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Feb 16, 2022

Local Talents to Appear in the Garden State Film Festival

By Lori Draz

Twenty years and going strong! The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF), New Jersey’s premier independent film festival, returns for its 20th anniversary with a 12-day action-packed festival. The in-person events are Wednesday, March 23 to Sunday, March 27 at the Cranford Theater and in various locations in Asbury Park.  If you miss a film, they have you covered! Films will be available for screening via virtual access between Monday, March 28 and Sunday, April 3. As always, GSFF will feature many exciting live and virtual events, an incredible variety of more than 200 films including feature and short length dramas, thrillers, comedies, documentaries, student films, foreign films, videos, web series, music, and more – and of course, the works of many area producers, writers, actors, musicians and technical crew. 

Cheer on your hometown heroes who have put so much time and talent into these productions.  Included in the line-up are a number of projects from local artists. 

Shrewsbury’s Daniel Meyers brings sci-fi lovers “Monitor,” a short film about a tech-addicted man and his dog who experience strange and mysterious electronic phenomena.

Red Bank’s Cara Smith shares her music video “Glasya’s Heresy” shot entirely in Kersefontein, South Africa. It’s a heart-wrenching music video about a weary traveler and his horse, struggling across a barren landscape. He is overcome by visions of a beautiful woman beckoning him with promises of comfort and pleasure, a lavish banquet and an opulent, four-post bed. The siren’s haunting song draws him further and further into the desert. The song is performed by Smith and Scott Dispel. 

Also set to screen is a promo directed by Abbey Koshak for the Fair Haven nonprofit Waterspirit, a center for spiritual ecology sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. 

“After The Egg” is a short film by director Chelsea Slayter who hails from Atlantic Highlands. Shot in New Zealand, it tells the story of a young woman who becomes an unlikely caregiver for her estranged father and his new chicken friend.

And of course, Christopher Corey will be showcasing many of the fantastic student films produced in his Film and TV Production classes at Middletown High School South. Additionally, some of C.J. Cullen’s students at Middletown North will also be included.

“A Fistful of Pasta” is a western-themed short spoof of spaghetti westerns brought to you by Tyrone Shields, Joseph Guzzone, Thomas H. Campbell. Guzzone and Sheilds also bring you “The Lighthouse,” a comedy short that will make your mouth water. Stephen Sassano offers “Immersion,” the story of what happens to a video game-playing teenager when his power goes out. “Growing up” is a short about a girl reminiscing about her childhood from Maura Collins and Sophie Jackson. Collins and Jackson also bring you the horror short “The Love that Remains”. It’s the story of two people who fall in love and begin to see that something is off. Morgan Scasny, Evan Falterman, JT Anderson and Michael Sebring share an experimental short called “Entropy.” And rounding out the Middletown South category is the team effort from Collins, Jay Fielding, Grace Wilson, Erika Ridgway, Isabella Campion, Alicia Aponte, Sassano, Joseph Costa, Gigi Maiorana, who worked together to bring you the documentary called “Submergent Music-A Guy Named”, which follows a drummer and engineer named Pete.

That’s just some of what you’ll see. On Thursday, March 24, you can meet the creative minds at the Meet The Filmmakers event which will once again be in person at Asbury Lanes. Mix and mingle then watch an hour of selected trailers of the festival films so you can plan what you want to see. 

On Friday, March 25, it’s the famous red-carpet Friday Night Gala with a cocktail party from 7 to 8:20 pm followed by a screening of former GSFF Honoree and “The Walking Dead” star Xander Berkeley’s film “The Little Drummer Boy” and Comedy Feature Film from Ireland “Redemption of a Rogue.”

The Garden State Film Festival offers a variety of ticket packages for both in-person and virtual events, letting you customize your experience to fit your schedule. New this year, the virtual tickets will allow you to watch the films you choose anytime during the week, from March 28 to April 3. Choose one, five, 10 or unlimited access passes, and enjoy the show! Visit gsff.org for tickets, screening schedules and more information.