The world is adapting to a new normal, with large group gatherings suspended in the interest of public health. Small businesses and event producers have been hit particularly hard. So, this post is dedicated to the resilience of the local proprietors and leaders who are finding a way to foster human connection through the uncertainty.
Hopefully, you had a chance to partake in one of DJ D-Nice’s (@dnice) social distancing dance parties last week on IG Live. And now, you are looking to incorporate more online entertainment into your quarantine routine. You are in luck because the upcoming Garden State Film Festival (March 26-29, 2020) has a virtual line-up packed with cinematic fun for all ages.
To home-schooling parents, GSFF has a children’s film block and a series of high-schooler made films on Saturday, March 28th #urwelcome 🙂
**NOTE** We took a fun day trip from NYC to GSFF in 2018 and recommend a future in-person visit. Our highlights included the LAIKA animation workshop (creators of Boxtrolls), an actor’s panel featuring the always cool Armand Assante, and brunch at Asbury Park restaurant The Speakeatery.
The Garden State Film Festival was founded by film industry veteran Diane Raver and actor Robert Pastorelli (Dances with Wolves, Murphy Brown). The event and its founders have played a huge role in the revitalization of Asbury Park, NJ, and it was intentionally planned for a shoulder month to drive incremental tourist traffic. Thanks to the grit of a small staff and hundreds of volunteers, the event typically draws over 25K visitors from around the world and has spurred $9M in economic development since its inception in 2002.
This year, GSFF is going virtual with the help of some creative contingency planning by Executive Director Lauren Concar Sheehy and the team. They are leveraging their private servers to live stream each of the 240+ films at the originally scheduled times. Great care has been taken to protect the filmmakers’ intellectual property, and only ticket holders can access. As an incentive for supporting virtually this year, GSFF will honor 2020 film screening tickets in 2021.
PURCHASE HERE for $15 single screening block, $25-$30 day pass, and $55 multi-pass (access to all screening events) tickets
We had a chance to speak with GSFF’s Executive Director Lauren, who flagged some highlights of this year’s event:
- 240+ films, including shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos, TV pilots, and more
- Meet the filmmakers with select trailers screening the evening of Thursday, March 26th
- Facebook Live Q&A with filmmakers after each film block
- All About Music film block (P3), including Avicii music video for “Heaven”
- Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, a movie about the first female filmmaker, narrated by Jodie Foster (block BC14)
- Hungry to Learn, a Soledad O’Brien and Geeta Gandbhir documentary highlighting the issue of college students who must choose between paying for tuition and basic needs like food and shelter (block BK9)
- Unclaimed Remains, one of several films honoring the military and veterans (block SC45)
- Over 50 films made by high schoolers from around the world (blocks JS26 & JS31)
- Master Moley by Royal Invitation, a kid-friendly animated short (block JS27)
Other GSFF Fun Facts
- Executive Director Lauren has a background in film editing and runs the TV studio at Brookdale Community College, where GSFF offices are housed
- Year-round programming includes outreach to students, seniors, and the military
- Production services does all of the video for TEDxAsburyPark
- Virtual festival is partnering with nursing homes to provide tickets