Back again for the second year in Atlantic City is the 13th annual Garden State Film Festival, showcasing hundreds of independently produced movies of all lengths and genres through screenings, parties and panels. Running Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, the festival is filled with plenty to see and do.
Live it up
Start the weekend on Friday, March 20 with a cocktail party at 7 p.m. at Resorts Casino Hotel (1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City) with a live band, book signing with author Marc Wortman, and a screening of As the Crow Flies, the story of bootleggers on a mission to transport stolen money through the mountains.
Winners of this year's competition will be honored at an awards banquet at the Claridge Hotel (Pacific Avenue and Park Place, Atlantic City) beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. Hang around for the after party, beginning at 10 p.m. to rub shoulders with attending filmmakers.
Learn a little
Walk away with a bit of knowledge after attending any of this year's panels, all held at Resorts Casino Hotel (1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City). Learn how to fund a film at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, find out what a day in the life of a stunt woman is like at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, or get the basis of a successful social media campaign for your project at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.
The festival's films are shown in 2-2 ½ hour blocks starting at noon at all locations: the Superstar, Screening, Ballroom, Horizon, Starlight and Green Rooms at Resorts Casino Hotel (1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City), the Showroom at the Claridge Hotel (Pacific Avenue and Park Place, Atlantic City) and the theater in Dante Hall (14 N. Mississippi Avenue, Atlantic City).
Some film selections include Dilemma, a short about the changing relationship a young woman faces after returning to New York City and her boyfriend after studying abroad (8 p.m., Saturday, March 21); It's Not A Date, a feature-length comedy of a first date gone wrong (5:45 p.m., Saturday, March 21); and A Place of Their Own, a short documentary about homelessness (noon, Sunday, March 22). Full screening lineup here.