Ryan, Director

Home Grown Sci-Fi
“Glass Eyes”
Brian May Producer
Daniel Meyers, Producer/Director

Home Grown Family
“Andy & Kaliope”
Rachel Handler,Shannon Ryan, Producers
Crystal Arnette, Catriona Rubenis-Stevens, Directors

Home Grown Animation Short
“A Polar Bear Story”
Vanessa Nilsson, Director

Home Grown Documentary Short
“Dark Sacred Night”
Shana Weber, Producer
Jared Flesher, Director

Home Grown Documentary Short
“The Jersey Storm: Sandy in Monmouth County”
Christine Giordano Hanlon, Producer
Adam Worth, Director

Home Grown Music Video
Ronald Graham, Marci Mazzarotto, Allison Strong, Producers
Mateo Márquez, Allison Strong, Directors

Home Grown Student Short Documentary – College
“Broken Bottles: A South Jersey Legacy”
Diana Nicolae, Producer
Darien Brown, Director

Home Grown PSA – High School
 “Conservation Dog”
(Jackson Liberty High School)
Rebecca Chiafullo, Director
Home Grown Drama – High School
(Bridgewater Raritan High School)
Chris Zou, Director

Home Grown Narrative – High School
“Taking Inventory”
(Communications High School of Monmouth County)
Aaron Diament, Director

Home Grown Romance – High School
“Maya! The Musical”
(Howell High School)
Meaghan Krantz, Ella Lambiase, Director 
Home Grown Sci-Fi Short – High School
“The Summer Wind”
(Jackson Liberty High School)
Lukas Cornine, Director

Home Grown Suspense – High School
“Sugar Rush”
(Middletown High School South)
Jay M Fielding, Director 

Home Grown Short – High School
“She Gazed Into The Mirror And The Sun Stared Back”
(Howell High School)
Meaghan Krantz, Director

New Jersey Hometown Documentary Short – High School

“Las Raices del Corazon”
(Collingswood High School)
Yesenia Aguilar-Medina, Director

1st Runner Up
“The Culinary Arts of South Orange”
(Columbia High School)
Stella Grace Williams, Dylan Charles Meda, Directors


Ron Perlman – “The Baker”

Betsy Brandt – “The Grotto”

Harvey Keitel – “The Baker”

Samantha Kaine – “The Baker”

“Daniel’s Gotta Die”
Joel David Moore, Jason Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carly Chaikin
Chantel Riley, Dax Ravina, Varun Saranga, Iggy Pop, Bob Saget

Austin Pendleton – “Ball and Vase”

Pamela Jayne Morgan – “The Principal’s Assembly”
Ashley Platz – “Fight Like a Mother”

Eme Ikwuakor – “Fight Like a Mother”

Alyshia Ochse – “Fight Like a Mother”

2023 Screenplay Winners

This event is sponsored in part by:

Ink Tip logo

Curly's Camp for Girls (and Boys)

Written by Kelly A. Byrne

Kelly Byrne is a writer from New Jersey, where half of New York’s talent is actually from.  

She started writing after she realized playing sports competitively meant a lot of running and kept writing after she won a summer camp award for writing and directing a short film. She later won the thesis prize at Princeton University for outstanding work on an original screenplay about a penny discovering her self-worth. 

She lives in Los Angeles where she has worked as a director’s assistant on such classics as “The Curse of Llorona” and “Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” - and spent two years working in development at Amazon Studios.   

Now a student at the Stark Producing Program at USC, she spends her spare time writing for kids and family audiences to give them the great comedies they deserve, while asking the tough and sometimes ambiguous questions of what it means to grow up.

Synopsis: While during the school 14-year-old Seth is a bit of a nerd, at camp he’s a god. Only this year, his realm has merged with the girl’s camp. Determined to keep the status quo, Seth risks the only friends he's ever known for a summer of hijinks and games.

Short Screenplay Winner:


Written by Jenny Goddard-Garcia

Jenny Goddard-Garcia spent the first half of her career making short films while working in production, mainly as an Assistant Director, on indie feature films and music videos in Austin, TX. I have written, directed, and produced three of my own short films. In addition, she has produced numerous shorts and one feature with amazing collaborators.  Having relocated to Los Angeles to focus entirely on her writing career, she is enjoying getting to know the city. Big congrats Jenny on your win!

Synopsis: Born into a society that punishes the different, eighteen-year-old Kalinda struggles to maintain her secret ability to breathe flames, as a chance encounter with a group of amateur fire dancers tempts her to risk living a life that burns brightly.

Movie Music Winners


Best Retro Song
“Back to 1964”
Composer: Philip Curcuru
Performed by: The Atomik Age Project

Best Pop Song
Composers: Krysta Youngs, Julia Sinclair
Performed by: Krysta Youngs

Best Movie Theme
Composer: Beverly Cole Putnam
Performed by: Vitor Gonçalves

Best Blue Grass Song
Composer: Eric Elterman and Kensuke Shoji
Performed by: Kensuke Shoji and Eric Elterman

Best Vocals in a Home Grown Score
“Cici’s Sonata – Music Score”
Composer: Edward B. Kessel
Performed by: Edward B. Kessel

Best Score from a Short
“A Sunny Lovely Day”
Composer: Alberto Anaya
Performed by: Alberto Anaya

Best Orchestral Score from an Animation
“The Last Cloudweaver”
Composer: Ros Gilman
Performed by:  Ros Gilman, Prague Metropolitan Orchestra

Best Country Song
“Night Skies”
Composer: Matthew Hackett & Husayn Ruhe aka the Puge
Performed by: Matthew Hackett & Husayn Ruhe aka the Puge

Best Theme from a Documentary
“Songs of Little Saigon”
Composer: Sid De La Cruz
Performed by: Tina Huynh, Jason Nguyen, Elizabeth Le, Minh Nguyen.
Conducted by Sid De La Cruz